Egyptian voters made President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi “happy” after coming out in favour of amendments to the constitution which allow him to stay in power until 2030.

Speaking in Alexandria, Al-Sisi thanked Egyptians and hailed their participation in the vote, saying: “You made me and Egypt happy”.

The national Elections Committee announced last week that 88.8 per cent of the Egyptian voters, 23,416,741 people, voted in favour of the amendments, while 11.17 per cent rejected them.

Voter turnout during the three-day referendum was 44.33 per cent, commission chairman Lasheen Ibrahim said.

Photographs circulating on social media showed voters being bribed with food parcels and vouchers at polling stations in a bid to encourage them to take part in the country’s constitutional referendum.

The referendum, the country’s third since 2011, was called after Egypt’s 596-member parliament endorsed draft amendments by 531 to 22.

They extend Al-Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024. They also grant the president control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates, and give Egypt’s powerful military the role of protecting “the constitution and democracy”. – Middle East Monitor