Egyptians mock Sisi over deleting outdated social media posts on unfulfilled vows

Egyptians mock Sisi over deleting outdated social media posts on unfulfilled vows
A man, named Khalid, posted on X, rhetorically and cynically asking Sisi: "If you delete Tweets, how will you omit videos?"
4 min read
Egypt - Cairo
12 June, 2024
Egyptians mocked Sisi over contradictory promises made over his decade-long-tenure. [Getty]

As Egyptians increasingly voice discontent towards the government's performance and deteriorating economic conditions, outdated posts of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on his official social media accounts about his achievements and vows over the past decade no longer exist online. 

The move is believed to have been triggered by the growing criticism by activists and citizens, who retrieved his old posts about unfulfilled promises and commented negatively on them.

Even after the posts in question had been removed, social media activists were quick to post screenshots they saved of those published during Sisi's tenure, which theoretically should end in 2030, and video segments of improvised speeches by him on the so-called accomplishments. 

Removed but not forgotten

Some of the posts date back to 2014 after Sisi assumed his post, taking pride in how his government managed to end frequent power cuts, one of the reasons igniting citizens' outrage towards the rule of late President Mohamed Morsi, who was subsequently overthrown by the then-defence minister Sisi in 2013.

Earlier this month, the government declared it would extend its rolling power blackouts across the country for an extra hour to allow for preventative maintenance on its regional gas and power networks and due to the rising power consumption triggered by the heatwave.

A man, named Khalid, posted on X, previously known as Twitter, rhetorically and cynically asking Sisi: "If you delete Tweets, how will you omit videos?"

A woman named Shririn Arafa attached conflicting speeches given by the president in 2014 and 10 years later on the same subject.

"If we ignore the childish, silly act of removing posts and apart from being a major offensive scandal, the courage Egyptians demonstrated in criticising and satirising Sisi in comments on his social media accounts seem quite promising….people started [to conquer] fear," she wrote.

No official statements have yet been released, and the presidential media department could not be reached for comment at the publication time.

Intolerable conditions

In previous social media posts, Sisi once even vowed to step down if Egyptians demanded him to. But perhaps the most provocative promise Egyptians were given was the reassurance that no cuts or reductions would be enforced on subsidised basic food rations, including bread, the most strategic commodity in the country.

Nevertheless, as of the first day of this month, poor and limited-income Egyptian households could no longer benefit from subsidised bread after the government increased the price of a loaf of the popular flatbread (also called "balady bread") by 400 per cent.

Even earlier than that, the government had gradually limited the beneficiaries of subsidised bread to those only eligible to benefit from the ration card system, limiting their daily portion to only five loaves per person with a maximum of four family members regardless of how big a family may be.  

Egypt has been undergoing the most challenging economic crisis in modern history, with inflation hitting a record of nearly 35 per cent. Food prices have become too expensive for poor and average-income citizens, especially animal protein, milk, rice and cooking oil.

The country's external debt soared by 5.1 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2022, reaching US$162.94 billion, a total of US$10 billion more than the previous quarter.

Sisi has over the years repeatedly blamed the current economic ordeal on the 25 January Revolution of 2011, which ousted late long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak, at a time when economic experts pinned the crisis on the government’s mismanagement.

Such mismanagement has arguably contributed to Egypt's current predicament, with Sisi's government investing in "white elephant" projects such as the New Administrative Capital, which cost Egypt about US$60 billion, new road networks and luxurious high-speed trains expected to be used only by the rich.