Egypt's parliament preliminarily approves extending presidential terms

Egypt's parliament has overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments that would extend the length of presidential terms and allow Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run for two more terms after his second term expires in 2022, Ahram Online reported (February 14th).

The amendments could potentially allow al-Sisi to remain in power until 2034.

Some 485 members of the 596-seat assembly approved the changes, parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said after a general voting session on Thursday.

This makes up more than the two-thirds majority required to pass any changes to the country's national charter.

The approval is a major step towards moving forward with the constitutional changes, which are now expected to be referred to parliament’s legislative and constitutional committee to prepare a report in no more than 60 days.

The amendments will then be put to a final vote by the chamber and later to a national referendum, which is expected to be held within a few months.

The amendments include extending the presidential term from four to six years in Article 140 of the constitution, and a transitional clause that applies only to al-Sisi and allows him to run for two more six-year terms after his current term ends in 2022.

The charter allows any other president to run for two terms only.

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