Daily News Egypt

“Democracy is about will and practice” - Daily News Egypt

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“Democracy is about will and practice”

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Egypt’s economy, politics, and future

Egypt has made great strides over the last two and a half years in political and economic renewal.

October’s successful parliamentary elections mark the final milestone on our roadmap to the future and lays the foundation for inclusive, representative, and effective governance that will provide a better future for our citizens and fulfil aspirations for a prosperous, secure, and free country.

Economically, Egypt has a bold, revolutionary vision for development to create a stable, dynamic platform for investment. Steps have been taken to address macro- economic imbalances: minimising energy subsidies, improving tax systems, labour-intensive infrastructure mega-projects, and a comprehensive urbanisation plan to incite development and maximise our human-resource potential.

Our vision is rooted in a strong belief in the principles of the market economy and the role of the business community in achieving sustainable growth and social development. Our investment strategy is to encourage private financing by offering well-designed projects with attractive returns.

On the security level, progress has been made to maintain the safety and security of the Egyptian people against terrorism that aims to undermine our peaceful and prosperous future. Our priority is protecting our people from this threat. The latest wave of violence across the world shows how crucial it is to mobilise a united international effort to tackle this threat. We are keen to work hard to balance security, rule of law, and human rights. Egypt’s counter-terrorism law draws from the experience of other democratic nations that have fallen victim to terrorism.

The long-standing ties between Egypt and the Gulf and Arab nations are of strategic importance. We will continue to assume our historic responsibility towards Arab security and will build our strategic partnership in the future in light of the mutual challenges we all face. The volatile neighbourhood and dire situations in several Arab states provide fertile ground for extremist ideas. There is an urgent need to work closely and constructively with our allies and partners to rise above political interests and reach comprehensive, fair solutions to ongoing crises.

Egypt’s membership in the UN security council and chairmanship of the Counter Terrorism Committee will further cement our role as a regional power and will position us to immediately and productively contribute to international efforts in pursuit of peace and security in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.

Egypt has moved forward significantly in a short period of time, with political gains along the way. When the people took to the streets on 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2015, they wanted to change the regime. This was achieved. Their voices are empowered and shaping our democratic transition. Democracy is about will and practice. Today, Egyptians are practising their right to choose their leader and representatives. The president can only serve a maximum of two terms. The government is committed to genuine implementation of democracy. But it does not happen overnight. Challenges still lie ahead and our political evolution is not over. We will pursue efforts to improve and mature our democratic experience, but one thing is clear: Egyptians will never go backwards, nor be ruled against their will.

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