Sisi excludes potential governors after watchdog report
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Nominees listed to replace several governors have been excluded by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi due to their “control reports,” prepared by auditing bodies, Youm7 reported Sunday.

Sisi announced a wide-scale replacement of governors in a meeting with top Egyptian journalists Sept. 28, 2014, adding that he is also “not satisfied” with the performance of a number of ministers.

An estimated 14 governors are expected to leave their posts mid-January per an order by Sisi, followed by a number of ministers, according to Youm7. This is the fourth time Sisi has exercised his right to refuse gubernatorial candidates.

It has been a trend for decades in Egypt that governors be retired generals, but Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab told Hayat TV Sept. 31, 2014 that the anticipated appointment of governors will not include a “quota” for former generals.

The government seeks non-traditional governors who would be into field work, fight corruption and follow up with local projects in the framework of a low budget, Mahlab said.

The ministers responsible for the economy will maintain their positions, while the ministers of tourism, electricity, education, high education, antiquities and culture are expected to leave their officers, senior anonymous sources told Youm7.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab assumed their positions in March 2014.

As part of announced an anti-corruption campaign, the secretary of the governor of Qena in Upper Egypt was suspended Dec. 30 for three months pending investigations into “financial irregularities” reported by the Administrative Control Authority.

On Dec. 31, the Cabinet approved a penal code amendment proposed by Sisi that removes cases of bribery from the statute of limitations, after former President Hosni Mubarak’s bribery charge was dropped Nov. 29 because the incident had occurred over ten years earlier, and the statute of limitations had expired.

Egypt scored 37 on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) in Transparency International’s 2014 annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI.) While it ranked 94th among 175 countries and territories, Egypt’s score was its least corrupt since the launch of the CPI.

The Central Auditing Organization, an independent watchdog, has nevertheless repeatedly complained that certain institutions, such as the police and the judiciary, refuse to cooperate with its observers to review their finances.

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