A heated speech by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been widely mocked by Egyptians online, with one of them even putting him “up for sale” on the auction site eBay.
“By almighty God, if I could sell myself [to benefit the nation], I would have done it,” he said in an address broadcast on state television, in which he revealed a plan for economic growth.
Shortly afterwards, the eBay page was created. Within a few hours, the bidding was at more than $100,000.
The advertisement read: “For sale on eBay, Field Marshal, Doctor of Philosophy with a military background, decent condition, current bid $100,301.”
— ̨؏ــﯧْــون‹ू🕊ू›فَارَسَـُہ (@C20ute) February 24, 2016
The “seller” wrote that Sisi had been “used by the previous owners (Gulf royal families)”, and that shipping would free.
The page was later removed.
Bidding Sisi on eBay is the best thing that happened to me in quite a while
— Isadora (@AliaElbarbari) February 24, 2016
He went on to say that what he called unfair criticism of his government could help those trying to topple him.
“Please, do not listen to anyone but me. I am dead serious,” he said in a loud voice.
“Be careful, no one should abuse my patience and good manners to bring down the state,” he said, adding that he would “remove from the face of the Earth” anyone plotting to bring down the government.
— Ricard Gonzalez (@RicardGonz) February 24, 2016
Some on Twitter felt the speech was disjointed.
Al Sisi start speaking like Bush JR.
No rational or logic, no coherent.
"If you love Egypt, just only listen to me, pic.twitter.com/c4OHmZMVrK
— Ahmed Tharwat, احمد ثروت (@ahmediaTV) February 24, 2016
Sisi’s government has faced tough criticism in recent weeks over alleged police brutality and other rights abuses, as well as its handling of the economy.
But Sisi said Egypt was going to be a democracy in 20 to 25 years, a statement that many on Twitter soon began to pick apart.
— Timothy E Kaldas (@tekaldas) February 16, 2016
As military chief, Sisi led a coup in 2013 against former Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, whose divisive rule prompted protests.
But critics say he has done little to distinguish his rule from that of Morsi, particularly with regard to freedom of expression.
Rights groups have compared his rule with that of former President Hosni Mubarak, who in 2011 was himself toppled by a popular uprising driven largely by anger at police brutality.