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Egypt whistleblower announces ‘referendum’ in plans for post-Sisi era 

Film producer and real-estate investor Mohamed Ali Abdel Khaleq
Film producer and real-estate investor Mohamed Ali Abdel Khaleq at a press conference in London organised by Egypt Watch on 20 November 2019 [Middle East Monitor]

Actor and businessman Mohamed Ali, who has inspired mass protests in Egypt, has announced plans to launch a new political programme that will pave the way for an end to the regime of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Speaking this morning at a press conference in London organised by Egypt Watch, Ali said that he is working with opposition politicians and fellow Egyptians who – like him – are living in self-exile, to pave a new path for the country that would rid it of dictators and political corruption.

Seeming cautious not to describe the initiative as a revolution, the millionaire contractor who was on his first visit to the UK, told the gathering of media agencies that he was working on a “roadmap” for a new Egypt. The undisclosed plan will include an online referendum on Egypt’s future which will be unveiled within the next two months.

Ali said that he and others involved were in the process of drafting the proposal while revealing that several organisations abroad, as well as relevant experts, have been approached to oversee the voting process in the planned referendum. To galvanise support for the initiative, the 41-year-old said that a series of events have been organised across Europe and the US.

READ: Egypt newspaper incites murder of anti-Sisi artists

“We want to rescue Egypt,” said Ali. Cataloguing the corruption, mismanagement, political repression and economic disaster, which he said has become endemic of the Sisi regime, he urged Egyptians to join the movement.

Though he described himself as an “accidental revolutionary”, Ali seemed to suggest that overthrowing the current Egyptian regime without a proper plan for the future was not something they were considering. Wishing to appear as though lessons had been learnt from previous revolutions, he repeatedly stressed that the people he was working with were intently focused on planning for a post Sisi era. Overthrowing the former Director of Military Intelligence who became president in 2014 following the overthrow of democratically elected Mohamed Morsi is not their primary goal. It is “fixing Egypt’s problems,” he said.

The proposal, said Ali, will outline a plan to save the country’s collapsing economy, as well forming a new government structure.

We have to be clear. We have to be fair. The Egyptian people need to see a way forward first

he said.

Ali claimed that the people working on the plan are working voluntarily and that no funding was being received from any organisation. “We are relying on people that love” Egypt, he said, and Egyptians that are in exile and wish to return to their homeland.

READ: Sisi’s fragile dictatorship

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