File - Head of parliament’s legislative committee, Baha el-Din Abou Shoka
CAIRO – 28 January 2018: “I support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to run a second presidential term and the majority of parliamentarians stand behind Sisi,” the head of parliament’s legislative committee, Bahaa el-Din Abu Shoka, told Egypt Today.
Will you support President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in the next presidential election and why?
Surely yes, I was the first one who signed a petition to recommend his candidacy in the upcoming election. Based on my political and legal experiences which qualified me to view many political and international systems in different conditions, I see that Sisi is the most qualified man to lead Egypt, as has characteristics that qualify him to run for a second presidential term and acquire the support from inside and outside Egypt. Sisi was also able to protect the country from going into a civil war and he has made efforts to combat terrorism.
Do you think that these are the reasons behind the attacks from some countries on Egypt?
Some countries attack Egypt as we control our decisions and become a more independent country under Sisi’s presidency. Some countries don’t want to see Egypt become strong so they are trying to attack it from time to time. Still, Egypt is able to make its own decisions because of its vital role in the region and the Middle East.
How do you justify the support of the entire Egyptian House of Representatives for Sisi to run for a second presidential term?
The majority of parliamentarians see that Sisi is the most suitable candidate. He is the closest to Muhammad Ali Pasha in our modern era, there are many similarities between them, and both ruled a country plunged into chaos. Sisi’s goal is to build a modern state and all these reasons pushed us to fully praise Sisi and encourage him to run for another presidential term.
What do you say to those who accuse the Egyptian parliament of being biased towards Sisi?
Our support for the president does not take the absolute form. We will oppose him objectively based on democratic foundations without attack or distortion. If we find any error or shortcomings, we will shed light on them, providing solutions to the problems. Our role is to help the state and to build institutions. So the parliament is not biased to Sisi but we stand beside him as he offers to Egypt a great amount.
How do you see the issue that only one candidate has submitted his candidacy papers for the election?
Every person has the right to stand for presidential election, but there is a law and everyone should work according to it. In addition, the National Election Authority has set the conditions and criteria that must be followed by those who plan to run for presidential election.
If you could direct a word to Egyptians, what would it be?
I urged the Egyptians to participate intensively in the March electoral vote. I call on them to stand behind whoever they think will be suitable to rule Egypt during the next period.
Do you think that Egyptians will participate intensively in the election?
I expect that a large number of Egyptians men and women will vote in the presidential election as it will be a chance to give a message to the world that Egypt is witnessing a democratic transition and that this a real and transparent presidential election.
What is your opinion of the national projects that were implemented during Sisi’s ruling?
There has been a big boom in projects within the country in the first four years of Sisi’s presidential term. Now, Egypt has strong infrastructure. In addition, unemployment has reduced and employment opportunities increased. The numbers of young people who participated in Egyptian projects increased.
It is clear from the youth conferences that young people are the state’s real resources, they are capable of making a difference in the future. The national projects that have been implemented on the ground will have positive effects in the future during the next few years.
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