The Limits of Fighting Corruption in Egypt

Source: Carnegie Endowment
Author(s): Mohamed Abdel Salam

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Hisham Geneina, the former head of the Central Auditing Organization (CAO), Egypt’s main oversight body, is still facing the repercussions of the controversial statement he made at the end of 2015 that corruption had cost Egypt nearly 600 billion Egyptian pounds ($76 billion). Even though the CAO was quick to point out in the face of misleading headlines that the estimate was cumulative for 2012 to 2015, not for a single year, a chorus of voices called for Geneina to be fired and put on trial, including Mustafa Bakri, a parliamentarian closely linked to the military establishment. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi issued a decree in March 2016 dismissing Geneina, shortly after parliament passed a legislative amendment that gave the president the right to fire the heads of watchdog agencies. A few months later, in July 2016, a court rulingsentenced Geneina to one year in prison with a 10,000 pound ($1,300) bail, on top of another 20,000 pound ($2,600) fine for spreading false news. This case reflects concerns that the executive body is covering up corruption within state institutions…

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