Egyptian lawmakers look to extend Sissi rule beyond 2022
search

Egyptian lawmakers look to extend Sissi rule beyond 2022

Constitutional changes suggested in bill include a change to the duration of presidential terms, which could see former military chief ruling over Egypt until 2034

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi,  speaks during the inauguration of the massive Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in Egypt's New Administrative Capital (45 kilometers or 28 miles east of Cairo), on January 6, 2019. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, speaks during the inauguration of the massive Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in Egypt's New Administrative Capital (45 kilometers or 28 miles east of Cairo), on January 6, 2019. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

CAIRO, Egypt — Egyptian lawmakers on Sunday proposed constitutional changes that would allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi 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 Sissi 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.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, addresses parliament in Cairo, Egypt, February 13, 2016. (Egypt’s state news agency, MENA, via AP)

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 fulfills 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 favors the change.

Jean Talaat, another Sissi 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.

Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak, riding camels and horses, fight with anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo, Egypt, on Februay 2, 2011. (AP/Mohammed Abu Zaid, File)

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 Sissi government, with only around 10 lawmakers making up the opposition.

read more:
less
comments
more