Saturday, 19 Jan 2019

Egyptian lawyer files suit to change president's two-term limit

CAIRO – An Egyptian lawyer said on Saturday that he and other people had initiated legal proceedings to force the country's parliament to debate the amendment of a constitutional clause banning President Abdel-Fattah el- Sissi to seek a third term in 2022.

Lawyer, Ayman Abdel-Hakim Ramadan, told the Associated Press that a Cairo court would hold its first hearing in the case on December 23.

El-Sissi said he would not ask for a third term but was not adamant about it – saying for example that he would not stay unless the Egyptians wanted it. The country's constitution provides for a maximum of two four-year terms.

Ramadan said his "love" and "admiration" for a leader who had done so much for Egypt had motivated his rankings. But the case could be the first step in a campaign to create a favorable climate for the idea of ​​amending the constitution. It could also help measure popular sentiment on the issue.

However, the court could dismiss the case on the grounds that it can not prescribe a course of action to the legislature, according to the prominent lawyer, the lawyer 's rights. man, Mohammed Zaree. "But this court (…) has a reputation for deciding on issues that are clearly not part of its jurisdiction," he said.

The Parliament, bringing together supporters of el-Sissi, will have to vote on any constitutional amendment, which will also have to be ratified in a national referendum.

Ramadan said that el-Sissi had overseen an "incredible" number of achievements since his assumption of the presidency in 2014. "I love al-Sissi so much and I believe in him," he said. "I want him president for life."

Earlier this year, El-Sissi won a second four-year term, showing authoritarian tendencies by practically putting himself to the test, after all potentially serious candidates were jailed or intimidated out of the race.

Since assuming office, he has overseen the biggest crackdown on dissent in Egypt, imprisoning thousands of Islamists with secular and pro-democracy activists, and pushing back freedoms gained at one time. popular uprising of 2011.

He has also worked tirelessly on redesigning the economy, modernizing the country's infrastructure, and building new cities – policies that have earned him enormous praise from Western donors, but which have provoked large price increases at home.

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