Egyptians voted “yes” Tuesday for a package of constitutional amendments that could keep President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in office until 2030.
At a press conference, Lashin Ibrahim, head of Egypt’s National Elections Authority, said 88.83% of Egyptians voted in favor of passing a number of major changes to the country’s constitution.
He said turnout for the referendum was 44.33% of the country’s 61,344,503 eligible voters or over 27 million people.
The referendum opens the door for Sisi to rule over Egypt until 2030 as one of the amendments allows his term in office to be extended from four to six years and also makes it possible for him to be re-elected.
In addition, the president will be able to appoint one or more vice presidents and will be given the authority to designate their duties, dismiss them or accept their resignations.
‘Legitimizing military intervention’
In addition, Article 200 of the constitution regarding the duties of the Egyptian Armed Forces was changed from “protecting the security and peace within the country” to “protecting the constitution, democracy and people’s rights and freedom”.
Egypt’s opposition claims this change could “legitimize military interventions”.
Furthermore, the Senate, which was abolished following the January 25 Revolution of 2011, will be re-established and one-third of its members will be appointed by the president.
At least 25% of the seats in parliament and the senate will be reserved for women. Also, the president is now able to appoint judicial authorities such as chief prosecutors.
Civilians to be tried by military courts
In line with the amendments, civilians accused of attacking military zones or armed forces will be tried by military courts.
The president, following the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, will also be able to appoint the defense minister.