Egypt TV-star to Sisi: your days may be numbered
A prominent TV talk show host in Egypt has struck hard at Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, warning the military strongman that his days in power could be numbered.
Amr Adeeb, known for his mostly pro-government leanings, lashed out at Sisi on Saturday on the inaugural episode of his latest show Kol Youm (Everyday) on satellite channel ONTV.
"Things are terrible! the economy is barely moving, people are barely living. Only 15 percent of society are really living," Adeeb said, referring to a recent study that showed that households that can afford to spend 4,160 Egyptian pounds ($468) a month are the richest 15 percent in the country.
"The government keeps on coming out with a smile on its face; we have a president that wants to create hope. What hope! Let's say the truth; there's a trade deficit, deficit in the GDP, the Suez Canal's revenues have gone down and there's no tourism. There's no money! The country is in crisis!"
Sisi has recently come under fire for his efforts to revive the battered Egyptian economy, including a value added tax law, which was one of the reforms promised in exchange for a $12 billion loan agreed with the International Monetary Fund.
|Sisi has come under increasing criticism over his economic policies
and harsh crackdown on opponents [Getty]
"I want to remind you President Sisi that Egyptians sold out Hosni Mubarak overnight… if people feel pressured from the lack of subsidies - for example of oil and sugar - and someone else comes along and says I'll get you this and that; they will sell you out," Adeeb said.
He added that former presidential candidate Ahmad Shafiq was preparing to run for president in 2018 and could pose a threat to Sisi.
"Shafik has started to prepare a team of ministers and experts to help him run the country. Why not? Let him come with his programme and his people and say these people will take the place of Sisi and that he is challenging Sisi,"
"Please, guys enough with the blind loyalty and chants that we will give our lives for the president. You give your lives to Egypt! To your honour! Not to a man or president. The era of Abdel Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak have ended,"
"When Sisi's four years are over we have to ask him: 'what have you done Mr President' and if he has done a good job he will stay and if he has not then he will go."
The episode also included an interview with Mubarak-era businessman Hussein Salem, who in August reached a reconciliation agreement with the Egyptian government to drop charges in exchange for 75 percent of their wealth and allow for their return to Egypt.
Adeeb is well-known for his supportive stance toward Sisi following the 2013 military coup he led against Egypt's first democratically elected president Mohammad Morsi.
Sisi phoned into his show twice in 2016 to speak about current events, one time unveiling a large-scale development plan for the Sinai peninsula.