By Reem Abdellatif
CAIRO: Hazem El-Beblawi, Egypt’s deputy premier and finance minister, submitted his official resignation on Tuesday to Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and the ruling military council, an official told Daily News Egypt.
El-Beblawi “is officially resigning because he says the government and the Cabinet failed to take action and respond responsibly to the events of Maspero on Sunday,” the ministry official told DNE.
News surfaced after El-Beblawi’s announcement that Egypt’s entire interim government had resigned, but was quickly denied by the Cabinet spokesman, according to Reuters.
El-Beblawi, who is the second finance minister to resign in Egypt’s interim government, submitted his resignation due to the “incompetence” of the current Cabinet, the official told DNE.
“The minister also stated he is resigning because he sees that the current government is incompetent and weak as they are not able to bring back security and stability to the country.”
The official confirmed that the ruling military council and the prime minister have not yet accepted El-Beblawi’s resignation.
On Sunday evening, 25 died and 330 were injured after a group of around 1,000 peaceful protesters were allegedly attacked by military police in front of the state TV building Maspero.
On the night of the incident, dozens of protesters and civilians, who were able to escape from the attack, told DNE that armored personnel carriers (APCs) brutally ran over civilians while firing machine guns at random in order to disperse protesters.
Al Jazeera television had carried a headline stating that Sharaf had handed in the resignation of the whole government. But a Cabinet spokesman, Mohamed Hegazy, denied the report and said the government was continuing to work.
An army source also denied the TV report, Reuters reported.
El-Beblawi was a former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and a professor of economics at the University of Alexandria. He is currently an economic adviser to the Arab Monetary Fund in Abu Dhabi.
Samir Radwan, who was appointed shortly before former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted, was the first finance minister from the interim government to resign in July amid mounting pressure to reshuffle the Cabinet.
Mubarak had appointed Radwan when he reshuffled the Cabinet to appease protesters who were calling for his ouster and the fall of his regime in February.