Another hurdle in military leader Abdel Fattah Sisi's path to the Egyptian presidency was cleared as the country's entire cabinet abruptly resigned on Monday. Sisi's presidential run, which has been in the planning stages for months, would have required him to step down as defense minister, and apparently, he did not want to appear as if he was acting alone.
A spokesperson for the government only said, "This government feels that it did what it had to do in this critical period, and maybe it's time for a change," while Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi stated that they had "made every effort to get Egypt out of the narrow tunnel in terms of security, economic pressures and political confusion."
The U.S., meanwhile, is still holding out hope for a democratic government, despite the fact that Sisi is poised to become the sixth military leader since since the country gained independence. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said:
Our focus ... remains on pressing and encouraging Egypt to take steps forward that will advance an inclusive transition process that leads to a democratic civilian-led government selected through a credible and transparent elections process.
That the resignations were mostly for show was indicated by state news media reports that the resigning ministers would oversee their ministries until a new government was formed. It is entirely possible that those ministers could resume their positions if (or if we're being real honest: when) Sisi is elected.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.