efe-epa(Update: Adds info) Cairo

Egypt's parliament Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment that could allow the current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to rule until 2030.

The move was part of a package of amendments being voted on in parliament, which must later be ratified by a referendum.

The modification of Article 140 extends the duration of the presidential term from four to six years, an alteration that is supposed to enter into force the day following the end of the term of his predecessor, and allows presidents to serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.

Egyptian lawmakers also added a temporary provision (No. 241), so that Al-Sisi, who was re-elected for a second four-year term last year, could extend his current mandate to six years and may be re-elected in 2024, according to the state-run MENA news agency.

The international press has not been authorized to follow the parliamentary session at the legislative body's headquarters.

The chamber also approved an amendment to Article 185 so that the head of state can appoint the heads of judicial institutions from among the seven oldest vice-presidents for a term of four years, or until retirement.

The constitutional reform that came five years after being approved is moving forward with the support of the overwhelming majority of the Parliament.

Only the opposition deputies, about 10 percent of the members of the chamber, have opposed the reform, which they believe goes against the achievements of the revolution that ended the regime of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and led to the Constitution of 2014.

Several non-governmental organizations and opposition members have said that the reform of the presidential term goes against the spirit contained in that Constitution limiting the time in office of the country's president.

A group of 120 pro-government lawmakers from the 596-seat parliament signed a request on Feb. 3 to push for the constitutional reforms.

The request also included a proposal to restore the bicameral system that included the Consultative Council (best known as the Shura Council), which served as the upper house of the Egyptian parliament until it was dissolved by the same 2014 Constitution.

Afterwards, an opposition coalition in the Egyptian parliament warned that a constitutional amendment such as that being proposed by pro-government lawmakers could be abused by the country's president to enable him to hang on to power for life.

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