Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei on Thursday warned against changing Egypt’s constitution to allow the extension of presidential terms from four to six years.
He issued the warning two days after a parliamentary committee approved a request to amend Egypt’s national charter, which was adopted following a 2014 referendum.
ElBaradei referred in particular to Article 226 of the constitution, which states: “Texts pertaining to the re-election of the president of the republic or the principles of freedom and equality stipulated in this constitution may not be amended unless the amendment brings more guarantees [of freedoms]."
Speaking via Twitter, ElBaradei said: “You don’t need to study law to realize that trying to amend the text -- to extend the length of presidential terms -- is a flagrant violation of the constitution.”
On Sunday, the Support Egypt Coalition, the country's largest parliamentary bloc and a staunch supporter of President Abel-Fattah al-Sisi and his regime, lodged a formal request with the assembly to amend the constitution.
The coalition, which holds 317 out of 596 parliamentary seats, wants to amend the charter with a view to extending presidential terms from four to six years; allowing the president to sit for more than two terms; and establishing an upper house of parliament.
Al-Sisi was elected in the same year the current charter was ratified -- and one year after leading a bloody military coup against his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader.
In June of last year, al-Sisi was re-elected to a second presidential term, which is set to expire in 2022.
According to the constitution in its current form, al-Sisi cannot run for a third term in office.
The presidency, for its part, has yet to comment on the proposed constitutional adjustments, but al-Sisi has said in previous remarks that he had no intention to run for a third term
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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