Sisi to appease growing public anger with cabinet reshuffle

Sisi to appease growing public anger with cabinet reshuffle

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi could be about to reshuffle of his government once again, as anger over the country's bleak financial situation continues to grow.
3 min read
12 October, 2016
Egypt is still reeling from the economic effects of the 2011 uprising [Getty]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi could order another change of government as anger on the streets over rising living costs and taxes continues to grow.

An Egyptian MP told a The New Arab correspondent that Sisi could order a cabinet reshuffle as soon as this month, as he comes under scrutiny over his failing economic policies.

Revolution 2.0?

More than five years after the 2011 uprising - partly fuelled by economic disparities in the country - that swept away veteran dictator Hosni Mubarak, the country is still reeling from the economic fallout.

"The public is angry with current economic policies and the rising prices that are a warning sign an even greater crisis is on the way," the lawmaker claimed, speaking anonymously.

"Discussions have been going on for while about reshuffling the cabinet because of its failure and inability to create effective solutions to problems… the majority of MPs are unhappy with the government's performance, in particular, the ministries related to economic matters."

He addd that despite growing public discontent, Sisi has decided to hold back for now on a controversial reshuffle to allow parliament to approve bills related to investment and a controversial International Monetary Fund loan.

      The value of the Egyptian pound against the dollar
has reached an unprecedented low of 15 pounds [Getty]

In return for a $12-billion IMF loan, Egypt is set to devalue the pound, after having already imposed a new Value Added Tax.

Activists have called for mass demonstrations dubbed "The Revolution of the Needy" on 11 Nov­ember to protest against the rising costs of living.

On Monday, the value of the Egyptian pound against the dollar has reached an unprecedented low of 15 pounds in the black market.

Mohammad Badrawi, MP for the Egyptian Patriotic Movement, told the The New Arab that a reshuffle will have to take place soon to address the failing economy.

"A change-up in government is better than people growing more and more frustrated, especially since the current ministers - who have no real vision - have not been able to come up with anything," Badrawi said.

"Parliament could take a firm stance on a reshuffle by taking a vote of no-confidence on some ministers as a last resort - but it would be better if the move came from Sisi."

Political analyst Mohammad Ezz said that will likely make the changes to the cabinet if public pressure becomes too strong.

"A reshuffle would be a way to ease the public and give them renewed hope that their situation will improve with a new government - even though past experiences have proven otherwise," Ezz said.

"What Egypt really needs is a fundamental change in policy and thinking, as well as, economists in power that can make an actual difference."