Egypt’s government resigned on Monday, paving the way for army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president.
After the July overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and subsequent crackdown on Islamists and libel, critics say Cairo’s military-backed authorities are turning the clock back to the era of Hosni Mubarak, when the political elite ruled in alliance with top businessmen.
“[The outgoing government] made every effort to get Egypt out of the narrow tunnel in terms of security, economic pressures and political confusion,” Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a live nationwide speech.
The decision effectively opened the way for Sisi to run for president. “This [resignation] was done as a step that was needed ahead of Sisi’s announcement that he will run for president,” an Egyptian official said.
Sisi has unveiled a political roadmap meant to lead to elections after toppling Morsi following mass unrest against his increasingly arbitrary rule.
The presidential vote is expected within months.