Sun, 21 Jul 2019

Egypt to have national poll to approve amendments to constitution

By Jay Jackson, Ireland News
17 Apr 2019, 09:17 GMT+10

<p>CAIRO, Egypt - The man who deposed Egypt&#39;s first elected president in decades, will now likely hold the office for at least another 11 years.</p><p>Amendments to the constitution easily passed in the Egyptian parliament on Tuesday. The changes&nbsp;will allow the coup leader to have his current term extended from four to 6 years, and to allow him to run for another six year term in 2024, which would extend his presidency until 2030.</p><p>The changes also give President Abdel Fattah El Sisi wide-sweeping powers, allowing him personally to appoint a vice president, and for an upper house of parliament to be created with a third of its members to be appointed by the president.</p><p>The house also enshrined a powerful role for the Egyptian military which Mr El Sisi has advocated since assuming office in 2014.</p><p>Another amendment to the constitution that passed was that 25% of parliamentarians have&nbsp;to be women.</p><p>Although parliament has approved the changes, being the constituion, the people will get the final say. The amendments will be put to a national referendum later this month, or early next month.</p><p>While the military and political elite in the country have supported the measures, it is unknown how the 80-million-plus population of Egypt will respond.</p><p>Many internationally see the changes as a final restoration to the type of rule of previous President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled for twenty nine years.</p><p>El Sisi, who was with the Egyptian military was made defence minister by the newly-elected President Mohamed Morsi on 12 August 2012. Eleven months later, on 3 July 2013 El-Sisi led a coup against his boss, ousting him and putting him in jail. Morsi&#39;s party, the Muslim Brotherhood which had been swept into power by the people, was then designated a terrorist group. El Sisi simultaneously dissolved the constitution that had been enacted in 2012.</p><p>Despite Tuesday&#39;s parliamentary approval to the changes to the El Sisi-created constitution, Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said the president had nothing to do with the amendments being made and had no lust for power.</p><p>He said the changes reflected the will of the people.</p><p>&quot;These amendments are not in the interest of the country or the Egyptians,&quot; opposition member Haytham Al Hariri told the parliament before the voting began on Tuesday.</p><p>&quot;We are bigger than tailor-making the constitution for the benefit of a specific person.&quot;</p><p>The opposition has little say in the parliament which has been stacked with supporters of the president.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

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