CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called on voters Wednesday to elect “honorable” candidates in the municipal elections, and on trade unions to serve their members without exercising politics.
“We have suffered a lot from Egypt’s municipalities. If you, the youth of Egypt, want to counter corruption conclusively, please bring the honorable, honest, sincere and the knowledgeable in these elections. We are talking about a very large number across Egypt,” Sisi said in a speech addressing a large number of public figures Wednesday.
There are more than 1,762 local councils in Egypt with some 53,000 seats; Egypt has been without local councils since June 2011 after the Court of Administrative Judiciary dissolved them, and no date has been fixed for the poll thus far. Among the local councils responsibilities is to oversee the executive authority.
Sisi also requested that the public not raise the topic of the Tiran and Sanafir islands again, and stressed that the two Red Sea islands belonged to Saudi Arabia, as opposed to wide-spread claims by Egyptians on social media. He also called on media practitioners to take social media as an “indicator” but not as a source of information.
He also claimed that elements he did not identify “inside and out of Egypt” are trying to spread “hopelessness and nihilism” among Egyptians.
Offering his condolences to the family of slain Italian student Guilio Regeni, Sisi said Egypt is keen on his case because of “exceptional relations” with Italy. He claimed that some Egyptians’ handling of the issue in newspapers and social media and claims that security forces murdered Regeni has created a problem for the country.