Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki submitted his resignation on Sunday, a day after President Mohamed Morsi announced an imminent cabinet reshuffle.
Mekki’s resignation comes after the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists held demonstrations calling for the “cleansing” of the judiciary and for Mekki’s dismissal.
“Since I have assumed this office, your opponents have called on me to resign so I could be in line with my previous positions. Yesterday, under the slogan of cleansing the judiciary, your supporters demanded I be dismissed in order to achieve their noble goals, thus achieving consensus,” Mekki wrote in his resignation letter addressed to Morsi.
Mekki, one of the leaders of the judiciary independence movement during former president Hosni Mubarak’s reign, previously expressed his intention to resign and has openly criticised some of Morsi’s policies towards the judiciary, such as unilaterally appointing Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah.
The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties and groups demanded the “cleansing” of the judiciary in a Friday protest in front of the High Court building, citing Mubarak’s recent release order and the court order reversing Abdallah’s appointment as examples of bias.
Moderate Islamist party Al-Wasat’s parliamentary bloc presented a draft bill to the Shura Council proposing the judiciary law be amended to set a retirement age of 60 for judges.
Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef made statements earlier this month to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jareeda, saying that the judiciary was corrupt and that parliament would remove over 3,000 judges.
“May God protect you from your opponents and supporters,” Mekki wrote to Morsi at the end of his letter.
Cabinet spokesperson Alaa Al-Hadidy said Mekki would continue serving as acting Minister of Justice until a new minister is appointed in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.