Published: Thu, April 18, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Egyptian parliament votes to extend President Sisi’s presidential tenure until 2030

Egyptian parliament votes to extend President Sisi’s presidential tenure until 2030

Critics fear this will give the military more influence in politics in Egypt.

The changes would extend Sisi's current term to six years from four and then allow him to run again for another six-year period.

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 criticized by human rights groups for the repression of political opponents.

But Mohamed Abu Hamed, a member of parliament who pushed for the constitutional amendments to keep Sisi in power, was adamant the changes were needed to allow him to complete political and economic reforms.

He hailed Sisi as a president who "took important political, economic and security measures".

But Khaled Dawoud, of the liberal al-Dustour party, dismissed the argument as "absurd" and told the BBC that the changes represented a "power-grab" by Mr Sisi.

The proposed amendments were initially introduced in February by a parliamentary bloc supportive of Sisi and updated this week after several rounds of parliamentary debates.

Parliament will vote Tuesday on the constitutional amendments, which will also reinstate the post of vice president and recreate a second house of parliament.

The amendments approved by the 596-member parliament, which is dominated by pro-Sisi politicians, include allowing the general-turned-president to extend his current term by two years and stand for another six-year mandate. "The civilian state is far different from the three", he said.

Since Sisi's rise in 2013, Egypt has drawn heavy global criticism for its sweeping crackdown on dissent.

According to the existing constitution of Egypt adopted in 2014, either the president or a group of lawmakers representing at least one-fifth of the parliament can propose changes to the country's basic law.

The changes still need to be approved in a referendum before they can come into effect.

His fellow actor criticised Sisi's narrative that his rule brought stability.

Amnesty International has said this would undermine judicial independence.

Banners reading in Arabic 'Do what is right, ' 'Participation is a responsibility, ' to urge Egyptians to participate in an upcoming referendum for the constitutional amendments, hang in Tahrir Square in Cairo on April 8.

Article 140 of Egypt's current constitution, which was approved in a referendum in 2014, now says that the president serves four-year terms and may only be re-elected once.

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