After Calls for 'Sisi 2034,' Egyptians Call for Second Revolution

Published February 6th, 2019 - 12:24 GMT

By Randa Darwish

A proposal of constitutional amendments has been initially approved by a parliamentary committee in the Egyptian parliament on Tuesday and Egyptians are rising in anger.

The proposal allows current President Abdel Fattah Sisi to extend his presidential term to six years and run for presidency several times, in addition to boosting his powers in appointing judges and public prosecutors.

On Tuesday, the proposal passed its first stage and was approved by a parliamentary committee to take it to the next stage, the parliament’s approval before moving it to a referendum within a few months.

The proposal, that ironically came during the anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, when Egyptians ousted their long-ruling president, Hosni Mubarak, has split opinions and sparked anger among many Egyptians.

While Sisi supporters claim the changes are necessarily needed for the stability of the country and for the president to continue his development plans for the country, most Egyptians disagree.

The Egyptian government's critics argued that Sisi is leading the country into an authoritarianism regime and the constitutional amendments will deepen it.

On a hashtag war on Twitter, Egyptians launched hashtag #لا_لتعديل_الدستور [No for constitution amendments] and it was widely used and made it to the worldwide trends list.

Translation: “If we did not unite now, when are we going to unite? No for amending constitution.”

Few hours later, counter-hashtag #نعم_للتعديلات_الدستورية [Yes for constitution amendments] emerged on Twitter with many people jumping on it.

Translation: “The majority of the parliament is saying yes to the constitutional changes and the ballot will decide if yes or no for these constitutional amendments after the approval of President Abdel Fattah Sisi.”

This comes amid controversy over the unconstitutionality of the amendments as it violates article 226 that states that amendments might only take place to ensure further amendments. It also prevents any amendments on the articles related to re-election of a president, or articles on freedom and equality.

“It does not fit me to stay the country’s president for one day if it is against the Egyptians’ well. This is not just a TV talk, yet it is a principle I believe in and I will not interfere in drafting the constitution.”

Egyptians have also widely shared an old video for Sisi in an interview with US CNBC TV channel in 2017. In the interview, the Egyptian president ensured his rejection to any constitutional amendments that will extend his years in power.

Many Egyptians expressed their opposition to the proposal; most of them live outside Egypt as a result of the massive crackdown carried out by the government against any critical voices against the authorities.

Translation: “I am aware that my continuous criticism of the proposal might get me in trouble and might lead me to prison with any fabricated charges, but as I said before, I am ready to pay for my positions.”

Meanwhile as Egyptians are commemorating the 8th anniversary of their 2011 revolution, many activists raised their voices calling for Egyptians to go on a revolution again, to take down Sisi’s regime, to acquire democracy and put an end to police brutality.

Translation: “Summary of the so-called constitutional amendments in Egypt: Sisi will stay forever in power. Military will control the political life of Egypt forever in accordance to the constitution. Those are two enough reasons to revive the revolution again.”

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