Egypt schedules referendum on constitutional changes

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Egypt schedules referendum on constitutional changes
People walk past a banner supporting proposed amendments to the Egyptian constitution with a poster of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Egypt's parliament was holding its last debate Tuesday on proposed amendments to the constitution that could see President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi remain in power until 2030. Arabic reads, "do the right thing, yes to the developments, stability and amendments to the the constitution".(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt authorities have scheduled a nationwide referendum on proposed constitutional changes that could see President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi remain in power until 2030.

Lasheen Ibrahim, chairman of the National Election Authority, says Wednesday the vote will take place Saturday through Monday. He says Egyptian expatriates will vote Friday through Sunday.

Parliament overwhelmingly approved the amendments on Tuesday. They would only extend a president’s term in office from four to six years. But they include a special article specific to el-Sissi to extend his current, second term to six years and allow him to run for another six-year term in 2024.

The proposals are seen by critics as another step back to authoritarianism, eight years after a pro-democracy uprising ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule.