Egyptians back constitutional amendments

21 March 2011

Parliamentary election could now take place in September

Amendments to Egypt’s constitution have garnered strong support from Egyptians, paving the way for early elections.

More than 77 per cent of the estimated 14 million people who voted on 19 March supported the amendments.

A parliamentary election could now take place as early as September.

The amendments include reducing the presidential term from six years to four years and limiting a president to two terms. Mubarak ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years. Other amendments include obliging the president to choose a deputy within 30 days of election and installing new criteria for presidential candidates, such as that they must be over 40 years old and not married to a non-Egyptian.

The amendments would restore full judicial supervision of elections, seen as key to preventing fraud.

However, some are unhappy with elections taking place too early, concerned that early elections would disadvantage new parties and presidential hopefuls, as they would not have sufficient time to form policies and a campaign.

Prominent presidential candidate Mohamed Elbaradei has spoken out against holding the elections too soon. Established parties including the Muslim Brotherhood are largely in favour of holding early elections.

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