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The Debate

Sisi for life? Egypt's president tightens grip on power

Can you really put the genie back in the bottle when you're the leader of Egypt? A constitutional referendum has offered Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a path to ruling the Arab world's most populous nation until 2030. The former field marshal already had strong backing from a good portion of the population when he ousted the country's first-ever democratically elected civilian leadership in a 2013 coup.

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Since then, he's cracked down hard on dissent, even harder than before the Arab Spring of 2011. Can he keep a lid on it? Also, can he buck the trend?

That referendum comes as street protests have forced out seemingly unmovable strongmen in neighbouring Sudan and Algeria. What lessons to be drawn both ways? We'll see why Sisi is among those backing a nationalist general in Libya against an internationally-recognised government, and why Sisi has turned his attention abroad, taking on the rotating presidency of the African Union.

What's at stake for Egypt and for the continent?

Produced by Alessandro XENOS, Ingri BERGO and James VASINA.

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