Egypt's military-backed government has resigned, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem Abdel Aziz Al Beblawi announced in a televised address on Monday.
"The cabinet decided in light of the current situation that the country is going through... to submit its resignation to Adly Mansour, the interim president," the cabinet said in a statement.
Government spokesman Hany Saleh told AFP that Monday's decision was taken because there was a "feeling that new blood is needed".
"Egypt is moving forward. This decision will not affect foreign relations or internal stability," he said, adding it was still unclear which ministers from the cabinet would keep their posts.
The government’s surprise resignation comes amid a host of strikes, including one by public transport workers and garbage collectors. An acute shortage of cooking gas has also been making front page news the past few days.
Beblawi praised the government's performance in his speech.
"For the past six to seven months, the government assumed its responsibilities and duties... the government did not spare any efforts to get Egypt out of a bad phase," Beblawi said in reference to the country’s ongoing security and economic challenges.
Beblawi’s government was sworn in on July 16, less than two weeks after the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi after he served only a year in office.
It was not immediately clear who will replace Beblawi, who has often been derided in the media for his perceived indecisiveness and inability to resolve the country’s economic woes.
Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was serving as defence minister and first deputy prime minister, is by far the country's most popular political figure and is widely expected to win the presidency if he decides to run in upcoming elections.
He has not yet announced his candidacy for this spring's presidential vote, but aides say he has decided to run and will make the announcement soon.
Al-Sisi is required to resign from the government and the army before he can officially announce his bid for the top job.
The presidential vote, part of a road map outlined by Egypt's interim authorities for a return to democratic rule following Morsi's overthrow by the military, is expected to be held by mid-April.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-02-24