Sisi’s motorcade driving up a red carpet draws criticism in Egypt

Published February 9th, 2016 - 11:14 GMT
The president’s apparent extravagance did not sit well with many Egyptians. (Twitter)
The president’s apparent extravagance did not sit well with many Egyptians. (Twitter)

A motorcade carrying Egyptian president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi drove down a red carpet in Cairo, provoking intense criticism from Egyptians. Cars carrying Sisi as well as other officials were were pictured on the carpet while making a visit to October 6 city, a suburb of Cairo.

While the military claimed that the red carpet had been used in order to “give joy to the Egyptian people,” not everyone was convinced, especially as Sisi was in the process of highlighting a need to cut government subsidies.

The images showing the extravagant red carpet were broadcast just before Sisi announced that the state could no longer subsidise water and electricity bills for poorer families.

Youssef al-Husseini, a presenter on ON TV, took issue with the decision to lay out the carpets, pointing out the apparent hypocrisy.

“How could you reach such a level of hypocrisy by rolling out red carpets on the streets for the president's motorcade? Could we not have spent the money on buying duvets for people freezing in the cold?” he said.

In response to the criticism, Brig Ihab al-Qahwaji, the deputy head of the military's moral affairs department, claimed that the carpet was made of a light cloth, and had been used before.

"The carpet is not expensive, and it was used before and will be used in other coming ceremonies," he told CBC TV. "We want to give the impression that Egypt is moving in the right direction, and we want to present a bit of joy to our people."


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