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Resignations In Egypt May Be Prelude To General's Presidential Run

Posted: February 24, 2014

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All Cabinet ministers are stepping down, the nation's prime minister announced Monday. Among them: Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who will now be free to seek the presidency.

Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in April 2013.

Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in April 2013. Jim Watson

In something of a surprise, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced Monday that his entire Cabinet is stepping down.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel says the prime minister gave no reason for the mass resignation.

But as The Associated Press reports, the resignations "could be designed in part to pave the way for the nation's military chief to leave his defense minister's post to run for president." According to Reuters, for Field Marshall Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi "to run for president, he would first need to quit as defense minister."

Leila reminds our Newscast Desk that "the government in Egypt is seen as a weak, interim leadership that is backed by the nation's powerful military. It was not elected, but appointed by the nation's president — Adly Mansour — who wasn't elected either. He was appointed by the military after it staged a popularly-backed coup against elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last July."

A presidential election is expected to be held by mid-April.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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