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Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawy submitted his resignation on Tuesday to the cabinet, citing a worsening security situation after 25 were killed and more than 300 injured when violence broke out between Coptic protesters and army forces on Sunday.
Cabinet sources have said that Beblawy's resignation has not been accepted by the ruling military council, and that he is scheduled to meet with the council's members within hours.
Egyptian independent daily newspaper Al-Shorouk quoted sources at the Egyptian Social Democratic Party who said the party had urged the minister, who is a senior member of the party, to resign in protest of the government’s handling of the violent incident.
“We demanded Beblawy resign given the bloody developments and the government’s failure to restore security or address peoples' demands,” party sources told the newspaper.
Nabil Abdel Fattah, an expert at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said Beblawy might have sensed a lack of harmony among cabinet ministers and the cabinet's absence of vision and the authority to address political and sectarian issues.
“The resignation is a logical reaction to the government’s indecisiveness toward thorny issues,” Abdel Fattah added.
A number of experts and activists has urged the interim government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to resign following the violence on Sunday. They also leveled a scathing criticism of Information Minister Osama Heikal over state TV’s coverage of the events, which they considered to be inciting.
State TV had reported that military forces were killed by armed protesters.
Beblawy is one of Egypt’s most renowned economic experts. He previously served at well-known Arab and international banks.