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Constitutional amendments are in favour of Egypt, says MP

Egyptian Parliament [File photo]
Egyptian Parliament [File photo]

“The constitutional amendments which were recently approved in principle by the country’s parliament are in favour of Egypt,” the spokesman of the country’s parliament, Salah Hasaballah said yesterday.

Speaking at an event, held in the Egyptian province of Al-Sharkeya and titled “Egyptian Parties and their Political Participation Role,” Hassaballah explained that the amendments included articles, which were recommended to be amended by the House of Representatives’ 158 members.

“The constitutional amendments aim at achieving the state’s public interest,” the Egyptian MP noted, stressing: “The Egyptian people are the decision makers.”

The amendments, he pointed out, were “necessary to suit the circumstances currently being experienced by Egypt, adding that they would achieve gains for youth, women and disabled people.

Hassaballah said that the parliament’s Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee would call for a dialogue involving all the Egypt’s political parties, university professors, trade and professional unions, and civil society to review the amendments’ proposal. Then, he continued, a joint report would be returned to the parliament for a second vote before it is being presented for a national referendum.

Read: 5 Egyptian troops killed or wounded in North Sinai

On Thursday, 485 MPs in the 596-seat assembly voted in favour of the amendments, 14 voted against, and two abstained.

Reuters recently quoted official parliament sources as saying that the proposed amendments would allow “Sisi to remain in the presidency until 2034.”

The Egyptian presidency has not commented on the amendments proposed.

In November 2017, Sisi told CBNC that he had no intention to amend the constitution and that he refused a third term.

“I am with preserving two four-year terms and not to change it … I am not for any amendments to be made to the constitution in this period,” Sisi said in an interview with CNBC.

According to Egyptian law, any changes in the constitution require approval by two-thirds of parliament members, followed by a referendum.

Sisi is a former general who came to power after the military overthrew Islamist first freely-elected president Mohammed Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. Sisi was elected president the following year.

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