President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi swore the oath of office on Saturday to begin his second presidential term. The president was the subject of several opinion pieces in this weekend’s newspapers, focusing on how to implement his economic and political vision.
In state-owned Al-Ahram, Morsi Attallah wrote that it is the responsibility of political and executive powers to have the courage to be honest like the president, to tell people what is really happening on the ground regardless of whether it will generate backlash from public opinion. He added that the current phase needs enlightened thoughts and a free, informative media, and that he hopes Al-Sisi’s second term will overcome the inability to balance between preserving security and allowing free circulation of information.
Taking a similar approach, Al-Ahram’s Abdel Azim Al-Bassel argued that the government, under parliament’s watch, should translate Al-Sisi’s orders into a working programme, and that what people expect from the president in his second term is to continue his campaign against corruption, the rule of law to be applied to high-ranking officials before ordinary citizens, and a more speedy justice system. According to Al-Bassel, people also want an end to inflated market prices, to have quality education systems that were pre-tested, and a decent healthcare system where they can find treatments for every disease.
In his piece titled “A message to the president,” Al-Ahram’s Mourid Sobhy touched upon the same issues, saying that although reform is wanted, it should not be a painful medicine which only the poor have to take, and there should be serious administrative reform to end corruption and officials who are able to think out of the box solely for the well-being of the people.
Likewise, editor-in-chief of Al-Shorouk newspaper, Emad El-Din Hussein, focused more on the need for political openness, saying those who defended that cause have finally imposed their logical demand on the president’s agenda, which was reflected in Al-Sisi’s words: “I am president for all Egyptians, whether they supported or opposed me.” To Hussein, a comprehensive development strategy cannot overlook political plurality and human rights, and he called for democracy.
However, Al-Shorouk’s Mohamed Saad Abdel Hafeez warned of the reconstruction of the dissolved ruling party, in reference to the Mubarak-era’s National Democratic Party, as different figures from the pro-state Egypt Support parliamentary coalition have tried to join another pro-state political party, Nation’s Future. Abdel Hafeez said such political plans would without doubt lead to the same practices of dictatorship of pre-25 January 2011.