Cairo: Egypt will see soon major reforms, the country’s top lawmaker said on Tuesday, more than a week after rare protests against the government.
“There will be political and media reforms in the coming period,” Egyptian media quoted Ali Abdul Aal, the head of parliament, as telling the new session of the legislature.
“We are entering the phase of reaping the fruits after a transitional period that required harsh measures,” he added without details.
Last month, small, rare protests against the rule of President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi erupted in some Egyptian areas.
The protests were in response to a call from Egyptian dissident businessman Mohammad Ali, who is living in Spain where he has released viral videos alleging massive corruption by the military and the government. Al Sissi has dismissed the allegations, calling them “mere lies”.
Al Sissi, who has been in office since 2014, played down the protest calls and warned Egyptians against “deceptive attempts” by the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Abdul Aal said on Tuesday that Egypt needs the opposition to boost the country’s development process.
Over the past few days, there have been calls in the pro-government media for wide political reforms and removing curbs on media.
Rights groups have repeatedly accused the government of gagging dissent, a charge that authorities deny.
Last Friday, a mass rally in support of Al Sissi was held in Cairo.
Al Sissi, an ex-defence minister, is credited with restoring stability to Egypt after years of unrest, and healing its ailing economy.
However, many Egyptians have been hurt by IMF-backed austerity measures, including cuts in state subsidy that the government has en-forced since late 2016.
Al Sissi has said the steps were unavoidable to rejuvenate economy and appreciated Egyptians’ patience.