The government’s resignation, announced by Hazem Beblawi, comes amid a series of strikes
Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has unexpectedly announced the resignation of his government.
He gave no reason in his televised address, but it comes amid a series of strikes, including one by public sector workers and rubbish collectors.
The state-run newspaper al-Ahram said he had been asked to stay on as prime minister until a successor was named.
He was appointed in July after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi following opposition protests.
In his address, Mr Beblawi acknowledged that Egypt had witnessed a sharp rise in strikes, but 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,” he said.
The goal, he added, was to take Egypt out of a “narrow tunnel” brought about by security, political and economic pressures.
Mr Beblawi has been criticised in local media for his perceived indecisiveness and inability to deal with the country’s economic woes.
Al-Ahram, citing unnamed sources, reported that he would be replaced by Housing Minister Ibrahim Mihlib.
The sources also said the cabinet’s decision to submit its resignation to interim President Adly Mansour had been made after a 15-minute meeting on Monday that was attended by the armed forces chief and Defence Minister, Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
The field marshal is widely expected to announce soon that he will step down from both posts and run for president.
According to the new constitution approved in January, an election must take place by mid-April. Correspondents say Field Marshal Sisi would be likely to win, given his popularity and the lack of any serious rivals.