SAT 25 - 1 - 2020
Apr 17, 2019
The Daily Star
Egypt parliament votes to extend Sisi rule
CAIRO: Egypt's parliament Tuesday approved amendments to the constitution that could keep President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in power until 2030.
The 596-member parliament, which is dominated by Sisi supporters, voted 531 to 22 in favour of the amendments.
The amendments will now be put on a national referendum, likely before early May when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan starts.
The proposals would only extend a president's term in office from four to six years. But they include a special article to extend Sisi's current, second term to six years and allow him to run for another six-year term in 2024.
"The president's current term shall expire at the end of six years from the date of his election as president in 2018," reported the official Al-Ahram news website and broadcaster Nile TV.
"He can be re-elected for another (six-year) term."
Sisi led the army's overthrow of elected president Mohammad Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against the Islamist leader's rule.
He won his first term as president in 2014 and was re-elected in March 2018 with more than 97 percent of the vote, after standing virtually unopposed.
His government has been widely criticised by human rights groups for the repression of political opponents.
Critics of the move argue that Egypt is slipping back into authoritarianism, eight years after a pro-democracy uprising ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak's three-decade rule.
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