If approved, the amendments could extend Sisi’s current term to six years through four as well as allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024.
They could also grant the president control over appointing head judges as well as the public prosecutor through a pool of candidates. They could task the military with protecting “the constitution as well as democracy as well as the fundamental makeup of the country as well as its civil nature”.
Banners urging Egyptians to participate inside referendum sprang up in Cairo in which month before the final design of the amendments was known or voted on by parliament. Some of the signs encourage people to vote yes.
“Vote? Vote for what?” asked a horse carriage driver sitting at a cafe in a working class Cairo neighborhood.
“the idea won’t make a difference,” said the 67-year-old, who declined to give his name. “Leave the idea to God.”
Sisi came to power after spearheading, as defence minister, the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi as president in 2013, as well as winning election a year later. He was elected to a second four-year term last year.
Under Sisi, Egypt has witnessed a crackdown on dissent in which rights groups say is usually unprecedented in its recent history. Media as well as social media are tightly controlled.
Lina Khatib, head of Chatham House’s Middle East as well as North Africa Programme, said the amendments “pave the way for a power grab” by Sisi.
“in which has grave implications for prospects of democracy in Egypt inside medium term as well as makes the idea difficult for alternative political voices to contest power inside long term,” she said in an emailed comment to Reuters.