Egypt VP Mahmoud Mekki resigns
Cairo: Egypt's vice-president on Saturday announced his resignation, saying he had realised the role did not suit his background as a judge.
His resignation comes on the day the country completes its voting in a controversial referendum on a draft constitution.
Mekki, who was appointed in August, announced his resignation just hours before the end of voting in the second round of the referendum.
Mekki, 58, said he had tried to resign on 7 November but that circumstances had forced him to remain.
He said in a statement read on television: "I realised a while ago that the nature of politics does not suit my professional background as a judge."
Observers here say that choosing to announce his official resignation only hours before the results on the draft constitution referendum meant he did not want to be associated with the voting process or its consequences.
There's also speculation that this resignation also implies that the draft constitution has already passed. Because, according to the new charter, the president is not obligated to hire a vice president, in which case Mekki was pre-empting the vote.
Mahmoud Mekki is one of the highest-profile judges in Egypt. In his resignation statement he said he did not know about the decree that gave President Mohammed Mursi sweeping powers in November - giving the impression that he was unhappy with not being consulted on key decisions.
Later in the day, another high profile official, the governor of the central bank Farouk al-Okda also resigned.
His departure comes at a time when Egypt's pound has been losing value against the US Dollar and the postponement of a deal with the IMF for a much needed loan of USD 4.8 billion.