Governor of Egypt’s Central Bank, Farouk el-Okda
Cairo – Akram Ali
Government sources have told Arabstoday that the Governor of Egypt’s Central Bank, Farouk el-Okda, has tendered his resignation to President Mohammed Morsi and will vacate his position
after the new constitution is ratified for reasons to do with his health as well the collapse of Egypt’s economy.
The sources told Arabstoday that el-Okda “preferred to exit the political and economic scene at the moment instead of being considered suspect when the Egypt’s currency and economy collapse and when the Central Bank is unable to intervene in the foreign exchange market to support the Egyptian pound which has fallen by eight whole piasters this month. The reserves have dropped to $15 billion, which only covers three months of imports. There is also the unprecedented rise of Egypt’s internal debt.”
The sources added that President Mohammed Morsi hopes to appoint former Governor Hesham Ramez to replace el-Okda, which the source said the presidency will confirm, announcing that el-Okda’s resignation came in accordance with his wishes and to fall in line with the new constitution once it is ratified.
Reports of el-Okda’s resignation has been circulating but have been dismissed as a rumour by Egypt’s cabinet despite the news being announced on state television, which also reported that Morsi had met with Ramez at the Ittihadiya Palace to offer him the vacant post. The cabinet’s denial has sparked confusion among Egyptians.
Economist Hamdi Abdel Azeem has warned of the “collapse” to which Egypt’s economy is succumbing. The economic expert said a continuation of the status quo would result in bankruptcy within five months “at the most,” especially in light of the pound’s retreat against the dollar.
“The government is not looking at the economic indicators; it is looking at the political situation in Egypt, which causing more damage to the economy than the period of the revolution after it had begin to recover,” Abdel Azeem told Arabstoday.
El-Okda has held the governorship of the Central Bank since December 2003, succeeding Mohammed Abul Oyoun. In accordance with recent amendments to the law governing the Central Bank and the banking and finance sector [Law 88, 2003], the post of governor and the nine-member Central Bank board have a legal term of four years, subject to renewal. The amendments give the governor the pension of a minister and stipulate that his resignation may only be accepted via presidential decree.