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Egypt's parliament backs measures that could extend President Sisi's term until 2030

File photo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Cairo, Egypt Apr 17, 2019, 08.48 AM (IST)

Egypt's parliament on Tuesday approved amendments to the constitution that could keep President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in power until 2030, though they still have to be endorsed in a referendum to take effect.

The changes would extend Sisi's current term to six years from four and then allow him to run again for a third term, which would last six years. The amendments would also bolster the role of the military in political life and increase the president's power over the judiciary, critics of the changes say.

The 596-member parliament, which is dominated by Sisi supporters, voted 531 to 22 in favour of the amendments.

A date for the referendum has not yet been confirmed, but Cairo is full of banners encouraging Egyptians to participate.

Sisi's supporters say the changes are necessary to give him more time to complete major development projects and economic reforms. His critics say they concentrate more powers in the hands of a leader accused by rights groups of presiding over a relentless crackdown on freedoms.

Story highlights

The changes would extend Sisi's current term to six years from four and then allow him to run again for a third term, which would last six years. The amendments would also bolster the role of the military in political life and increase the president's power over the judiciary, critics of the changes say.