Cairo: Egypt will hold a referendum on constitutional changes for three straight days starting from Saturday, the country’s election commission said on Wednesday, a day after the parliament overwhelmingly the amendments.
The vote will be conducted at home on Saturday, Sunday and Monday under full judicial supervision, the commission’s head Lasheen Ebrahim said.
Egyptians working abroad will begin voting on Friday for three days too.
“Participation in the referendum is a national duty. Go and participate,” Ebrahim added at a press conference.
The proposed amendments could allow President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi to rule until 2030.
They include extending the presidential term to six years instead of four, meaning that Al Sissi’s current term will end in 2024 instead of 2022.
A proposed provisional article makes it possible for Al Sissi to run for another six-year term.
The 2014 constitution has a two-term cap for the head of the state.
The changes cannot become a law before they are adopted in the referendum by the majority of the cast votes.
The proposed amendments, sponsored by the pro-state Egypt Support bloc in the legislature, also include appointing a vice president and allocating 25 per cent of the legislature’s 450 seats for women.
The draft, moreover, revives the parliament’s upper house cancelled in the 2014 constitution. The upper house will comprise 180 members, two thirds of them will be elected and the other third appointed by the head of the state.
The current constitution was endorsed a year after Al Sissi led the army’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following enormous street protests against his rule.
Al Sissi has been in power since 2014.
Last year, he was overwhelmingly re-elected for a second term in office.