• 11:07
  • Friday ,26 February 2016

Sisi's 'Egypt Vision 2030' speech garners positive, negative reactions


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Friday ,26 February 2016

Sisi's 'Egypt Vision 2030' speech garners positive, negative reactions

Reactions from the media and politicians varied in response to an hour and a half long speech delievered by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday at al-Galaa Theater in Cairo, where he launched the government's long-term sustainable development strategy "Egypt Vision 2030".

Sisi expressed his anger during his "Egypt Vision 2030" speech, said political writer and thinker Mostafa al-Fikki.
"It was clear through his words that he possessed unrevealed information, which makes him feel the size of great threats targeting the country," Fikki added in an interview Wendesday evening on MBC Masr.
Fikki said that he does not support Sisi's absolute defense of the government, adding that any minister or official should be able to withstand criticism.
In his speech, Sisi blamed the media for criticizing the Cabinet of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.
“You do not know the government more than I do. I sit with them everyday and I am aware of their future plans and how they are working,” Sisi said, defending the Cabinet.
“Unjustified media attacks on the government’s performance must stop, nobody can work under that much pressure,” he added.
He also said that it was too early for Egyptians to practice democracy and stressed that maintaining social unity is a priority.
"It is too early for you to start practicing democracy with its real meaning,” Sisi said.
Commenting on Sisi's speech, political science professor Amr Hashem Rabia said, "the strategy launched by the president lacked democracy and human rights."
He criticized Sisi for saying that he was the "only one who knows everything", as well as his rejection of accusations against the government that it interfered with recent parlaimentary elections.
Rabia added that the government did not interfere in the elections directly, but made an elections law, in accordance to which the current MPs of the House of Representatives, who quarrel with each other, were elected.
Controversial host Youssef al-Husseiny commented on Sisi's statement that Egyptians should only listen to him saying, "We need to know, we cannot just keep listening and be silent. We are sorry."
"We are not going to listen, be silent and put duck tape on our mouths. We did not elect you for that reason," he said on his program on OnTV channel Wednesday evening. Husseiny continued saying that democracy is not about listening only to one person.
"Do not listen to anyone's words but mine. I am dead serious. Do not listen to anyone's words but mine. I am a man who does not lie", said Sisi in a loud and firm tone followed by the applause of attendees.
"I will not allow for Egypt to be torn apart. Be careful, I will not allow for this. Do not mistake my patience and good manners becuase I will not allow this country to fall...If you want to take care of (Egypt) along with me, you are welcome. If not, please be silent."
On his program on Wednesday evening on Sada al-Balad channel, Ahmed Moussa launched a hashtag to support Sisi's call on Egyptians to donate one pound everyday for their country. Moussa launched the hashtag under "Say good morning to Egypt with one pound". He also sent a text message on air to the "Long Live Egypt Fund" as a donation, in response to Sisi's call to donate to the fund through text messages.
"We should all say good morning Egypt (and donate) one pound," he said, adding that Egyptians should support their national economy against foreign threats which seek to destroy Egypt.
One of the most quoted lines from the speech came when Sisi said, "If it were possible for me to be sold, I would sell myself."
"We all cried today in the hall during the president's enthusiastic speech in which he offered to sell himself. This statement was never made before in Egypt or outside Egypt with such clarity and strength," said Moussa.
Sisi's opponents on social media, especially from the youth, poked fun at this statement.
Host Gaber al-Qarmouty said on his program on OnTV Channel Wednesday evening that Sisi's speech was enthusiastic and emotional because the president is conscious about the size of threats against Egypt. 
"Some people say the speech resembles Morsi's speechs. The problem was just how the president expressed some things. But if we scrutinize the president's words, we will find that emotion and great enthusiasm dominated the speech," said Qarmouty. 
Sisi's statement about destroying any person who would attempt to harm Egypt was "precise and is needed in the meantime", said Qarmouty.
“I swear to God, I will make anyone who thinks to (harm) this country perish from the face of the earth," proclaimed Sisi.
Sisi also referred to the media, saying there are no real and organized channels for communication between media and state institutions.
"The ongoing conflict between us and (opponents) aims to stop the reconstruction of Egypt and seeks to destroy the state," he added.
Journalists' Syndicate Chairman Yehya Qalash commented on Sisi's speech saying on Wednesday that a bill to regulate the media has been finalized by the syndicate. He accused the government of seeking to suspend the syndicate's law in order to pass another one prepared by the Cabinet.
Qalash said that Sisi confirms in all his speeches that he is interested in the media due to the important role it plays in the economic and political crises and the external challenges faced by Egypt.
"The president has the right to complain about the media because there is a state of chaos," Qalash said, adding that a law to regulate the media needs to be passed to regulate this chaos.
Media criticism of the government's performance has increased recently, amid worsening currency reserve shortages, reports of police violence and a languishing tourism sector.