CAIRO: Transparency International on Friday called for Egypt’s presidential candidates to make a public and binding pledge that ensures they will tackle corruption within six month of assuming office.
“We call on the presidential candidates to make a genuine and public commitment to put an end to nepotism and cronyism of former regimes that brought millions into the streets demanding social justice,” said Lamiaa Kalawi, Transparency International’s Egypt coordinator.
The NGO urged for presidential candidates to declare a well-defined agenda that includes actions to tackle corruption and to take serious procedures to fulfill Egypt’s obligation as a signatory on the United Nations Convention against Corruption issued in 2000.
According to a statement by Transparency International, the said pledge should include the following points:
- Establishing a committee of legal experts that has broad powers to strengthen current anti-corruption legislation.
- Establishing an independent anti-corruption committee of prosecutorial powers that could unify the work of current anti-corruption authorities.
- Establishing specialized independent courts to deal with corruption cases in a timely manner.
- Creating necessary legislations to protect whistleblowers and encourage citizens to report any corruption incidents.
- Creating necessary legislations to facilitate information access and to enable local NGOs and citizens to participate in monitoring and holding public officials that are involved in corruption issues to accountability.
In its Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) page, Transparency International conducted an opinion poll in 2013 in Egypt titled “Over the past two years, how has the level of corruption in this country/territory changed?”
The opinion poll showed 37 percent of the respondents said that it has increased a lot, 27 percent said it increased a little, 21 percent said it stayed the same, 11 percent said it decreased a little while 5 percent said it decreased a lot.
Another poll opinion titled “How effective do you think your government’s actions are in the fight against corruption?”, 23 percent said they are very ineffective, 32 percent said they are ineffective, 24 percent said they are neither effective nor ineffective, 17 percent said they are effective while 5 percent said they are very effective.
The presidential elections are scheduled to be held May 26 and 27. Since there are only two candidates, there will be no run-off unless the votes are equal.