Friday, June 22, 2018

President Morsi faces criticism for unmet promises in Egypt

CAIRO — As President Mohammed Morsi is discovering, the new Egypt is a place where public opinion matters.

Elected in June in the country's first democratic presidential elections, Morsi had promised to accomplish a lot during his first 100 days in office, a window that closes today. In a manner that would have been inconceivable during Egypt's authoritarian past, critics have been taking turns putting Morsi through the ringer.

Only four of Morsi's 64 promises for the first 100 days have been carried out, said Amr Sobhi, a co-creator of the Morsi Meter, a website inspired by PolitiFact's Obama meter that aims to track the president's success.

Piles of garbage continue to line some streets of the capital. Strikes over wages and overdue benefits have halted some public-sector services, particularly in Egypt's woefully underfunded hospitals.

One man even filed a police report against Morsi for failing to implement all of his 100-day promises, according to the Egypt Independent, an English-language daily.

But in newspaper headlines and on street corners, Morsi's administration and its backers in the Muslim Brotherhood have been pushing back. Not only did Morsi do well in his first three months, they argue, but he also did all that could have been expected, given the cards he was dealt.

"I think his performance has been great," said Rashad Bayoumi, a spokesman for the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. The president inherited a crippling national debt, Bayoumi said, but he has also made important strides to shift the balance of power away from the military, which held sway even after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in the uprisings of 2011.

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