President el-Sissi? Resignation of Egypt’s government puts military leader on the path Cabinet helps by resigning || By Jennifer Collins and Mohamed Mahmoud | Courtesy: Milinet


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Photo by: Hassan Ammar El-Sissi

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CAIRO — Monday’s surprise resignation of Egypt’s prime minister and Cabinet is widely seen as a ploy to allow Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a popular military chief, to run for president in April in hopes of stabilizing the Arab world’s most populous nation.

But analysts say it also is viewed as a failure of the interim government that was set up two weeks after the military’s ouster of democratically elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.

“The government failed the test. It was an incompetent Cabinet that failed to deal with Egypt’s social, economic and political crises,” said Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“We will soon see [Field Marshal el-Sissi] making a presidential bid, but the timing of the resignation is important. The resignation of the whole Cabinet makes it seem like it is not just about him,” Mr. Gerges said.

Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi’s televised announcement Monday leaves his Cabinet in place as a caretaker government until the president names a prime minister to form new Cabinet. In Egypt, the prime minister is more of a manager and does not set policies, which are the domain of the more powerful president.

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