Egyptian parliament panel approves motion to amend constitution

The Egyptian parliament's general committee Tuesday approved a motion submitted by more than one-fifth of the 596 members to amend the country's constitution which would change the presidential term from four to six years.

The general committee, a senior panel in Egypt's House of Representatives chaired by Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, said in a statement that it approved the request after reviewing the proposed amendments submitted by Support Egypt pro-government parliamentary bloc on Sunday.

The approved amendments seek to extend the presidential term from four to six years, introduce the post of vice president and establish a senate as a second chamber of the parliament next to the House of Representatives.

The amendments also aim at "reworking and deepening the role of the Armed Forces," making the army in charge of the protection of vital and public facilities and the defender of the country's democracy and civil state.

The amendments need to be presented first to the 596-seat assembly for a vote and then go through a national referendum for final approval. If passed, the proposed amendments will allow current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to join the next presidential election after his second term ends in 2022.

Article 140 of the 2014 constitution limits the presidency to two consecutive teams, four years each, while Article 226 states that "the amendment of one or more articles of the constitution may be requested by the president of the republic or one-fifth of the members of the House of Representatives."

The petitioners believe eight years are not enough for the president to deal with Egypt's economic and security challenges.

(Cover: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) gestures next to Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdel Aal after the swearing-in of the second presidential term, at a ceremony at the House of Representatives in Cairo, Egypt, June 2, 2018. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency