Add to the dramatic changes taking place in Egypt – few for the better, as far is Israel is concerned – comes news that the current Vice President of Egypt, Mahmoud Mekki, resigned on Saturday, December 22 , the final day of the referendum for the new Islamist-backed Egyptian constitution.
Mekki was a judge who was part of the pro-democracy movement which fought for judicial reforms during the Mubarak regime.
Mekki was the first Vice President of Egypt since 1952.
“I have realized a while ago that the nature of politics don’t suit my professional background as a judge,” his resignation letter, read on state TV, said. He said he had first submitted his resignation last month but events forced him to stay on.
In addition to the pro-democracy reformist Mekki, Egyptian state television announced that Farouk El-Okadah, Egypt’s Central Bank Governor, also resigned.
It has not only been a state of political turmoil in Egypt since the fall of Mubarak, the economic condition of the state has also been precarious, especially due to the dramatic downturn in foreign investment and loss of revenue due to the near-collapse of the tourism industry.
While Mekki’s departure was expected – there is no position of Vice President in the new draft Egyptian constitution -the abrupt nature of the timing, and the loss in one day of two non-Islamists in Morsi’s Islamist-dominated government could have a profound impact on the Egyptian government.
Since the end of November, nearly half of Morsi’s top advisers have resigned. Mekki and every one of the others who resigned said they had not been consulted regarding Morsi’s public decisions, including the controversial one issued on November 22 which placed his decrees beyond judicial review and in which he gave himself nearly absolute powers.
Mekki’s brother, Judge Ahmed Mekki, has been President Morsi’s Minister of Justice since August 2.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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