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Egyptians vote on referendum extending el-Sissi's rule

By The News · 22 of April 2019 18:30:36
AP Photo, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Mona Seif, No available, People walk past a banner supporting proposed amendments to the Egyptian constitution with a poster of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Egypt's parliament was holding its last debate Tuesday on proposed amendments to the constitution that could see President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi remain in power until 2030. Arabic reads, "do the right thing, yes to the developments, stability and amendments to the the constitution".(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptians are being asked to vote on constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to stay in power until 2030.

The three-day voting period for the nationwide referendum starts at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) Saturday on proposed changes that would also further enshrine the military’s role in politics. Parliament, packed with el-Sissi supporters, overwhelmingly approved the amendments on Tuesday.

Opposition parties have called on voters to reject the changes, seen by critics as a step backward to authoritarianism eight years after a pro-democracy uprising.

The vote comes amid an unprecedented crackdown by authorities on dissent since the military ouster of an elected but divisive president in 2013.

El-Sissi came to power in 2014 and was re-elected for a second four-year term last year.