Before the January 25 Revolution, the passing of the presidential motorcade would be marked with extreme traffic congestion that could last for hours until he passed and this was preceded and followed by dozens of security vehicles and motorcycles. This was also applied to members of the president’s family as well as ministers. The newly elected president Mohammed Mursi decided to cancel all that.
“We have received instructions from the president to cancel all motorcades whether for the president or any other senior officials,” General Mustafa Rashed, deputy interior minister for traffic affairs, was quoted as saying by the Egyptian semi-official al-Gomhuria newspaper.
The decision, Rashed explained, is meant to make sure that citizens are not delayed in traffic on account of the president or any other public figure’s motorcade.
“The president said he should move from one place to another with the rest of the cars. His exact words were, ‘Gone is the time of processions and lined-up security officers.’”
Rashed added that those instructions have already been implemented and that traffic did not stop one time while the president was passing since he was announced winner of the elections.
“I watched him pass and it was only his car and security cars driving in the midst of traffic and motorists kept waving to him.”
The president, Rashed noted, has traffic as his top priority in the coming stage.
“Traffic is an important part of the president’s platform. For him, solving traffic problems is the way to development and will definitely contribute to boosting security and eliminating corruption.”
During the first few days of his presidency, Mursi moved across Cairo. He went to Tahrir Square in downtown Friday then the Supreme Constitutional Court in the suburban of Maadi followed by Cairo University in the Giza governorate.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)