Egypt's interim prime minister announced Monday the resignation of his cabinet, a surprise move that could be designed in part to pave the way for the nation's military chief to leave his defense minister's post to run for president.
Hazem el-Beblawi's military-backed government was sworn in on July 16, less than two weeks after Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the defense minister, ousted President Mohamed Morsi after a year in office.
The government's resignation, announced by Beblawi in a live TV broadcast, came amid a host of strikes, including one by public transport workers and garbage collectors. An acute shortage of cooking gas has also been making front page news the past few days.
It was not immediately clear whether Beblawi will stay at the helm of a new government or will step aside for a new prime minister.
Beblawi has often been derided in the media for his perceived indecisiveness and inability to introduce effective remedies to the country's economic woes. He has also been criticized for the security forces' inability to prevent high-profile terror attacks blamed on militants sympathetic with Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.