Middle East, Europe

Germany concerned over constitutional changes in Egypt

Berlin says recent changes could further expand role of military, undermine peaceful democratic change in leadership

Ayhan Şimşek   | 17.04.2019
Germany concerned over constitutional changes in Egypt

BERLIN 

Germany raised concern over recent constitutional changes in Egypt that would allow President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to remain in power until 2030.  

“It is feared that in the course of these constitutional changes the role of the executive and armed forces would be expanded, and a peaceful democratic change in power could be hampered,” Christofer Burger, the deputy spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told a news conference in Berlin.

He reiterated Germany’s support for Egypt’s stability, but also underlined that it requires opening more space for civil society and political debate in the country.

On Tuesday, Egypt’s parliament approved sweeping constitutional amendments which opponents said would reinforce the dominance of military on political affairs and increase executive control over the judiciary.

The changes would extend the duration of presidential terms from four to six years, and allow President al-Sisi to eventually run for a third term in office.

Egypt’s current constitution, which was ratified in 2014, allowed the president to hold office for a maximum of two four-year terms.

The constitutional change, however, means al-Sisi’s second term in office -- which he secured in elections last year -- will end in 2024, after which he will be allowed to run for a third six-year term ending in 2030.

A nationwide referendum on the proposed constitutional changes would take place from Saturday to Monday.

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