Egyptians Cast Ballots on Whether to Keep President Sisi in Power

04/20/2019 - 14:25 PM

Kordab Law

 

 

Cairo - Egyptians voted on Saturday in a three-day referendum on constitutional changes that could allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in office until 2030 and boost the role of the powerful military.

Sisi's supporters say the changes are necessary to give him more time to complete major development projects and economic reforms. Critics say they concentrate more power in Sisi's hands and return Egypt to an authoritarian model.

While the changes are expected to pass, observers say the turnout will be a test of Sisi's popularity, which has been deferred by austerity measures since 2016. He was re-elected last year with 97 percent of the votes, on 41 percent turnout.

Polls closed at 1900 GMT and at the time, the national election commission had not yet given official figures for the turnout on the first day.

The country's small but vocal opposition called on supporters to vote against the changes instead of boycotting the polls like they did in the presidential election.

Former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabahy and Khaled Ali both posted photos of themselves with ballot papers marked No.

 

 

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