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On December 9, 2014, at the headquarters of one of Egypt’s most powerful anti-corruption bodies, the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb gathered state officials to inaugurate Egypt’s newly drafted four-year national strategy for combating corruption. The timing was auspicious; it was International Anti-Corruption Day.
The officials met in a large, white room filled with sky-blue chairs. Minister of Interior Mohammed Ibrahim (since sacked) was there, along with ACA Chairman Muhammad Amr Heiba (now replaced and made an advisor to President Abdel Fattah al Sisi), Advisor to the Minister of Justice Azzat Khamis, and Khalid Saeed, chairman of the technical secretariat of a body now known as the National Coordinating Committee for Combating Corruption.
Sunlight streamed in from the windows onto the white walls. Mehleb boasted about Sisi’s success in moving Egypt up 20 places on Transparency International’s latest annual Global Corruption Perception Index—from 114th place to 94