CAIRO — Egypt’s finance minister tendered his resignation Tuesday to protest the government’s role in the most violent unrest since the winter uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, according to an aide. But his attempt to quit was quickly rejected by the country’s transitional military leadership.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces refused late in the day to accept Hazem Beblawi’s resignation, the ministry’s spokesman, Mohammed al-Saqa, said. Beblawi had offered to step down after what human rights activists have described as a“massacre” of 25 people, mostly Coptic Christians, late Sunday during a crackdown by the military against rock-throwing protesters.
Beblawi, who is also deputy prime minister, could not be reached by phone Tuesday, but an official in his Egyptian Social Democratic Party, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said his move was intended as a protest.
“He expressed his discontent with the way the government dealt with the Maspero events,” the official said, using the local name for the radio and TV building in downtown Cairo where the worst of the violence took place. “He doesn’t want to work for a government that kills Egyptians.”