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Egyptian voters back constitutional changes in referendum – election commission

Egyptian voters back constitutional changes in referendum – election commission
Officials count ballots on the final day of the referendum on draft constitutional amendments, in Cairo, Egypt April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany -
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MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY(Reuters)
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CAIRO (Reuters) - Nearly 90 percent of Egyptian voters have approved in a referendum constitutional changes that could see President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stay in power until 2030, the election commission said on Tuesday.

Voter turnout during the three-day referendum was 44.33 percent and 88.83 percent of those taking part approved the amendments, commission chairman Lasheen Ibrahim said.

"These (changes) are effective from now as your constitution," Ibrahim told a news conference broadcast on state TV, adding that more than 23.4 million voters had endorsed the changes in the referendum.

The amendments, which were approved by Egypt's parliament last week, will extend Sisi's current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024.

They will also bolster the role of the military and expand the president's power over judicial appointments.

(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah, writing by Lena Masri; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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