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Egypt’s Mursi Could Call for Early Vote: Justice Minister

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April 7 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s Islamist president could call for early presidential elections if he feels he has failed in running the country, though such a step would be ill-timed at present, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki said in a televised interview.

The comments came as Mekki said on the independent Al-Hayat satellite channel that, to his credit, one of the positive steps taken by President Mohamed Mursi’s ousted predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, was leaving his office.

Asked if Mursi had a similarly positive attribute and would consider such a step, Mekki said it was an option if the president “feels he has failed in administrating the state, but this isn’t good.”

The remarks, also carried by the state-run Ahram Gate website, come as Mursi faces mounting pressure from his secularist and youth activist critics who contend his has served only the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood organization that fielded him for office. Egypt’s economy is growing at its slowest pace in two decades amid quickening inflation.

Mekki said he was “convinced” that Mursi was “ready to give everything he’s got” for the country.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net; Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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