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Egyptians vote for second day on constitutional changes

Egyptian voters cast ballot at a polling station in a referendum on constitutional amendments which may allow incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030, on 20 April, 2019 in Cairo, Egypt [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian voters cast ballot at a polling station in a referendum on constitutional amendments which may allow incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030, on 20 April, 2019 in Cairo, Egypt [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptians voted on Sunday for a second day on whether to back constitutional amendments that could see President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stay in power until 2030, reports Reuters.

The three-day referendum was called last week, a day after Egypt’s 596-member parliament endorsed the draft amendments by 531 to 22.

If approved, the amendments would extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024.

They would also grant the president control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates, and give Egypt’s powerful military the role of protecting “the constitution and democracy”.

READ: Egypt carrying out ‘witch-hunt’ against journalists, report claims

Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilised Egypt since becoming president in 2014 but needs more time to pursue development projects. Critics say the changes are anti-democratic and designed to tighten his grip on power.

Some 61 million of Egypt’s nearly 100 million population are eligible to vote. The result is expected within five days of the final day of voting.

Constitutional proposals could allow Sisi to stay in power till 2034 – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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