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Egypt Parliament Committee Approves to Extend Sisi's Term Until 2030

Egypt Parliament Committee Approves to Extend Sisi's Term Until 2030

Monday, 15 April, 2019 - 06:15
Members of the Egyptian parliament attend a session at Egypt’s parliament in Cairo. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Cairo - Mohammed Nabil Helmi
The legislative committee of the Egyptian Parliament has approved constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to remain in power until 2030. It reduced the term approved by the parliament in an initial proposal, two months before the formation of the ‘Support Egypt’ coalition, which called for extending Sisi's presidency until 2034.

The country’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee discussed the final draft of the amendments, which were approved by the majority of MPs, in principle, in February.

The amendment stipulates that the President can be elected for six (instead of four) years and cannot remain in office for more than two consecutive terms.

The Committee also approved a new transitional article, which stipulates that the current presidential term will end in 2024 (instead of 2022) and that the sitting president will be allowed to run for an additional six-year term.

MPs are scheduled to vote on the proposed constitutional amendments on Tuesday that cover 12 articles. In addition to increasing the presidential term from four to six years, the amendments include a provision to allocate 25 percent of parliamentary seats to female candidates, reinstate the post of vice president and establish a second chamber.

Amendments also include articles on the task of the armed forces, selection method of heads of judicial bodies and appointment of the attorney general.

“We will hold three plenary meetings on Tuesday to review the final draft of the amendments, discuss them and then take the final vote,” said Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal.

“Each MP will be required to use the microphone to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ upon hearing his/her name,” he explained.

“The plenary meeting on Tuesday will be held as early as 10 am in order to take as much time as possible in listening to the comments of MPs, including majority and opposition deputies, on the amendments,” Abdel-Aal added.

He urged citizens to participate in the referendum, saying every citizen must seek to realize this right whether they are with or against it.

Sisi’s power extension has been a subject of debate by Egyptians and international parties and has been controversial among MPs. Last week, US President Donald Trump was asked during a summit with his Egyptian counterpart, held in Washington, whether he supports Sisi’s efforts to stay in power through 2034.

“I think he’s doing a great job. I don’t know about the effort; I can just tell you he’s doing a great job. Great President,” Trump responded.

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