Today the Egyptian Parliament will hold a final vote on constitutional changes that would lift presidential term limits. The move comes as President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi is approaching the end of his second and final term under the current constitutional provisions.
A first-round vote earlier this week saw lawmakers pass the legislation 485 to 111 in favour of removing term limits, more than the two-thirds majority required for constitutional amendments. If the legislation passes the secondary vote and a review by a parliamentary committee, it will head to a public referendum later this year.
President Sisi has been in power since the 2013 overthrow of the democratically elected Mohamed Morsi. The reforms would mostly eliminate the 2014 constitutions separation of powers, and significantly expand presidential authority over these branches of government and the military.
With Sisi’s supporters controlling a parliamentary majority, the constitutional reforms look set to pass both a review and a secondary vote. Public opinion has seen a generational split, with younger generations opposing the abolition of term-limits and older voters believing it would bring greater stability. With neighbouring Libya and Sudan experiencing significant instability, Sisi is likely to focus on a message of his ability to bring stability and growth as the months leading up to the vote bring greater scrutiny.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.