Cairo: Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi on Saturday denied corruption allegations circulated in viral online videos posted by a fugitive construction contractor.
Mohammad Ali, who is also a little-known Egyptian actor, recently escaped to Spain where he has appeared in videos claiming army and presidential corruption and misspending. Ali claimed that his construction company had worked as a sub-contractor in projects that they army oversaw.
In his first comment on the allegations, Al Sissi, an ex-army chief, called the claims “lies and falsehood”.
“Their aim is to break the will of Egyptians. Those who make these [videos] aim at shaking stability in the country, and trust between me and the Egyptian people,” Al Sissi said at a televised youth forum near Cairo.
“I tell the people your son is honest and sincere,” he added, referring to himself.
He described the Egyptian army as the “real centre of weight” not only for Egypt, but for the Arab region. “It is a patriotic and honest army.”
Since taking office in 2014, Al Sissi has re-established security in Egypt after years of unrest and militant attacks. He has also initiated mega-projects aimed at healing the ailing economy battered by turmoil after the 2011 uprising.
“What has been accomplished during the past five years is not for a certain person or a government, but for the country,” Al Sissi said on Saturday.
“We have become accustomed that each accomplishment we make is followed by a major [smear] campaign against the country,” he added without mentioning the fugitive contractor by name.