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Egypt justice minister resigns

Egypt's Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki resigned Sunday in response to both supporters and opponents calling for his resignation. Mekki's letter of resignation was made public the day after President Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] announced [AP report] a reshuffling of this cabinet. As part of the reason for his resignation, Mekki cited the public protests against him. Mekki is a pro-reform judge who has come under public criticism for siding with Morsi in the power struggle between the president and judiciary. The judiciary has come under close scrutiny because it is the only branch of government not controlled by Morsi's Islamist party. On Friday, Morsi supporters clashed with opponents in violent protests over calls to reform the judiciary.

Egypt has been plagued by continuing political turmoil since the beginning of its revolution [JURIST backgrounder]. Last month, the country's Supreme Administrative Court referred [JURIST report] the newly passed electoral law to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review, thereby delaying parliamentary elections originally set to begin on April 22. In September 2012, the Egyptian Ministry of Justice brought charges [JURIST report] against former culture minister Farouq Hosni for corruption. He has been accused of illegally obtaining 27 million Egyptian pounds (USD $4.5 million) during his term as culture minister under the ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile; JURIST news archive].

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