Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the country's former army head who ousted his predecessor Mohammed Morsi, has been put on sale on eBay after giving a controversial speech saying he would sell himself to help Egypt's economy.
"I swear to God almighty, if I could be sold I would sell myself," al-Sisi said in an address about economic growth that was broadcast on state television. He also asked citizens to donate a pound every morning for public funds.
Following his speech many Egyptians were quick to take to social media to criticise and mock their President, including one residing in the United States who took al-Sisi on and put him up for sale on eBay. In just a few short hours, the bidding rose to more than $100,000.
The ad accompanying the listing, which was removed hours after going live, said:
"For sale on eBay, Field Marshal, Doctor of Philosophy with a military background, decent condition, current bid $100,301."
The seller also mentioned that Sisi had been "used by the previous owners (Gulf royal families)", and that shipping was free.
Citizens of the world, we Egyptians are currently selling our president on eBay. Do us a favour and take him away https://t.co/Qx5FUXyLLn
— Ana Mubasher (@Ana_Mubasher) February 24, 2016
Egypt's economy has been floundering since the revolution in 2011, with unemployment rates and inflation rising sharply, and its national currency, the Egyptian pound, losing much of its value in just five years (One Egpytian pound is now equal to about AU 18 cents).
The situation has been exacerbated by the social unrest, which has chased away foreign investment and tourism dollars, even as the country continues spending large amounts to service its domestic debt and cover fuel subsidies.
President al-Sisi, once seen as the country's new hope to Morsi, has tried to bring stability to the country, but he is fast losing favour with the people, especially when trying to govern freedom of expression. This was obvious during his televised speech, when he said 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.