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The Egyptian Sisi Waits 15 More Years in Power

CAIRO, Egypt – The Proposed constitutional changes in Egypt, announced this weekend, could keep President Sisi in power until 2034.
Sisi is currently in the second of two four-year terms and while the constitution remains unchanged, he must leave office in 2022. However, as part of the proposals submitted to Parliament, he would be allowed to renew two terms, each six years more than four.
Although this should be approved by a two-thirds majority in Parliament and a public referendum, the regime’s ability to suppress opposition and impose change is not in doubt.
Supporters of the regime claim that these changes are necessary for Sisi to carry out the task he started by overthrowing President Morsi in 2013.
According to Akhbar al-Youm, a state-owned newspaper, “the authors of the constitution did not consider that this popular hero bears the responsibility for an Egyptian renaissance and that he is advancing on a path that not looks like it will reach its end by 2022. ”
No Egyptian President has retired voluntarily or been removed from office. The historical trend is that if they are not overthrown in the first few months – as was the case for Mohamed Naguib in the 1950s and more recently for Mohamed Morsi – they are ready for a long stay.
Gamal Abdel Nasser reigned for more than 12 years before dying from office; Anwar Sadat, assassinated in 1981, ruled for 10 years, and Hosni Mubarak ruled for 29 years before the 2011 revolution forced him out.
The proposed constitutional amendments would give Sisi a total of 20 years as president, barring any unforeseen event.
At the end of this, in the words of Ayman Abdel Hakim, a lawyer advocating for the extension, Sisi will have completed his projects and the Egyptians will be able to “seek democracy and renewal”.
This is clearly not a healthy situation.
In addition to the dictatorial nature of the Sissi regime, prolonging its twelve-year presidency beyond its current limit seriously reduces any possibility of getting out of the kind of strong government that is rampant in Arab countries.
An additional straw in the wind is that meetings on constitutional amendments were held at the headquarters of the General Intelligence Service, chaired by a senior intelligence official called Mahmoud el-Sisi – the son of the president.
Inevitably, this will remind us how Hosni Mubarak prepared his son, Gamal, to succeed him – just like Gadafy in Libya, Saleh in Yemen and Hafez al-Assad in Syria.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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