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Sisi in no need of forming political party due to high popularity: says ex-minister

Monday 28-08-2017 - 09:54 AM
Al-Bawaba
Egypt’s Mubarak-era
Egypt’s Mubarak-era Minister of Sports Ali El-Din Helal

Cairo - Egypt’s Mubarak-era Minister of Sports Ali El-Din Helal blamed the calls for amending Egypt’s constitution to extend the presidential term of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, warning that such calls could harm the political regime. He added that the president should not form a new political party during the current critical period.

Al-Bawaba News held an interview with the former leader of dissolved National Democratic Party to discuss the recent development on political arena:

How do you assess the current political phase in Egypt?

Egypt is still in the transitional phase. We ended the transitional phase on procedural level through drafting a new constitution and holding presidential and parliamentary elections, while we are still in the phase of political transformation, as the government has not implemented all articles of the constitution, including the articles related to the draft of press regulation and formation of anti-discrimination commission.

Parliamentarians launched calls to extend presidential term, how do you see such calls?

Such calls raised controversy among the Egyptian people during the current critical period and opened the door for opponents to smear the image of Egypt’s ruling regime before the Egyptian people. The proposal to extend the presidential term does not serve the president’s legitimacy and harms the stability in the country.

Do you think that the president needs to form a political party?

Theoretically, yes! Any president needs to form a political party. However, President Sisi enjoys high popularity among the Egyptian people. He does not need a political party during the current critical period. It would be a big mistake, if we demanded the president to form a political party.

How do you assess the performance of Egypt’s parliament and government?

We cannot separate from the performance of the government and the president, as the president is the head of executive authority. According to Egypt’s constitution, the president puts the public policy of the state and oversees its implementation in conjunction with the cabinet. We assess the performance of the government upon its ability to respond to the presidential orders.

Regarding the parliament, it was formed after years of absence of serious political parties. The parliament managed to pass decrees issued by the president and confronted a number of controversial issues.

Have you contacted with any of the state institutions?

Yes, I contact with the state institutions. I received a number of calls to participate in a large number of sessions to give opinion regarding different issues. It is impossible for the government to exclude all Mubarak-era officials.

Have you visited ex-President Hosni Mubarak?

No.

Why you did not form a political party?

I joined National Democratic Party in 1999. It was the first time for me to join any political party since 1965. I enriched Egypt’s political life with ideas and writings since the beginning of my career as professor of law.

Do you think that Muslim Brotherhood could return to political arena?

All Egyptians have the opportunity to participate in the political arena, as President Sisi called every Egyptian citizen to participate in building his country. However, the return of Muslim Brotherhood means the return of terrorism. 

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