A bill by Egypt’s lawmakers seeks to extend Sisi’s rule

The bill calls for several amendments to the constitution, including on the duration of presidential mandates
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on June 2, 2018 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C-L) giving a speech during his swearing in ceremony for a second four-year term in office, at the parliament meeting hall in the capital Cairo, with speaker Ali Abdel-Aal (C-R) seated next to him. – Sisi took the oath in a packed house and in front of members of his government, after winning 97 percent of valid votes in the March presidential election which he faced with no serious competition. (Photo by – / EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY / AFP) / === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / HO / EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY’ – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

Egyptian lawmakers have proposed constitutional changes that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to extend his rule beyond 2022, two of them said.

The bill submitted to speaker Ali Abdel Aal calls for several amendments to the constitution, including on the duration of presidential mandates currently limited to two four-year terms.

The lawmakers who put forward the amendments hope to extend the length of mandates to two six-year terms, which they say would allow Sisi to run for the presidency two more times after his second term expires in 2022.

That could see the former military chief ruling over Egypt until 2034.

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The parliament’s website said speaker Abdel Aal had received a “request from a fifth of the elected representatives (120 deputies out of the total 596) to amend certain articles of the constitution”.

That number fulfils the quorum required for such a request.

The bill was submitted by the majority pro-government Support Egypt coalition along with some independents, said Musatafa Bakri, one of the lawmakers who favours the change.

Jean Talaat, another Sisi backer, said “the amendments concern fewer than 10 articles of the constitution, including on the duration of the presidential term for its extension to six years”.

One other amendment is for a return to a bicameral parliamentary system, with the establishment of a lower house.

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That chamber was removed in the 2012 constitution, a year after the uprising that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak.

Another amendment would see the reinstatement of an information ministry, a portfolio that was abolished in 2014.

Sisi was elected for the first time in 2014, after ousting his predecessor, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi. The former army head was re-elected in 2018 with 97 percent of the vote.

The vast majority of the current parliament supports the Sisi government, with only around 10 lawmakers making up the opposition.


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