FJP's 2011 Program: Security, Economy, and Corruption as Urgent Issues
|Sunday, December 4,2011 07:31|
There are several urgent issues with special high-priority for Egyptian citizens. Hence, we are already responding to these issues and endeavouring to resolve them. The foremost among these issues are addressing and improving the security situation, dealing with economic problems, and eradicating corruption. In this ‘Part I’ we look at these issues and set out our vision for dealing with them…
First: a vision for reform of Egypt’s security system
A sense of safety and security is a Godly gift and a great blessing. It also is one of the most important pillars of production and innovation, development and investment, at both the individual and the community levels. Hence, the lack of security – and the spread of violence and bullying – is one of the most serious challenges in the way of achieving the goals of the revolution, both on the axis of liberation and cleansing of corruption, and on the axis of construction and development. We, therefore, present our scientific vision for the development of a comprehensive security system, sophisticated in every aspect. Hence, we suggest:
First: Quick and decisive action:
- Sorting and classification of all current officers, of all ranks as follows:
· Transferring those officers who committed less serious offences to locations outside their governorates, or to jobs or functions where they have no contact with the public, e.g. in prisons as well as antiquities and port protection.
· Promoting qualified officers, recalling those honorable officers who were excluded from service for unfair reasons, in order to fill the shortfall with experienced officers and personnel.
Second: Address cumulative actions:
We propose that a committee, from the Ministry of Justice, the Faculty of Law professors and legal specialists, should review Police colleges, academies and institutes curricula, so graduate officers would know how to deal with members of the community in accordance with the principles of law, the Constitution and human rights. Such a committee should also evaluate the structure of Egypt’s police apparatus in general, and its internal rules and by-laws. Trained ‘representatives’ should gradually replace plain-clothes ‘Mokhbrin’ and recruits, after the expansion of their institutes and improving their standard of education. This should go as follows:
· Re-training and re-qualifying employees in the Police Force through extensive courses on how to best deal with the citizens, living the slogans "The police is in the service of the people" and "A person is innocent until proven guilty", to show their own I.D. cards to citizens and to read the rights of the accused to him or her, including right to a lawyer, immediately after arrest or even on suspicion of crime.
Third: Social and media interaction:
- The participation of citizens in the fight against crime and delinquency is complementary to police work, "In order for the citizen to earn the right state social security, he/she should honour the state’s right onto him/her to contribute in providing such security, out of his/her conviction that crime plagues society as a whole, not just an individual."
* The rights and duties of the citizen; Police pride and authority reflect the nation’s pride and authority; How crime-deterrent laws work; Publishing periodic data on the development of security deployment; Announcing deterrent sentences for outlaws regularly, in order to effectively deter offenders, and to give citizens a sense of safety and security.
- National security apparatus:
This force’s work should be limited to internal security, defending the nation against terrorism and espionage. It should be considered as a security information apparatus, supportive of the important decisions of the state. Its duty should be to feel the pulse of the street without having any authority to deal with citizens, except in cases of terrorism and espionage only.
- Central Security Forces:
The large numbers recruited for these forces should be reduced. On the one hand, this would save funds for the state. On the other hand, these could be replaced by much smaller numbers of recruits with medium educational qualifications. These forces should be used to protect demonstrators. However, in the case of criminal activities and riots, confrontation using these forces should be well within the law.
- Mayors and Sheikhs (neighbourhood leaders):
Work should be undertaken to support and empower local mayors and neighbourhood leaders, and to quickly fill any vacancies amongst their ranks. The process of filling these jobs must be evaluated, and organised by election or appointment – taking into account that election is the better option.
Second: a vision for addressing the economic situation
Problems facing the Egyptian economy can be classified under two categories:
A. Internal problems. B. External problems.
A. Internal problems are:
1. Chronic and continuous general budget deficit amounting to 10% of GNP.
2. Continuous increase in public debt amounting to 1.1 trillion Egyptian pounds.
3. High level of inflation, and failure of incomes to match rates of inflation.
4. High rates of unemployment rising to 10% of the labour force, that is: 2.5 million unemployed.
5. Weak flows of foreign direct investment and decline in tourism, with stable or increasing remittances from Egyptians abroad, by more than 50% after the revolution.
6. High rates of poverty, and inequitable distribution of wealth, with the proportion of the poor reaching 40% of the population.
7. Significant deficit in requirements of strategic goods, especially wheat and cotton.
8. Lower dollar reserves, reduced from US$36 billion to $28 billion after the revolution.
B. External problems are limited to:
1 - Persistent deficit in the trade balance.
2 - Increase in prices worldwide, especially in food commodities.
- To restore confidence to the Egyptian economy:
a) Achieving self-sufficiency in strategic commodities, particularly of wheat and cotton.
b) Activating the role of small and micro enterprises in promotion of Egyptian industry.
c) Activating charitable work, encouraging compliance with the obligation of Zakat and reforming national charitable trust system to provide permanent and continuous financing for the community.
d) Reforming the system of special funds and making them subject to scrutiny from the Central Auditing Agency, and adding a proportion of its surpluses to the general budget.
e) Reviewing program of export subsidies, which amount to 4 billion Egyptian pounds, in order to improve and increase its effectiveness.
f) Amending oil export agreements, in order to get fair selling prices, for the benefit of Egypt.
g) Modifying and activating the law of protection of competition, preventing monopolistic practices by increasing penalties, while exempting the first amount from punishment, and activating the role of competition protection authorities.
h) Reviewing the wages system and setting upper and lower limits, increasing wage constants and reducing variables.
Third: A vision for the fight against corruption
To address the problem of corruption in Egypt, we adopt a strategy to counter it; that depends on the following:
1. Establishing an independent, strong and fair judiciary, and rid it of all influences that could reduce its effectiveness, and ensuring commitment by the executive authority to respect its decisions and provisions.
2. Revitalising the Central Accounting Agency and transferring its subordination to the People’s Assembly, including the appointment of its president.
3. Issuing a law of disclosure and dissemination of information, to include the publication of reports of Supreme Audit Institutions in the Official Gazette, and also to include the right of citizens, civil society organizations and the media to get the information they want through a simple straight-forward procedure and at an affordable cost.
4. Restoring the right of questioning and of forming inquiry committees to local councils, at least at the level of the governorate, the city and the town, in order to be better able to hold local authorities to account and to face and eradicate administrative corruption.
5. Focusing on the ethical perspective in the fight against corruption in the public, private and national sectors, and revitalising the role of state media and the Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowments) and education curricula, for this purpose.
6. Granting freedom to the press, and enabling them to investigate and uncover cases of corruption and their perpetrators.
7. Developing the role of the public in the fight against corruption through awareness programs highlighting this malaise.
8. Applying the law of political isolation for anyone who participated in or benefited from perversion of economic life, and for a definite period, ensuring that such application should be under judicial supervision.