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Egypt's constitutional changes approved

April 23, 2019

As expected, Egyptian voters have backed the constitutional changes which could see President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi stay in power until 2030. Turnout was only 44 percent.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/MENA

National Election Authority head Lashin Ibrahim told a Cairo press conference on Tuesday that of the 44.33 percent of Egypt's voters who turned out to cast their ballots during the three-day referendum, 88.83 percent of them approved the amendments.

"These (changes) are effective from now as your constitution," Ibrahim said.

Almost 27 million votes were cast out of an eligible base of 61 million voters.

Opposition parties had urged voters to oppose the changes, but they have little power in parliament, which overwhelmingly approved the amendments earlier this month. 

During the referendum, business people and lawmakers loyal to el-Sissi offered incentives to voters. 

The amendments include a special article specific to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. It extends his current second four-year term to six years and allows him to run for another six-year term in 2024. This would extend his rule until 2030.

The changes will also bolster the role of the military and expand the president's power over judicial appointments.

jm/law (Reuters, AP)

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