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EGYPT: Opposition unites on presidential term-limit changes

Egyptian opposition parties have formed a coalition against proposed changes to the constitution that would allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to stay in office beyond the end of his current term in 2022. Egypt’s parliament has given its preliminary approval of the changes after two-thirds of the general committee endorsed the proposed amendments on Tuesday.

The 596-seat assembly, which is packed with Sisi supporters, will take a final vote on February 17, but the amendments would also need to be put to a national referendum.

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Abdel-Aziz el-Husseini, a senior leader in the Karama (Dignity) Party, said on Wednesday that 11 parties met the previous day and declared their opposition to the proposed changes.

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The group established a “union for the defence of the Constitution”, which includes secular and left-leaning parties and MPs, he added.

Khaled Dawood, another opposition leader and former head of the liberal Dostour (Constitution) Party, questioned the legitimacy of the process to amend the 2014 charter, citing a constitutional clause that bars extending the two-term limit.

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