[QODLink]
Middle East

Egypt minister quits over new Luxor governor

Tourism minister resigns amid protests against President Mohamed Morsi's appointment of governor linked to massacre.

Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013 14:16
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Hesham Zazou said he "cannot continue in the role of tourism minister" [AP]

Egypt’s tourism minister has resigned a day after President Mohamed Morsi appointed a new governor to Luxor province from an Islamist party linked to a massacre of holidaymakers in the temple city.

Hesham Zazou said on Wednesday he "couldn't continue in the role of tourism minister" after the appointment of Adel al-Khayat, a former member of the political arm of Islamist group Gamaa Islamiya.

Gamaa Islamiya claimed responsibility for the attack on a major tourist attraction in Luxor killing 58 foreign nationals in 1997.

Ministry spokeswoman Rasha al-Azaizy told the MENA news agency that the Prime Minister Hesham Qandil had refused to accept Zazou's resignation and asked him to remain in his post until the situation is reviewed.

But she said Zazou insisted he would cease to work "as long as the new governor remains in his post, greatly harming tourism in Egypt generally and in Luxor specifically".

President Morsi named Khayat along with 16 other new governors on Sunday, including seven from his Muslim Brotherhood movement.

His appointment deals a blow to the once lucrative tourism industry struggling to recover after the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

Failing the revolution

In statements to the media, he said his first priority as governor would be to "ensure the return of tourists" to Luxor.

But a coalition of opposition groups, trade unions and tourism workers has threatened to close down all Pharaonic temples and tourist attractions should Khayat remain in the post.

On Tuesday, clashes erupted in several cities of the Nile Delta following protests against the appointments, injuring 26 people.

The protests are the latest sign of polarisation in the country, pitting Morsi's largely Islamist supporters against a wide-ranging opposition that accuses the president of failing the revolution that brought him to power.

The tension comes ahead of mass protests planned on June 30 seeking to withdraw confidence from Morsi and calling for early presidential elections.

326

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list