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Egyptian government resigns unexpectedly

Posted on Feb 24 2014 | IANS

Cairo, Feb 24 : In an unexpected move, Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi announced his government's resignation Monday, stating that the decision was taken "in light of the current situation the country is going through".

Beblawi was appointed in July after the military overthrew then president Mohammed Morsi in the wake of mass protests.

The latest development in Egyptian politics has come amid a series of strikes, including one by public sector workers and rubbish collectors, and an acute shortage of cooking gas, BBC reported.

Earlier, during a press conference in the day, Beblawi said his ministers did their best to tackle issues of security and economy, but making mistakes was unavoidable. "Any government without the support of society could do nothing."

Over 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of others detained in a crackdown by security forces on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party since then.

Militants based in the Sinai peninsula have, meanwhile, stepped up attacks on government, police and military personnel, killing hundreds.

In his televised address, Beblawi, without stating a clear reason for the cabinet's resignation, acknowledged that Egypt has witnessed a sharp rise in strikes. But he said no government in the world could have fulfilled all the demands of its people in such a short period of time.

"The cabinet has over the past six or seven months shouldered a very difficult responsibility... in most cases the results were good."

"The country is facing huge dangers. It is time we stood together to protect it and help it get out of this narrow tunnel," he added.

"This is neither the time for demands by public workers nor the time for personal interests, but the time for us to put our country's interests above all others."

Beblawi, however, also noted that his government had completed the first part of the road-map outlined by the interim authorities by holding a referendum on a new constitution in January

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