Egyptians back statute changes in referendum: Election panel - GulfToday

Egyptians back statute changes in referendum: Election panel

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Egyptian officials count the ballots at a polling station in a school in Menoufia on Monday. Mohamed El Shahed / AFP

Nearly 90 per cent of Egyptian voters taking part in a referendum have backed constitutional changes that could see President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi stay in power until 2030, the election commission said on Tuesday.

Voter turnout was 44.33 per cent, the commission chairman said, adding that 88.83 per cent of the voters had approved the amendments.

Voters were being asked to back amendments to the constitution to allow Sisi, 64, to run for another six-year term while boosting his control over the judiciary and giving the military even greater influence in political life.

Sisi has argued that he needs longer to complete the job of restoring security and stability after the turmoil that followed the overthrow of veteran  Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring of 2011.

For the past few weeks, Egypt's streets have been awash with banners and billboards urging citizens to vote for Sisi, while popular folk singers have exhorted voters to go to the ballot box.

Agencies