Egypt voters approve referendum extending el-Sissi’s rule

Egypt’s election commission says voters have approved constitutional amendments allowing President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to remain in power until 2030.

The referendum was widely seen as another step toward restoring authoritarian rule eight years after a pro-democracy uprising that toppled autocratic president Hosni Mubarak.

Lasheen Ibrahim, the head of the commission, said Tuesday the amendments were approved with 88.83% voting in favor. The turnout was 44.33% of eligible voters. The nationwide referendum took place over three days, from Saturday through Monday to maximize turnout.

Pro-government media, business people and lawmakers had pushed for a “Yes” vote and a high turnout, offering incentives while authorities threatened to fine anyone boycotting the three-day voting.

Authorities have waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent since el-Sissi led the military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.

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