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News ID: 38400
Publish Date: 17:52 - 24 April 2019
TEHRAN, Apr 24 - The referendum approved by Egyptian voters that allows President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to extend his rule to 2030 was held in an "unfair and unfree" environment and has "no pretense to legitimacy," an international rights group said.

Rights group denounces 'unfree and unfair' Egyptian voteTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Human Rights Watch said the three-day vote on a set of constitutional amendments, which concluded Monday, was "marred by serious flaws," including reports of citizens being forced to vote or bribed with food and money.

"The constitutional amendments are a shameless attempt to entrench the military's power over civilian rule, and the referendum took place in such an unfree and unfair environment that its results can have no pretense to legitimacy," Michael Page, the group's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement issued after the results were announced Tuesday.

El-Sissi's "desire to demolish an independent judiciary and secure his autocratic rule for at least 11 more years is re-creating the impoverished and repressive political environment that drove Egyptians to revolt against former President (Hosni) Mubarak in 2011."

Authorities said Tuesday the amendments were approved by 88.83% of voters, with turnout of 44.33%.

The constitutional amendments extend the presidential term from four years to six years, but include a special clause extending el-Sissi's current term to 2024 and allowing him to run for another six-year term.

The amendments recognize the military as the "guardian and protector" of the Egyptian state and give military courts wider jurisdiction for trying civilians. They will also allow el-Sissi to appoint top civilian judges.

Source: AP

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