Above 90 per cent of Egyptian voters have on Tuesday voted to approve the constitutional amendments allowing the president’s ruling term until 2030, according to the Egyptian election commission.
The election commission’s chief Lasheen Ibrahim told a media conference: “These (changes) are effective from now as your constitution.”
According to ANI news reports, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in his first public remarks over the constitutional amendment, thanked the supporters for voting in favour of his presidential tenure.
Minutes after the vote results were announced, Sisi tweeted: “Wonderful scene was fon by Egyptian who took part in the referendum … will be written down in our nation’s historical record.”
During the three-day referendum, around 88.4 per cent of people, amounting to some 23.4 million, has voted in favour to extend Sisi’s presidential tenure. The amendment is likely to strengthen the role of the country’s military.
Several advocacies and the opposition parties have voiced concerns, alleging Sisi has used state machinery to hold power.
According to the new amendments, the president was allowed to be in power for two additional terms, that means, Sisi could govern as president for nearly 11-12 years, as a term includes five to six years of presidential tenure.
The constitutional amendments were introduced initially in February by Sisi’s parliamentary supporters and after several rounds of debates, the amendments were updated this week.
The Egyptian parliament has voted to extend President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s presidential term until 2030, while approving constitutional amendments.
According to Dawn news reports, deputies also welcomed other constitutional amendments, including providing a greater influence in political life to the country’s military and giving Sisi more control over the judiciary. The changes are expected to be put forth for a public referendum later this month.
A coalition of Egyptian opposition parties have on Thursday urged voters to reject the new constitutional amendments that could allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to be in power until 2030.
An official from Karam Party, Abdel-Aziz al-Husseini said, “We want people to go and say no.” The civil democratic movements, as well as, left-wing and liberal parties termed the constitutional amendments as an “assault on democracy”.
Analysts have also accused the president of misusing state funds and power to embark a crackdown over his political opposition.