Egypt govt quits to allow President Sisi to choose new team

President-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi talks during his ceremony to be sworn in as president of Egypt, at the presidential palace in Cairo, on June 8, 2014 in this picture provided by the Egyptian Presidency. Egypt's interim prime minister Ibrahim
President-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi talks during his ceremony to be sworn in as president of Egypt, at the presidential palace in Cairo, on June 8, 2014 in this picture provided by the Egyptian Presidency. Egypt's interim prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab said his cabinet had resigned on Monday, June 09, 2014, allowing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to choose a new team on his first day in office. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's interim prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab said his cabinet had resigned on Monday, allowing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to choose a new team on his first day in office.

Ex-army chief Sisi was sworn in on Sunday, nearly a year after he ousted elected president Mohamed Mursi after millions protested against the Islamist's divisive one year rule.

The government installed by Sisi, who has been the de facto leader since he toppled Mursi, resigned to allow the new president to "choose an appropriate one to serve the nation," Mr Mahlab said in a statement.

"I assure you that along with the ministers... I exerted all efforts to accomplish the duties we were tasked with in very difficult circumstances," Mr Mahlab said.

Since Mursi's ouster, Egypt has been deeply polarised and its economy has nosedived on falling tourist revenues and investments.

Egyptian newspapers reported that Sisi is expected to ask Mr Mahlab to continue in his post, but would make minor changes to the cabinet.

The government has carried out a brutal crackdown on the former president's Muslim Brotherhood in which more than 1,400 people have been killed and thousands more jailed.

Hours after his inauguration, Mr Sisi, in a warning to the now blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, said there will be "no leniency and truce with those who resort to violence".

"I am looking to a new era built on reconciliation and tolerance.. except with those who committed crimes or used violence as a tool," he said on Sunday in his first national address as president.

"I am saying clearly that those who shed the blood of the innocent and killed ... the sons of Egypt, they don't have a place in (our) march." At his inauguration, Western countries, alarmed by the brutal police crackdown on dissent, were represented mostly by low-level representatives.

Mr Sisi becomes Egypt's second elected president since a popular uprising overthrew longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011, unleashing more than three years of political turmoil.