CAIRO (AP) — An ultraconservative Islamist adviser to Egypt’s president has resigned in solidarity with a fellow aide who was fired amid allegations of abusing his office.
The Monday resignation of Bassam Zarka, who is a member of the Salafi Al-Nour party, is the latest sign of tension between President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist ally months before parliamentary elections.
Zarka dramatically announced his resignation at a live press conference during which his Al-Nour colleague and former presidential adviser, Khaled Alam Eldin, broke down in tears as he denied the allegations that he had abused his office.
Eldin demanded an apology from Morsi for firing him. The presidency has refused.
Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali announced the dismissal of Khaled Alam Eldin, adviser for environmental affairs, without giving details.
Another official in the presidency, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said Alam Eldin was fired over reports of abuse of power.
Eldin, who went public with criticism of Morsi and the government before his sacking, told news website Al-Ahram Online that he was not officially informed of his dismissal and that he is meeting with his party to decide a response. His party has been pushing for a government reshuffle and has hosted meetings with the opposition to prepare for talks with Morsi.
In a recent posting on his Facebook page, Alam Eldin said Egyptians are teetering between hope and despair over the failure of the government and the presidency to achieve the goals of the 2011 uprising, including social justice and better living conditions.
“The presidency has stumbled in its attempts to reach a national consensus that brings the people together … and sets the foundation for a state of institutions, instead of a state based on secrets, secret meetings and confused decisions,” he wrote.