Egyptian lawmakers are planning to back a tenure extension for president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by more than ten years.
The MPs are working on constitutional amendments that are likely to be approved to allow President al-Sisi to stay in power until 2034.
Reuters reports that it has cited a draft of these constitutional amendments that wants Sisi to stay on beyond his current tenure for up to 12 years.
The draft clause according to Reuters reads “After the expiry of his current term, the President of the Republic may run again in accordance to the amended article 140”.
The proposed amendments have already been submitted to the speaker of Egypt’s parliament. For the approval to go through it needs votes of two-thirds of lawmakers. That will be followed by a referendum.
Many Egyptian MPs are supportive of the new proposals but 16-member leftist bloc on Monday denounced the proposed amendments.
Not all MPs support the move
One the leftist lawmaker, Haitham al-Hariri is quoted by Reuters as saying that the proposals were a “coup against the Egyptian constitution”.
“We were naive to think that they would only extend the presidential term limits”.
In 2017 an Egyptian lawmaker, Ismail Nasreddine launched a campaign to extend presidential terms and lift restrictions on re-election.
The latest draft amendments are seen as the product of that campaign even before Sisi won the 2018 presidential election.
An MP who supports the extension of Sisi’s tenure Ayman Abdel Hakim told Reuters “He is doing a lot of projects and people are fighting him from all sides.”
President Sisi in 2013 overthrew Mohammed Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood official who was democratically elected as President.
That was facilitated by the 2013 mass protests against Mursi rule. He was elected president in 2014 for his first term.
In 2018 he was re-elected winning more than 97% of the vote in the election. The turnout in that election was more than 40% .
He did not face any serious challenger, after most strong candidates withdrew from the race. Sisi’s current tenure ends in 2022.