Cairo: Egypt's constitutional and legislative affairs committee approved an amendment that would allow President Abdelfattah El-Sisi to potentially remain in office until 2030.
The committee agreed to amend Article 140 concerning presidential terms. The amendment stipulates that the president can be elected for six (instead of four) years, and cannot remain in office for more than two consecutive terms.
The committee also approved a new transitional article (no. 241) which stipulates that the current presidential term will end in 2024 (instead of 2022), and that the sitting president will be allowed to run for an additional six-year term.
Forty-three MPs voted in favour of the proposed amendments while seven MPs voted against.
Egypt’s parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal announced that the House will take a final vote on proposed amendments to Egypt's 2014 constitution on Tuesday, according to Ahram Online.
Addressing MPs in a plenary meeting on Sunday morning, Abdel-Aal said that parliament will take the final vote on Tuesday instead of Wednesday in order to give MPs time to explain the amendments to citizens in their own districts before the public referendum on them is held.
It is still unclear whether each of the amended articles will be put up for a vote individually or as a package.
Bahaaeddin Abu Shoqa, chairperson of parliament's constitutional and legislative affairs committee, said that MPs will be required to vote on the amendments (12 articles) as one package.
"The amendments should gain the approval of two thirds of MPs – no less than 400 MPs – of the total (596)," said Abu Shoqa.
If MPs say yes in Tuesday's evening meeting, the amendments will be referred to the president of the republic so that he can invite citizens to take a vote on them within 30 days.
Some expect that the National Committee for Elections will meet on Wednesday to declare the date of the vote. Some sources say the vote will be held for three days, beginning on April 22. Egyptian expatriates are expected to begin voting on the amendments on Thursday.
The amendments, submitted by the parliamentary majority Support Egypt coalition on February 3, cover 12 articles in the constitution.
In addition to increasing the presidential term from four to six years, the amendments include a provision to allocate 25 per cent of parliamentary seats to female candidates, reinstate the post of vice president and establish a second chamber.
A two-month national debate over the amendments show there are a lot of disagreements, particularly on the two amendments aimed at increasing the presidential term and allocating a quota of 25 per cent seats to women.
Parliament's constitutional and legislative affairs committee will take a final vote on the final draft of the amendments in an evening meeting today.