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Egypt ramps up security ahead of constitution poll

April 18, 2019 at 9:45 pm

Egyptian soldiers, 9 May 2017 [Mohammed Bendari/Apaimages]

Egypt has stepped up security across the country in advance of a Saturday referendum on proposed constitutional changes that would, if approved, allow President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to remain in office until 2030, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The armed forces are currently taking steps to secure the upcoming referendum,” Egypt’s military said in a statement.

“In coordination with the Interior Ministry, army forces will secure vital state institutions during the three-day poll,” it added.

According to the same statement, surveillance aircraft will be deployed countrywide “to respond to any potential acts that might obstruct the voting process”.

READ: Egypt politician who supported coup, opposes constitutional amendments

On Tuesday, Egypt’s parliament approved a proposed constitutional amendment extending the duration of presidential terms from four to six years.

If approved, the amendment would also allow al-Sisi to run for a third presidential term in 2024.

Egypt’s current constitution, ratified in 2014, allows the president to hold office for a maximum of two four-year terms.

The constitutional change, however, would mean that al-Sisi’s second term in office — which he secured in elections last year — would end in 2024, after which he would be able to run for a third six-year term.