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Egypt: Private discussions on amendments to president’s term 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi [En.kremlin.ru]

Egyptian parliamentarians said that any suggested amendments to the article of the constitution specifying the length of the presidential term must be addressed in parliament first, although the issue is currently being discussed in the Egyptian media and has not been presented to parliament, online news website Al-Mesryoon reported.

Egyptian media has been witnessing a debate about whether the presidential term should be increased from four to six years. Egypt’s constitution, which was adopted after a popular referendum in 2014, stipulates that the presidential term is four years long, and that it may be renewed once after holding a presidential election.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was the country’s defence minister when the constitution was drafted and approved following a 2013 military coup, led by Al-Sisi himself, in which then-President Mohamed Morsi was toppled.

Ismail Nasr El-Din, a member of Egypt’s House of Representatives, was quoted in Al-Mesryoon as saying that he will propose an amendment, once the House’s session begins in October, to extend the presidential term to six years.

Read: Egypt constitutional amendment to increase presidential term retracted

He also said that he recently started to collect signatures from House members who approve of his proposal, adding that “members of the committee in charge of drafting constitutional amendments” approve of the proposal too.

Tharwat Bekheet, another parliamentarian and member of the Committee for Legislative and Constitutional Affairs, told Al-Mesryoon that a proposal to extend the presidential term to six years “does not exist” in parliament and “has not been proposed or discussed” until now. “The talk about the proposal does not exist except in the media and on social networking websites.” Bekheet noted that it is in parliament that a proposal like this must be discussed first, before in any other forum.

“An entity has been founded already, which is the Supreme National Electoral Committee. Discussing any proposal to amend any of the electoral laws now requires coordinating with the committee first and the House [or Representatives]’s approval of that proposal,” which would depend on the proposal’s plausibility and the political situation in the country.

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