Egypt MPs back constitution changes to extend Sisi rule

A man walks in front of a banner with a photo of the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi before the approaching referendum on constitutional amendments in Cairo. (Reuters)

Members of Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday approved changes to the constitution that will allow President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030, state media reported.

The changes to extend presidential terms are part of amendments initially introduced in February by a parliamentary bloc supportive of al-Sisi and updated this week after several rounds of debates.

“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.”

MPs approved other sweeping changes to the constitution including allowing the military a greater influence in Egyptian political life as well as granting Sisi greater control over the judiciary.

“The final votes on all the amendments package have yet to be tallied,” MP Mohamed Abu Hamed told AFP.

The amendments are expected to be put to a public referendum later this month.

Egypt’s parliament, which is packed with Sisi supporters, was elected in 2015.

A former military chief, Sisi became president in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018 with more than 97 percent of the vote, after standing virtually unopposed.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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