Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday approved amendments to the constitution that could keep President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in power until 2030.
The 596-member parliament, which is dominated by Sisi supporters, voted 531 to 22 in favour of the amendments.
The changes would extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and then allow him to run again for another six-year period. The amendments would also bolster the role of the military in political life and increase the president’s power over the judiciary, critics say.
The changes still need to be approved in a referendum before they can come into effect. A date for the referendum has not yet been confirmed.
Sisi’s supporters say the changes are necessary to give him more time to complete major development projects and economic reforms. His critics say they concentrate more powers in the hands of a leader accused by rights groups of presiding over a relentless crackdown on freedoms.