Sisi’s accomplishments in 1095 days of presidency



Sat, 01 Jul 2017 - 12:10 GMT


Sat, 01 Jul 2017 - 12:10 GMT

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - File Photo

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - File Photo

CAIRO – 1 July 2017: A taxi driver once asked Hosni Mubarak, “Which direction you want to go, Mr. President?” Mubarak replied, “Do you know which direction Nasser took?” to which the driver said “The left.”. Mubarak then asked, “Do you know which direction Sadat took?” to which the driver said, “The right.” Mubarak then said, “In that case, let’s continue standing where we are now.”

This joke, famously frequently told during the era of former President Hosni Mubarak, shows Mubarak’s incapability to challenge both Nasser’s and Sadat’s decisions. Despite 30 years of rule, Mubarak did not achieve many developments that improved the life of the Egyptian people, who revolted against him in 2011 due to difficult economic circumstances.

Elected in May 2014, President Abdel Fatah Sisi has chosen to take a different route and revolt against long held Egyptian taboos. He has challenged the policies adopted by both Nasser and Sadat and vowed to fulfill the Egyptian people’s aspirations with an absolute courage.

On June 29, fuel subsides were removed and public rage has been witnessed over the rising prices. However, Sisi took this bold decision as the only way to contribute positively to encouraging direct investments to Egypt and meet the IMF terms for more monetary aid.

The magnitude of the challenges facing Egypt is considerable and the responsibility for confronting these challenges is collective. Egypt is passing through the most difficult time in its history, according to President Abdel Fatah el Sisi in many of his public speeches.

Since the 30 June revolution, much has changed in Egypt. On the fourth anniversary of the revolution, this report compiles the most important achievements realized by the administration of President Sisi over the past three years.

Political reforms

After Egyptians reclaimed their right to shape their own destiny and corrected the path of the January 25 Revolution, Egypt has witnessed unprecedented participation in the political sphere by the public. Following a referendum in 2014 which witnessed the highest voter turnout in the history of Egyptian referendums (38 percent, with more than 20 million voters casting their ballots), a new constitution was approved by an overwhelming 98.1 percent of those who voted.

It bans torture “in all its forms and manifestations” and considers it “a crime with no statute of limitations.” (Article 52). It also prohibits and criminalizes “any forms of forced slavery, servitude, oppression, exploitation of human beings, sex trafficking and other forms of human trafficking.” (Article 89). Additionally, the constitution stipulates that the state must abide by all human rights treaties signed by Egypt (Article 93).

Furthermore, the right to freedom of speech through writing, speech, imagery, or any other means of expression, and the right to freedom of assembly, are guaranteed and protected in the constitution; the right and freedom of artists, writers, and filmmakers to create is also safeguarded, as is the freedom of scientific research (Articles 65, 66 and 67).

For the first time in Egypt’s history, the House of Representatives has the right to move to impeach the president with a two-thirds majority vote following an investigation by the Public Prosecutor if it so wishes (Article 159). It also allows for a confidence vote which, with a two-thirds majority vote, can trigger a public referendum on early presidential elections (Article 161).

In another historical first, the House of Representatives also now possesses a vote of confidence over the government. It has the power to reshuffle the cabinet, dismiss the prime minister, and withdraw its confidence if required. If it disapproves of the President’s choice of government, it may form a new one.

Egyptian expatriates have, for the first time in their history, voted in all successive parliamentary and presidential elections conducted after the January 25 Revolution. This right is guaranteed by Egypt’s current constitution in order to ensure equality among all citizens at home and abroad. The Egyptian Constitution of 2014, in Article 244, acknowledged that the state should work to represent Egyptians abroad adequately in the House of Representatives. This has already been achieved in Egypt’s new parliament, which held its inaugural session days ago with eight deputies representing Egyptian expatriates.

Foreign policy

Despite Muslim Brotherhood attempts to undermine the Egyptian regime’s achievements in the arena of foreign cooperation through small protests against Sisi in some foreign countries, Sisi continues to conduct foreign trips and has convinced major powers such as the U.S. to back Egypt politically and economically.

Egypt hosted the Investment in Africa Forum in February 2016, which contributed to boosting development and cooperation around the continent. Relations with Ethiopia witnessed a profound transformation after President Sisi’s historic visit to Ethiopia and speech to the Ethiopian parliament in March 2015. This culminated in the signing of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Ethiopia on June 29 to participate in preparatory meetings for the 29th African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa under the slogan “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”, the Foreign Ministry announced on June 28. Preparatory meetings will be held on 30 June and 1 July in the Ethiopian capital, followed by the summit itself on 3 and 4 July.

