News Analysis: Gov't change in Egypt not necessarily related to Sisi's presidential bid   2014-02-26 10:39:24            

by Mahmoud Fouly

CAIRO, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- The resignation of Egypt's government was not necessarily designed to pave the way for military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to run for president, experts said.

On Tuesday, interim President Adli Mansour appointed Ibrahim Mahlab as prime minister to replace Hazem al-Beblawi, who came to office following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in last July.

"The move is not likely to be designed for Sisi to run for president," said Hassan Wagih, a political science professor at Al-Azhar University, adding that Beblawi's government resignation was "a positive step anyway."

Since Morsi's removal, Sisi's popularity has mounted among anti-Islamist Egyptians, with many voices urging him to join the presidential race scheduled for mid-April.

Wagih told Xinhua that Sisi may be waiting for the establishment of the presidential election law before he gives his final word. The draft law is currently under discussion and expected to be approved by the interim president within days.

Wagih stressed that the resignation of Beblawi's government mainly resulted from a number of mistakes that led to public dissatisfaction.

The biggest mistake is its failure to implement the minimum wages law, Wagih said, adding that it infuriated workers in the sectors of public transport, health care and textile industry.

Beblawi's government was unable to keep its commitment of enacting minimum wages in January amid sharp economic recession caused by deteriorating security and political situation.

Political expert Gehad Auda echoed Wagih's opinion that poor performance was the main reason for the government's resignation.

"Sisi is likely to resign from the government after the presidential election law is established," Auda told Xinhua.

Auda, a professor at Helwan University, said that the Beblawi government should have been a "salvation government" but it repeatedly failed to deliver.

Experts expected Sisi to be excluded from the new government, which is scheduled to be formed within four days.

Hani al-Gamal, head of Kenana Center for political and strategic studies, believed the military chief's anticipated exclusion from the coming cabinet is "a preparatory step" for his presidential bid.

Editor: Yang Yi
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