04/03/2018, 21.07
EGYPT
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Catholic Church spokesperson : human capital, al-Sisi's second term priority

The outgoing president confirmed with 97% of vote . Voting up compared to 2014. After infrastructure and investments, now attention is needed on education and health. Fr. Rafic: "Encouraging young people, involving them in the nation's development project".

 

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "Even before the terrorism problem, Egyptian citizens are asking the president to take care of people, especially working on the sectors of education and health", Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesperson of the Egyptian Catholic Church, says to AsiaNews.  He was commenting on the results of the presidential elections, which confirmed the triumph of the outgoing leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. "The first mandate - he continues - was focused on major economic projects, on infrastructures such as new cities and roads, as well as on investments. Now the head of state must encourage young people, involve them in the nation's development project, supporting their entry into politics and civil service".

The Egyptian president al-Sisi , a former general and army chief, was re-electws to a second four-year mandate to lead the land of the pharaohs. According to official data provided by the authorities, he obtained 97% of the votes among those who participated in last week's consultations. The figure is in line with the results achieved in 2014. Analysts and the international media have highlighted the decline in turnout, which would have stood at around 41% and a fall of six points compared to 2014. "In reality, official data emerging in these hours - states Fr. Rafic - speaks of 24 million voters, up from 23.6 million the previous time and a figure of 59% on those entitled to vote".

About 7% of the votes cast - out of a total of 24 million votes - were null and void. According to some international sports newspapers, the popular Egyptian footballer Mohammed Salah, captain of the national team, would have obtained - although not a candidate - at least one million votes. A footballer whose fame at home has grown in the last period, thanks to the 37 goals scored since the beginning of the season and which contributed to the qualification of Egypt at the World Championships in 2018 in Russia.

The opposition leaders invoked a long (and in vain) boycott of the polls following the expulsion of some candidates from the presidential race. The only rival to al-Sisi admitted to the vote was formerly faithful Mousa Mustafa Mousa, who obtained - as expected - only a handful of preferences. For experts, the most significant figure is that relating to voters, a marked decline compared to 2014 when the former Defense Minister obtained a plebiscite for leading the expulsion of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 2014 al-Sisi rose to the power of a divided, tired nation, wounded by internal uprisings and street protests, in the context of a long and failed democratic transition and the fight against the Muslim Brotherhood and their main exponent, the former president Mohammed Morsi. In recent years many things have changed: positive in the economic and infrastructural sectors, even if much remains to be done on the social, political and rights level. For experts now the game moves to 2022, when according to the Constitution the Egyptian leader can not apply for a third term. This would be a possible reform of the Charter, the real game that will be played in the near future.

For the spokesperson of the Egyptian Catholic Church, the vote of the past few days has sanctioned "a constitutional change, because al-Sisi has stated from the beginning that he wants to complete two mandates to change the country". Given the upheavals of recent years it was "important" to respect the Charter at least in a formal way. For this reason, today, the atmosphere "is more optimistic, people know that it will continue with the program. Many also invite the president to pursue a realistic government program, which focuses on education and health first ".

These objectives are also the priority for the patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak. "In his message of good wishes - concludes Fr. Rafic - the primate invited al-Sisi to take better care of young people and Egyptians all as human beings. The priority, after investments in infrastructure, must be based on human capital ". (DS)Cairo (AsiaNews) - "Even before the terrorism problem, Egyptian citizens are asking the president to take care of people, especially working on the sectors of education and health", Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesperson of the Egyptian Catholic Church, says to AsiaNews.  He was commenting on the results of the presidential elections, which confirmed the triumph of the outgoing leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. "The first mandate - he continues - was focused on major economic projects, on infrastructures such as new cities and roads, as well as on investments. Now the head of state must encourage young people, involve them in the nation's development project, supporting their entry into politics and civil service".

The Egyptian president al-Sisi , a former general and army chief, was re-electws to a second four-year mandate to lead the land of the pharaohs. According to official data provided by the authorities, he obtained 97% of the votes among those who participated in last week's consultations. The figure is in line with the results achieved in 2014. Analysts and the international media have highlighted the decline in turnout, which would have stood at around 41% and a fall of six points compared to 2014. "In reality, official data emerging in these hours - states Fr. Rafic - speaks of 24 million voters, up from 23.6 million the previous time and a figure of 59% on those entitled to vote".

About 7% of the votes cast - out of a total of 24 million votes - were null and void. According to some international sports newspapers, the popular Egyptian footballer Mohammed Salah, captain of the national team, would have obtained - although not a candidate - at least one million votes. A footballer whose fame at home has grown in the last period, thanks to the 37 goals scored since the beginning of the season and which contributed to the qualification of Egypt at the World Championships in 2018 in Russia.

The opposition leaders invoked a long (and in vain) boycott of the polls following the expulsion of some candidates from the presidential race. The only rival to al-Sisi admitted to the vote was formerly faithful Mousa Mustafa Mousa, who obtained - as expected - only a handful of preferences. For experts, the most significant figure is that relating to voters, a marked decline compared to 2014 when the former Defense Minister obtained a plebiscite for leading the expulsion of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 2014 al-Sisi rose to the power of a divided, tired nation, wounded by internal uprisings and street protests, in the context of a long and failed democratic transition and the fight against the Muslim Brotherhood and their main exponent, the former president Mohammed Morsi. In recent years many things have changed: positive in the economic and infrastructural sectors, even if much remains to be done on the social, political and rights level. For experts now the game moves to 2022, when according to the Constitution the Egyptian leader can not apply for a third term. This would be a possible reform of the Charter, the real game that will be played in the near future.

For the spokesperson of the Egyptian Catholic Church, the vote of the past few days has sanctioned "a constitutional change, because al-Sisi has stated from the beginning that he wants to complete two mandates to change the country". Given the upheavals of recent years it was "important" to respect the Charter at least in a formal way. For this reason, today, the atmosphere "is more optimistic, people know that it will continue with the program. Many also invite the president to pursue a realistic government program, which focuses on education and health first ".

These objectives are also the priority for the patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak. "In his message of good wishes - concludes Fr. Rafic - the primate invited al-Sisi to take better care of young people and Egyptians all as human beings. The priority, after investments in infrastructure, must be based on human capital ". (DS)

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