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Report: Egypt's army-backed government resigns

By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 8:49 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Egypt's government has been in turmoil since 2011
  • A string of disorganized strikes has rippled through the economy
  • Analysts expect army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to run for president
  • He would have to resign his military post to do so

(CNN) -- Egypt's military-backed government resigned Monday, adding new uncertainty to the nation's three years of upheaval.

The government headed by Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi turned in its resignation to President Adly Mansour, state-run Nile TV reported.

Mansour accepted the resignations and thanked the prime minister and his Cabinet for their service.

"The presidency greatly values the tireless efforts of Dr. Beblawi and members of the government at a pivotal moment in the nation's history," Mansour said in a statement.

State media reported that Mansour is expected to appoint a transitional prime minister in the coming days who will be tasked with putting together a new Cabinet to manage state affairs until presidential elections in April.

The resignations come as disorganized strikes ripple through the work force. In recent weeks, doctors, low-ranking police officers, postal workers, transport workers and textile workers have all gone on strike for short periods of time.

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Analysts expect army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who served as defense minister, to run for president. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has said it would support an El-Sisi candidacy.

If he does run, El-Sisi would need to give up his post.

But with no clear contender, his chances of winning the presidency are high.

If elected, he will become the sixth military leader to rule Egypt since its independence.

Egypt's government has been unsettled since a popular revolt toppled the 29-year rule of former strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Mohamed Morsy, the former head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, was elected president in 2012. Shortly after he winning, he resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party in an effort to show that he would represent all Egyptians.

But he was ousted in a coup about a year later amid widespread protests against his rule, with opponents accusing him of pursuing an Islamist agenda and excluding other factions from the government.

Morsy and other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up after the coup and now face a variety of counts, including organizing attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula and fueling "sectarian sedition with the aim of igniting civil war in Egypt."

Supporters say the military-backed government that replaced Morsy has returned to the authoritarian practices of Mubarak.

READ: Egypt takes steps to replace government

READ: Army denies military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said he will run for president

READ: Tourist bus explosion in Egypt kills 4, wounds 14

CNN's Yousuf Basil and journalist Ashraf Khalil contributed to this report.

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