Transparency International urges Egypt's presidential candidates to fight corruption

Waad Ahmed , Sunday 4 May 2014

Corruption watchdogs calls on Egypt's presidential candidates to commit to confronting corruption, deemed widespread in the country

Sabahi and Sisi
Egypt's two presidential contenders Sabbahi and Sisi

International anti-corruption organisation Transparency International (TI) has called on Egypt’s presidential candidates to commit to fighting corruption through well defined programmes.

“They (Egypt's presidential candidates) must make a genuine, public commitment to end the decades of nepotism and cronyism of former regimes,” said Lamiaa Kalawi, TI’s regional coordinator for Egypt.

The group also recommended establishing anti-corruption committees and creating legislation to protect whistleblowers and to enable civil society to monitor and hold accountable public officials.

Hamdeen Sabahi and Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi are Egypt's only contenders for the 2014 presidential race, which will be held later this month.

In response, Hussein Abdel Ghani, spokesperson for Sabahi campaign, said the Sabahi team welcomes TI's recommendations and that fighting corruption is at the top of their priorities.

However, Abdel Ghani noted that while legislation for civil society must be reviewed to allow access to information and monitoring of government activities, holding officials accountable would only be possible through elected institutions, such as local councils and parliament.

Spokespersons from the El-Sisi campaign were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Ahram Online.

In its latest report on global corruption, TI rated Egypt 32 in its Corruption Perception Index, which gives countries a score from 0 to 100, with 0 being the most corrupt.

The report viewed the 30 June protests against the rule of ousted president Mohamed Morsi as evidence that the government had not taken enough steps — or any — towards battling corruption and cronyism.

Partnering with civil society is proposed by TI as the only way for the government to confront corruption.

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