CAIRO, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekki has submitted his resignation to President Mohamed Morsi, the state TV reported Saturday afternoon.
"I realized a while ago that the nature of political work does not suit my professional side as a judge," Mekki said in a statement Saturday, adding that he had earlier submitted a resignation to President Morsi on Nov. 7, but the busy political scene due to recent Israeli aggression on the Gaza strip and then Mekki's visit to Pakistan to represent Egypt in the Group-8 Summit made it untimely.
Mekki is the deputy chairman of the Court of Appeal and is also the younger brother of Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki. He was appointed by President Morsi as vice president on Aug. 12.
Mekki's resignation came while Egyptians started Saturday morning to cast their votes in the second phase of a disputed constitutional referendum, which had stirred up divisions between the country's liberals and Islamists.
As many as 25 million eligible voters in 17 governorates, including Giza, Suez, Ismailia and Port Said, started to cast their votes at 8:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) to determine the destiny of the country's draft constitution. The first stage of the referendum on Dec. 15 covered Cairo, Alexandria and eight other governorates.