World

Egypt voters back constitutional amendments to strengthen president's rule

Nearly 90 per cent of Egyptian voters taking part in a referendum have backed constitutional changes that could see President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi stay in power until 2030, according to the country's election commission.

Constitutional amendments could extend President el-Sisi's term in power until 2030

Constitutional amendments will give Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi greater control over the judiciary and dramatically extend his time in office. (Khaled Elfiqi/EPA-EFE)

Nearly 90 per cent of Egyptian voters taking part in a referendum have backed constitutional changes that could see President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi stay in power until 2030, the election commission said on Tuesday.

Voter turnout during the three-day referendum was 44.33 per cent and 88.83 per cent of those taking part approved the amendments, commission chair Lasheen Ibrahim said.

"These [changes] are effective from now as your constitution," Ibrahim told a news conference broadcast on state TV, adding that more than 23.4 million voters had endorsed the changes in the referendum.

The amendments, which were approved by Egypt's parliament last week, will extend el-Sisi's current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024.

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

It has been nearly six years since el-Sisi led the military overthrow of the country's first freely elected but divisive Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, after mass protests against his rule.

In 2014, el-Sisi was elected president. He was re-elected to another four-year term last year, after all potentially serious challengers were arrested or pressured to withdraw from the race.

With files from The Associated Press

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