Egypt Independent

Drastic mistakes by the presidency



The president's decisions in the past week and his advisers' recommendations were all alarmingly wrong.
 
The president's decision to go to London was wrong. Two weeks before his trip I received a phone call from a friend living in London for more than 35 years, who is also an ardent supporter of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He told me the visit should be postponed because circumstances are not favorable.
 
I asked him to send an urgent letter to the presidency and explain the reasons for why it should be postponed.
 
How did presidential advisers not know about the risks of the visit? Aside from the Muslim Brotherhood's actions there, the least we can say is that the British attitude was abrasive.
 
Then came another mistake, namely the arrest of Salah Diab for allegedly illegally profiting from the New Giza project, as it was said in the beginning. But we found out later that it was because of something else, as there are 18 other shareholders in the New Giza project.
 
So why freeze Salah Diab’s funds only and not those of the others? And why arrest him in such a demeaning and humiliating manner as if the government is taking revenge on businessmen, as Ibrahim Eissa put it?
 
Then they said he was arrested because he possessed weapons, something that everybody from Cairo to Aswan has in his possession.
 
Then he was released although he was supposed to be detained for 15 days.
 
This snafu made the stock market collapse and businessmen reluctant to invest in Egypt, according to trade and industry organizations that are affiliated with the government.
 
Then there were speculations that his arrest was so that his newspaper, Al-Masry Al-Youm, could be sold to a yes-man, like what Mubarak did to the Al-Dostour newspaper and Ibrahim Eissa.
 
At the same time, Hossam Bahgat was arrested, although he is an intellectual and civil society activist highly respected in Egypt and abroad. He was arrested in the same demeaning way, remanded into custody for four days, but released the next day, although everyone here and abroad knows that he did not do anything wrong.
 
We know that there are reasons behind the deterioration of the economy, such as the Russian plane crash and the high exchange rate of the dollar. But there are other more important reasons, such as the bad selection and management of major projects that cost billions of pounds without conducting feasibility studies, consulting experts or holding a community dialogue for them.
 
This must stop, and the president must immediately choose civilian advisors so as not to make more mistakes. His supporters are angry, and he must hear their cries.
 
We want Egypt to complete its constitutional institutions. We want to work together with wisdom and prudence so that we do not end up regretful.
 
Rise you Egyptian, for Egypt calls for you.
 
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm