Egypt’s parliament to vote on extending Sisi’s rule until 2030

The proposed constitutional amendments are opposed by rights groups, who argue they are designed to ensure President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi stays in power until at least 2030.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Parliament spokesperson said, MPs are set to vote on Tuesday, and if approved by parliament, the amendments will be put to a public referendum, which is expected to take place later this month.

The 596-member parliament is dominated by Sisi supporters, which is why many predict the amendment will pass on Tuesday.

The amendments had suggested that Sisi would have the right to seek two new six-year terms after his current term expires in 2022.

However, according to a recent draft seen by Reuters news agency, on Sunday, the legislative committee in parliament voted to extend the president’s current term by two more years in order for him to run for one more six-year term in 2024.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdelal said the changes were a result of “popular dialogue” sessions and discussions organised by parliament aiming to hear and weight different views on the proposed amendments.

He added, “We have written them in a way that would satisfy everyone,” however, he highlighted the importance of formulating a new constitution, saying, “We need a new constitution; it is impossible not to have an entirely new constitution within the next 10 years.”

In addition to the presidential term amendments, proposals include the setting of a second parliamentary chamber, the Senate, composed of 180 members, as well as having the president appoint judges and the public prosecutor.

Moreover, amending Article 200 of the Constitution, which will specify that the military’s duty is to protect “the constitution and democracy and the fundamental makeup of the country and its civil nature”.

These changes come as the Egyptian government has intensified its crackdown on opposition to the amendments, blocking an online petition on the day of its launch.

Sisi’s supporters however, stand by the reformations claiming the president needs more time to complete major development projects and economic reforms.

While critics fear that the changes will allow the military more power to influence the political ecene in Egypt.
All this comes eight years since Egypt’s pro-democracy revolution which ended Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30-year rule.

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