Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki asked to be relieved of his duties during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, citing the lack of respect for the judiciary and its rulings.
Mekki is upset over demonstrations frequently held in front of courthouses, as well as what he said were attempts to influence the rulings of judges through protests and organised media campaigns against the judiciary.
“The government is interested in ensuring the independence of the judiciary and enforcing justice in Egypt, especially after the 25 January Revolution which stated justice as one of its main demands,” Mekki said.
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil rejected the notion of Mekki resigning and asked him to remain in his post, emphasising the government’s commitment to the independence of the judiciary and its rejection of all attempts to pressure judges, a cabinet statement said.
“The cabinet reaffirms its disapproval of the repeated incidents of surrounding courts and prosecution offices as well as the threats of repeating them. The cabinet also reaffirms that there can be no justice without or independence of the judiciary in light of these repeated attacks and threats on courts and prosecution offices.”
The cabinet also said it appreciates the role played by the police and Ministry of Interior officials in providing domestic security for the country and its efforts in restoring stability and law and order as a patriotic institution.
The statement also refuted claims that other entities would be allowed to step in and perform the role of the police, stressing that keeping the peace and providing security is the jurisdiction of the police and the police alone.
Minister of State for Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Omar Salem also submitted his resignation on Tuesday, citing health reasons. Qandil has not made a decision regarding the resignation yet.