By AYA BATRAWY
Egyptian protesters clash near a bus belonging to Muslim Brotherhood supporters burns after it was reportedly set alight by anti- government protesters in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, April 19, 2013. Clashes erupted Friday between several hundred opponents and supporters of Egypt’s Islamist president during a rally by his allies calling on him to “cleanse the judiciary” of alleged supporters of the old regime. (AP Photo/Mostafa Elshemy)
CAIRO (AP) — A government spokesman says Egypt’s justice minister has submitted his resignation after the president’s supporters engaged in violent street clashes with opponents over calls to “cleanse the judiciary.”
Supporters of President Mohammed Morsi want him to purge the judiciary of former regime supporters. Many opponents of the call view it as an attempt by Islamists to control the judiciary.
Cabinet spokesman Alaa el-Hadidy says Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky submitted his resignation on Sunday. The presidency did not immediately say if the resignation was accepted.
In a copy of his resignation obtained by The Associated Press, Mekky says Friday’s protests led to the decision. He also mentions a new law being discussed in parliament that could dismiss 3,500 of Egypt’s approximately 13,000 judges and prosecution officials by lowering the retirement age.