The independence of Egyptian decision-making has been achieved through maintaining multiple foreign policy alternatives and options. Essentially, Egypt’s foreign policy is now driven by Egypt’s national interests. Faced with the threat against its national security and its citizens’ security in Libya, Egypt responded in February 2015 and May 2017 by launching airstrikes against Islamic State targets there. Simultaneously, Egypt has supported the political process in Libya and the role of the U.N. envoy, participating in all rounds of dialogue between Libyan parties and sponsoring a number of meetings of Libyan tribes. Egypt has similarly played a proactive role in conflict negotiation in Syria, Gaza, Yemen and Iraq. Increasingly, our partners within and outside the region have come to see the soundness and accuracy of Egypt’s position on these regional issues.
Egypt’s election to a non-permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council in 2015, with wide support from the General Assembly, is one of the most important achievements of Egyptian diplomacy since the 30 June revolution, reflecting the international community’s support for Egypt and its role in maintaining international peace and security and promoting African, Arab and developing world causes inside the Council. Egypt has been recently selected to head three specialized committees in the Security Council, namely the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the U.N. Sanctions Committees concerning both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq.

Combating terrorism

Egypt has witnessed a concerted campaign by terrorists and extremists affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups to undermine the Egyptian identity and serve an insidious transnational agenda targeting the nation state in the region. The Egyptian people have succeeded in foiling their efforts and greatly diminishing their threat. This unique experience has allowed Egypt to become one of the leaders of the global war against terrorism.

“A comprehensive confrontation of terrorism requires standing up to all aspects of the phenomenon of terrorism regarding financing, arming and political and ideological support as the terrorist is not only that man who carries a weapon but also he who trains, finances and arms him and provides him political and ideological cover,” President Sisi said during the Arab-U.S. summit in Riyadh in May.

On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on charges of the Gulf state’s support for terrorism and extremist groups in the region in cooperation with Iran. Many other neighboring states followed suit shortly after, severing political relations with the oil-rich Gulf state.

“Egyptian intelligence observed a secret visit by Kassem Solaimani (Iranian senior military officer) to Qatar, two days before Riyadh summit, to discuss Tehran’s plan to destabilize the summit alongside Qatari officials,” Kuwaiti writer, Mubarak al-Bugaily, stated on his Twitter account on June 29.

Other political and social reforms are being prepared and adopted by the Egyptian administration such as the empowering of youth, women and people with disabilities. Sisi declared2017 to be the “Year of Egyptian Woman” and agreed to sponsor the “Egyptian Woman Can” conference. 2016 was the “Year of Youth.”

Economic reforms

Egypt started giving increased attention to supporting small and medium enterprises after the 30 June Revolution. The state realized that supporting such projects is of vital importance to the national economy as they have a clear impact that directly affects citizens and their economic activities, which in turn boosts job opportunities and employment – primary demands of the January 25 and the June 30 revolutions.

Fiscal reform has enabled the government to carve out additional space in the 2015 budget to lift capital expenditures to LE 75 billion, up to 25 percent over the previous fiscal year. While the budgeted amount still falls far short of Egypt’s needs, the government is pressing ahead with efforts to encourage the private sector to play a bigger role in service delivery and infrastructure development, including via public-private partnerships and other vehicles.

A number of laws have been amended or newly introduced to strengthen the domestic business environment and reinforce the rule of law. Highlights of legislative reform include the amendments to investment law, which have bolstered the autonomy and scope of one-stop shops, thereby streamlining various processes for investors. The new investment law also includes a dispute resolution mechanism based on international best practices. Other important legislations that have recently been passed to enhance the conditions for conducting business in Egypt are the microfinance law and amendments to competition law.

The new Suez Canal

In just one year, Egyptians succeeded in completing the initial step for developing the Suez Canal region, through the drilling of a new channel with a length of 35 kilometers. The new canal will facilitate the simultaneous direct transit of 45 vessels in both directions without a stop, and the transit of 97 ships per day. This will increase canal revenues by 259 percent in 2023, totaling $13.226 billion dollars compared to the current revenue of $5.3 billion. It will play a major role in the re-urbanization and geographic distribution of the population through integrated urban projects aimed at reclamation and cultivation of about 4 million acres.

Peaceful Nuclear power

On November 19, 2015 President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi witnessed the signing of several agreements with Russian officials to install a nuclear power plant in the northern town of El Dabaa. The project includes the establishment of four nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes expected to produce 4,800 GB, two of which will be opened after nine years, while the third and fourth reactors will be opened in the tenth and eleventh years.
Project for the reclamation of one and a half million acres:
In Farafra on December 30, 2015 President Sisi launched a project for the reclamation of one and a half a million acres of land to be used for sustainable development. This is one of the state’s giant national projects and a pillar of the “Step Towards the Future” program adopted by the state for future development projects.

A new capital

Located 45 kilometers to the east of Cairo, in 2015 President Sisi announced the construction of a new city, which he described as a new administrative and financial capital for Egypt.

The New Capital, which is currently being developed by the New Administrative Capital for Urban Development, is planned to include residential districts, educational institutions, hospitals, 40,000 hotel rooms, a theme park, solar plants and a new international airport.

President Sisi will test the magnitude of his popularity in few months, when Egyptians go to the polls for the 2018 presidential elections.



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