Egypt’s Sisi would benefit from an advisory body
There is plenty of negativity around the concept of presidential advisors due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi needs to be surrounded by people with a proper understanding of Egypt’s society and problems. Therefore, I recommend a non-traditional advisory body to work with him.
I know that there are many advisory bodies in existence or under consideration, and that there is plenty of negativity around the concept of presidential advisors due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule. However, this should not be an obstacle to creating a real, efficient entity.
It should keep away from the spotlight, and its members should be prohibited from dealing with the media under the title of “presidential advisor.” The media should also be prohibited from introducing them as such, and their media appearances must be free of charge.
The body’s task should be to present technical advice on national policies and strategies in relation to politics, the media and the economy. It should adhere to the constitution and the law in addressing the effects of state policy regionally and internationally.
The body should work with a committee of prominent consultants who discuss the political situation and make suggestions on how to deal with it. These consultants must also come up with solutions, conduct studies, and communicate with assigned parties for specific purposes during specific circumstances.
There is plenty of negativity around the concept of presidential advisors due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ruleAbdel Latif el-Menawy
Responsibilities can be specified in providing consultations, supporting ministries in setting effective strategies and policies, conducting examinations, and highlighting long-term challenges.
In addition to the group of consultants, there should be a public relations group that deals with the local and international media. Its aim should be to communicate with media outlets, form lobby groups, carry out campaigns, communicate with decision-makers and opinion-leaders by dealing with global PR companies, and suggest a media and political approach for crises at hand.
There should also be an economic team of well-known, reputable, competent technical volunteers and specialists. They should periodically present studies to the president and his aides, in accordance with the general vision of the state’s orientation and desired policies.
This committee’s work must be purely advisory. There must be a coordination policy that specifies how it deals with government institutions and bodies. Committee members must be prohibited from communicating with any media without prior permission.
This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on Sept. 3, 2014.
Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy