lawmaker behind Sisi's presidential term extension backtracks
Sunday 20/August/2017 - 07:54 PM
AP - The Egyptian lawmaker behind a call to amend the constitution to extend the president's term by two years said in comments published Sunday that the change won't apply to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's current four-year term، a partial turnaround in the face of growing opposition to the idea.
El-Sisi has 10 months left in his first term in office. He is barred by the constitution from serving more than two four-year terms. Any amendment to the relevant clause in the 2014 charter must be approved in a nationwide referendum.
Lawmaker Ismail Nasreldeen said in comments published in the independent daily Al-Shorouk that the proposed amendment would apply to the next president. El-Sisi is widely expected to run in 2018.
His proposal، first made several months ago، suspended and then renewed this month، has been embraced by parliament's largest pro-government bloc. It has been met with vociferous opposition from political commentators، even those who write for the pro-government local media، who fear that amending the constitution is a prelude to dictatorship.
Last month، el-Sisi declined to say whether he would run for a second term، only urging Egyptians in televised comments to come out and vote in large numbers in next year's presidential election.
The presidency has remained publicly silent on the calls to amend the charter.