The Egyptian parliament on Thursday approved in principle proposed constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2034 and boost his control of the judiciary.
Parliament Speaker Ali Abdelaal said that 485 MPs of the 596-seat assembly voted in favour of the changes, comprising more than the two-thirds majority needed to pass the amendments.
The proposed changes will now go for a review in a parliamentary committee and then return to parliament for a second vote before they are presented for a national referendum expected before the middle of the year.
Al-Sisi won re-election last year in a landslide beating an unpopular candidate. Most strong contenders were forced to step aside in the run up to the vote.
His current mandate expires in 2024 after which he could potentially serve three more terms which could mean he would have served as president for two decades – a total of five four year terms.
He came to power in 2013 after deposing the then President Mohammed Morsi. Sisi, the army chief at the time stepped in to seize power because of anti-government protests. He won first vote in 2014. REUTERS