Egyptian parliamentarians approve constitutional amendment project in favor of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The General Committee of the Egyptian Parliament approved Tuesday the proposal to amend the Constitution so as to allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to run for two more terms beyond 2022.
“Following extensive discussions, the two sessions concluded with a ruling that the proposal is in compliance with constitutional and procedural terms and conditions, and, as such, more than two-thirds of the General Committee members approved the principle of amending the Constitution,” a Parliament report stated according to Mada Masr.
The constitutional reforms will also grant President al-Sisi new powers to appoint judges and prosecutors as well as to create the Council of Senators, a Parliament's second chamber in which he would appoint a third of its 250 members.
Tuesday's vote is the first step to move forward with the proposed changes, which are expected to be finalized by parliament and voted on in a general referendum in the coming months.
The constitutional reform project is "a coup d'etat against the Egyptian Constitution," leftist deputy Haitham al-Hariri denounced and added, "we were naive to think that they would only extend the presidential term limits."
President el-Sisi's supporters call for constitutional changes so that he could remain in power after the end of his second four-year term in 2022.
In recent days, however, the Egyptians have published more than 26,000 tweets with the message "No to change the Constitution."
El-Sisi, who is a former general, became Egypt's president in June 2014, a year after leading the military to overthrow Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president.
Currently, the Egyptian president faces two major challenges: economic recovery and security, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula. On the other hand, human rights groups and activists have repeatedly accused el-Sisi of violating public liberties and repressing opponents.