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Egypt's political parties should be careful while fielding candidates: Sisi

In a speech at a cultural event organised by the army, Sisi announced new development projects, and complained of 'rising' costs of operating Cairo's metro system

Ahram Online , Sunday 16 Aug 2015
 President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at army cultural event on Sunday (Al-Ahram)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on political parties on Sunday to choose their candidates carefully for anticipated parliamentary elections.

In a speech at a cultural seminar organised by the army's department of morale affairs held in Cairo's military El-Galaa Theatre, El-Sisi requested the Armed Forces and the police to secure the parliamentary elections that are expected to take place before the end of this year.

The event was attended by members from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and other senior military officers.

Parliamentary elections – which would have been the first following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in 2013 -- were initially scheduled to be held in March and April this year though were delayed after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that some articles of the election laws were unconstitutional. 

Earlier this month, El-Sisi ratified amendments to parliamentary election laws, before issuing a presidential decree on Thursday to allow the High Elections Committee (HEC) to officially start preparations for the polls.

Experts predict that Egypt's upcoming parliament could garner unprecedented powers as a result of Egypt's 2014 constitution that gives the parliamentary majority the right to co-name the prime minster, cabinet members, and other top state officials.

No major electoral alliances have been finalised yet.

Development Projects

El-Sisi said that in the upcoming days the Armed Forces would start work on constructing new residential communities in border areas including Sinai and Nubia and the north coast.

The first community to be completed will be in Al-Dabaa on the north coast in the coming few months.

Located on the Mediterranean coast, Al-Dabaa is set to be the site of Egypt's planned nuclear power plant, a project that was first launched during Hosni Mubarak's rule and was revived following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.

El-Sisi also reiterated the government's plans to develop the new Al-Alamein community on the north coast, 14 kilometres from Egypt's second biggest city Alexandria.

The new Al-Alamein city would be different from most north coast resorts where access to the beach is limited to villa owners. Residents would all have access to the corniche and the city would be centred on a variety of economic activities such as tourism and trade, El-Sisi said.

El-Sisi also added that reforming the education system is not possible in the medium term.

President El-Sisi also raised concerns over the mounting losses incurred by the country's metro authority, adding that it may be no longer possible not to raise ticket prices.

Cairo's metro accumulated losses of LE180 million ($25 million) in 2014 compared to LE132 million the prior year due to operation and maintenance costs, according to Hany Dahi, Egypt's transportation minister.

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