Cairo Court Postpones Hearing On Abolishing Presidential Term Limits
A Cairo court for the second time postponed a hearing based on a petition calling for constitutional changes that would allow President Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi to seek re-election beyond his second term. Currently, article 140 of the constitution stipulates that a leader can hold the top office for a maximum of two four-year periods. The petitioners, however, are demanding that the parliament speaker call a session to discuss modifying the law, arguing that the present term-length is too short given the security and economic challenges facing Egypt. They also suggest al-Sisi should be able to serve for as long as the people continue to elect him in free and fair elections, a somewhat ironic position since he assumed the presidency in 2013 by ousting democratically-elected Mohamed Morsi and then consolidated his rule by cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood. In this vein, opponents of abolishing term limits fear that doing so could lead to the re-establishment of decades-long regimes headed by a strongman, not unlike that of Hosni Mubarak who himself was toppled in a popular uprising in January 2011 after more than thirty years in power.