Egyptian voters back constitutional referendum that could extend Sisi's rule

An Egyptian man outside a polling station holds a banner reading: "Vote with us... now... now."

(CNN)Egypt has voted to give President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sweeping powers that could keep him in office until 2030.

The National Elections Authority announced on Tuesday that Egyptians had voted to pass a number of major changes to the country's constitution in a three-day referendum, with 88.83% voting in favor of tightening its strongman leader's grip on power.
"The referendum came out in the best possible way, worthy of Egypt's future and its aspirations for tomorrow," Lashin Ibrahim, the head of the National Election Authority, said in the press conference. "We have moved from the stage of rebuilding the state and democratization to the stage of consolidating democracy."
    Fourteen amendments to Egypt's 2014 constitution were up for a vote, as well as two new articles. Egypt's parliament voted last week in favor of the changes.
    One amendment would extend a presidential term from four to six years. It would also add two more years to Sisi's current term and allow him to seek re-election for another six-year term in 2024.
    Another measure would expand Sisi's power over the legislative branch by creating an upper house known as a senate. The president would be able to handpick a third of the members.
    An Egyptian soldier and a policeman stand guard at a polling station in Cairo.
    Meanwhile, the lower house would be reduced from 596 to 450, with at least 25% of seats reserved for women.
    The revised charter would also give the president new authority to appoint members of the judiciary.
    But opposition activists have accused Sisi's government of pressuring people