Al-Ahram Weekly Online   11 - 17 October 2012
Issue No. 1118
Egypt
 
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Time for accountability

Reem Leila asks whether 100 days were enough for President Morsi to keep his promises

The clock has stopped ticking for President Mohamed Morsi as the period set to implement his 100-day plan ended this week. Most people, experts and political analysts believe Egypt's freely elected president fell short of his people's expectations. Morsi, who came to power on 1 July with an ambitious plan to end the country's chronic problems during the first 100 days in office, has barely met any of his pledges.

Some experts say Morsi has disappointed a wide public and shattered their dreams regarding tangible change while others believe the president made a good start by putting an end to military rule that has been dominating the country since the 1952 Revolution.

In an attempt to ease the daily sufferings of millions of Egyptians, Morsi presented to the public, during his presidential campaign, a comprehensive plan providing swift solutions to the country's chronic problems within the first 100 days of his rule. His plan included five main unremitting issues: traffic, security, rubbish, bread and fuel.

The deadline set for solving such problems was highly criticised by many politicians. Political expert Emad Gad of Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies pointed out that usually candidates lie to people and promise to solve their never-ending problems in a very short time, "however, this is impossible to be accomplished in reality.

"Morsi's promises turned out to be illusionary. He did nothing since he came to power," said Gad. "What Morsi has promised people requires long years to be accomplished. It is impossible to fix what has been ruined in 30 years or more in just 100 days," argued Gad.

Gad also blamed Morsi for being unable or unwilling to even set a specific date for the start of the 100 days. According to Gad, Morsi said the 100 days started on day one after taking the oath. However, officials of the Islamist-oriented Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) -- which Morsi chaired before running as president -- declared that the countdown begins after the appointment of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil's government, on 24 July. Days after this announcement, FJP officials stated the 100 days starts after the appointment of Egypt's governors, which was on 20 August. Others insisted that the count should start after the leadership of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was changed, on 12 August.

"This discrepancy in identifying a specific date for the beginning of the president's plan proves that Morsi and heads of the FJP understand very well that the president's promises are unrealistic. It is impossible to solve 30-year-old problems in only 100 days," said Gad.

All what he promised people with, according to Gad, were just flowery words to gain their support and votes, that's it. "Unfortunately, Morsi and FJP heads are adopting the same old strategy adopted by the previous regime. They believe there is no harm in promising people and not keeping such promises. No one will hold them responsible for their deeds. They are wrong. People changed. The new Egypt is a place where public opinion matters," added Gad.

Mustafa Al-Sayed, professor of political science at the American University in Cairo believes the president should have been more realistic in his promises. "Morsi was trying to imitate US President Barack Obama who made a list of 500 promises to the Americans during his electoral campaign," said Al-Sayed.

According to Al-Sayed, Obama's promises were categorised as "unrated yet", "stalled" and "in process". Morsi's promises are rated as "broken", "pending" and compromised". None of the solutions he vowed to implement seems to happen. "The FJP entangled Morsi in what he is incapable of doing," said Al-Sayed.

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