Egypt: Constitutional Changes Enshrine the Military's Hold on Power

Apr 16, 2019 | 19:25 GMT

On April 16, the Egyptian parliament approved a raft of amendments to the country's constitution that, among other things, would extend presidential terms to six years, meaning that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's current term would end in 2024. But of all the amendments, which must win approval in a popular referendum before they can enter the constitution, perhaps the most important ones address the political mandate handed to the already powerful Egyptian armed forces. The measures would give the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) the final say on the appointment of the defense minister in Egypt's civilian government. And most notably, the language of the mandate assigned to the country's army has undergone a subtle, but significant, adjustment to give the military carte blanche to interfere with the activities of the civilian government....

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