Egypt's Vice President Quits Amid Crisis

Saturday, 22 Dec 2012 11:32 AM

 

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CAIRO — Egypt's vice president resigned Saturday, saying he wanted to quit last month but had only stayed on to help President Mohammed Morsi tackle a political crisis.

Mahmoud Mekky, a well-known judge before he took the post, played a leading role in hosting "national unity" talks called by Morsi, although the main opposition politicians stayed away.

Mekky previously said he would step down once a new constitution being put to a vote was approved, as the post of vice president was not outlined in the charter. He had also said he was not privy to Morsi's decree on Nov. 22 to expand his powers that sparked the latest crisis.

In a letter by Mekky sent out by the presidency, he said he had worked hard for the nation in his post but that he had "realized for some time that the nature of political work did not suit his professional background as a judge."

He said he had first submitted his resignation on Nov. 7, but it was postponed when Egypt was acting as mediator to try to reach a truce deal in Gaza and then because of other demands, such as helping to organize the "national dialogue."

That dialogue aimed at resolving a row with the opposition over Morsi's extra powers and his decision to fast-track the constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly to a vote.

In final remarks, Mekky wished continued success to Morsi, who was propelled to power by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mekky was a leading member of a group of independent judges that started campaigning during the last years of Hosni Mubarak's rule, when he was jailed for speaking out against election rigging.

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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