IMF says consensus needed for Egypt's loan
A front-runner in next month's presidential election said he would not support the loan unless the terms were changed
The IMF will remain in close contact with Egyptian authorities in the coming weeks as they try to establish political backing for an economic plan linked to a US$3.2 billion (Dh11.7bn) loan.
The Washington-based organisation also reminded policymakers that Egypt's receiving the assistance was dependent on broad political support for the plan.
"In discussions with a wide spectrum of political parties in the People's Assembly, there was a shared understanding on the need to address short-term challenges facing the economy and to promote reforms that can help achieve higher and more inclusive growth going forward," the IMF mission said in a statement after concluding a trip to Cairo this week.
Potential cracks appeared to form in the funding bid this week after a front-runner in next month's presidential election said he would not support the loan unless the terms were changed. Khairat Al Shater, who is representing the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, urged the interim government either to postpone the borrowing or step aside.
The IMF statement said: "The mission reaffirms that broad-based support for a national economic programme is essential to bolster confidence and ensure its successful implementation in the period following the current political transition."
The mission said it would remain in contact with the authorities in the coming weeks as they finalise details of the economic programme including the 2012-2013 budget and mobilise the required political support.
A financial arrangement to support Egypt would be presented to the IMF executive board once the work was completed and external financing from bilateral donors and other international institutions was confirmed, it said.
To support its loan bid, the interim government has submitted to the IMF an economic programme that is believed to lay out reforms the government would make.
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