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Op-ed review: Post-election talk - Daily News Egypt

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Op-ed review: Post-election talk

Writers reflect on coming political, economic reforms

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi secured a second presidential term, sweeping to victory with 97% of valid votes, according to the official results announced on Monday. Writers are currently looking at the post-election phase, some analysing the results, others discussing what is at stake in the next four years.

Head of the Supreme Media Council Makram Mohamed Ahmed wrote in state-owned daily Al-Ahram that the result figures prove that the election was held in full accordance with the law and in complete transparency. The fact that more than 24 million voters cast their ballots cannot be a faked process, Ahmed argued.

In the same context, Al-Ahram’s Hani Assal opined that support for Al-Sisi should be measured by the number of total voters who participated in “his election” and danced in front of polling stations.

For his part, Abdel Fattah Al-Gebaly wrote in the same newspaper that it is about time focus shifted towards the economic plan for the next phase, in light of the current revision of the state budget for fiscal year 2018/2019. Al-Gebaly argued that although there were positive figures on the fiscal performance this year, there are still alarming rates such as poverty and unemployment, as well as low growth in the agriculture and industrial sectors, for examples.

On economic reform, Emad El-Din Adeeb’s piece in Al-Watan newspaper questioned how reform policies could be implemented without jeopardising the country’s stability. He pointed out that this summer will witness a new wave of price increases, which will come in times when Egyptians will be facing financial pressures, especially given the successive holiday seasons from Ramadan to Eid to returning to schools. Adeeb called for “safe reform” by stating that the government should not bet on people’s patience.

On a different note, editor-in-chief of Al-Shorouk newspaper, Emad El-Din Hussein, analysed Al-Sisi’s speech addressing the nation following his declaration as the winner of the election. Hussein particularly focused on Al-Sisi’s words that there will be no discrimination against people of different opinions. He argued that in order for this to transform into real steps on the ground, the president must sit with representatives of political powers, intellectuals, student unions, and other sectors of civil society.

In Al-Watan, Mahmoud Khalil picked up a similar idea, focusing on the president saying that the upcoming phase will give attention to ways of bringing people together and finding common ground. Khalil opined that Egyptian people have different opinions on a variety of topics and should all find space to freely express their thoughts. He wrote that the president’s speech would be even better if implemented on the ground, calling for an initiative to pardon young detainees held over protest charges.

In Al-Masry Al-Youm, Seliman Gouda praised the president’s speech, saying he is going to make room for supporters and opponents, especially since the number of void votes was significant, which reflects a degree of dissatisfaction, which the president should address due to his responsibility towards all citizens.

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