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Egypt's VP resigns amid vote over draft constitution

By Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Reza Sayah and Yousuf Basil
updated 2:32 PM EST, Sat December 22, 2012
Mahmoud Mekki is shown in 2006 during a demonstration outside the Egyptian Supreme Court.
Mahmoud Mekki is shown in 2006 during a demonstration outside the Egyptian Supreme Court.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: News of another top-level resignation surfaces, but it is swiftly denied
  • Mekki says he submitted his resignation last month, but stayed on
  • He says his profession as judge didn't jibe with politics
  • The new constitution is doing away with the VP job

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekki is stepping down from his post, state-run Nile TV announced Saturday, amid a second round of voting on the country's Islamist-backed draft constitution.

Mekki said he resigned last month, but stayed on because he had to tend to a number of important issues, including the controversy over the new constitution, according to his resignation letter published by the state-run MENA news agency.

A former judge, Mekki said in his letter political work doesn't jibe with his profession. But President Mahmoud Morsy didn't accept the resignation because of the duties he had to carry out.

"I realized since taking the position that the nature of the political duties does not suit my professionalism as a judge, so I submitted my resignation on November 7," Mekki said on his Facebook page. "I will remain a volunteer soldier available for the interest of the nation at anytime."

Morsy appointed Mekki to the post earlier this year. However, the new constitution does not include the position of vice president.

News of another top-level resignation surfaced Saturday, but that was swiftly denied.

Egyptian State TV reported that Farouk El Okdah, the head of the Egyptian central bank has resigned, But Cabinet spokesman Alaa el-Hadidi said El Okdah did not submit his resignation and is still on the job.

"This is just a rumor," el-Hadidi said.

Egyptians vote on divisive new constitution

Protests turn violent ahead of vote

CNN's Reza Sayah and Journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy reported from Cairo. Yousuf Basil reported from Atlanta

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