Egyptian MP wants Sisi to become president for life

Egyptian MP wants Sisi to become president for life
2 min read
27 February, 2017
An Egyptian MP is seeking parliament support to extend presidential terms and lift restrictions on re-election for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Sisi came to power after winning the 2014 presidential elections [AFP]

An Egyptian lawmaker is collecting signatures for a petition to extend the terms of Egypt's president and lift restrictions on re-election, a year before President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's first term is due to expire.

MP Ismail Nasr al-Deen said in a statement on Saturday that constitutions can be amended "if flawed".

He seeks to amend Article 140 of the constitution to enable Sisi to stay in power longer than the two four-year terms currently permitted.

However, the move remains at an early stage, as Nasr al-Deen would need the support of 20 percent of the MPs to have the issue discussed in the parliament.

"The president will have the right to run for office as he wishes, and the people will have the right to either elect or reject him," he told reporters.

Even if the low-profile MP manages to push an amendment through parliament by the required two-thirds majority, the constitution also stipulates that any revision must be approved by popular referendum.

Egypt's current parliament was formed following elections in late 2015 after a long halt since a post-revolution Islamist-dominated parliament was dissolved by a court order in 2012.

A pro-Sisi electoral bloc won the elections in a sweeping victory.

On the eve of those elections, the head of the pro-Sisi bloc, told Reuters that loyalist lawmakers would likely seek to amend the constitution to further empower the presidency and scale back powers vested in parliament.

In 2013, when Sisi was defence minister, he led a military coup that overthrew Mohamed Morsi following protests against the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president.

A year later, Sisi came to power after winning the presidential elections, despite previously stating he was not aiming to run for president.

Since then, rights and freedoms have been restricted, with rights groups and activists accusing Sisi of leading a brutal crackdown on civili society and opposition.