Egypt's Mursi calls elections beginning April 27
By Marwa Awad and Yasmine Saleh | February 22, 2013 9:35 AM EST
President Mohamed Mursi on Thursday called parliamentary elections that will began on April 27 and finish in late June, a four-stage vote that the Islamist leader hopes will conclude Egypt's turbulent transition to democracy.
The vote will take place in a country deeply divided between Islamist parties that have come out on top in all elections held since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011 and a more secular-minded opposition that has struggled to get organised.
The Islamist-led administration hopes the election of the new parliament will help stabilise Egypt so an economy in deep crisis can start to recover from spasms of unrest and violence that have punctuated the transition.
The new parliament will convene on July 6, according to a decree issued by Mursi just before midnight. Earlier in the day the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, adopted an electoral law as amended by the Constitutional Court, clearing the way for Mursi to set the date for the lower house election.
Under the new Egyptian constitution adopted in December, Mursi must secure parliament's approval for his choice of prime minister, giving the chamber more power than it had under Mubarak, when it was no more than a rubber stamp.
The Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, has said it will seek an outright majority in the election.
Each stage of the vote will comprise an initial two days of voting, with a further two days of voting slated for run-offs for closely contested seats. Mohamed Gadallah, a legal adviser to Mursi, had earlier said the voting would begin on April 28.
The vote would be held in phases in different regions because of a shortage of poll supervisors. The last lower house election, which was won by Islamists, lasted from late November 2011 until January the following year.
Mursi had been expected to ratify the electoral law by February 25. The lower house was dissolved last year after the court ruled the original law used to elect it was unfair.
On Monday the Constitutional Court demanded changes to five articles of the revised electoral law. The Shura Council accepted this ruling and adopted the legislation without a vote on Thursday.
"The decision of the Constitutional Court is binding and we have no right to vote on it. It must be carried out," said Ahmed Fahmy, the Council's speaker.
The new law bars members of parliament from changing their political affiliation once elected. Under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, independents were often cajoled into joining the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), which monopolised parliament and political life before the 2011 revolution.
The law also stipulates that one third of the lower house should be designated for independents and bans former members of the now defunct NDP from participating in politics for at least 10 years.
(Editing by Tom Perry and Roger Atwood)
Most Popular Slideshows
- Real Life ‘Frozen’: Snow Overwhelms The US, Kills 7; More To Come (Pictures)
- Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt in Sydney for ‘Unbroken’ Red Carpet Premiere [PHOTOS]
- ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 8 Spoilers: Daryl Dixon Is Set To Burn The Place Down in ‘Coda’
- G20 Summit Awkward Moments: Putin Yawns, Mystery Bubbles Appear, F18 Drama Ensues
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- Walmart Early Price Matching Special Event On Nov. 21, 2014 Matches Its Competitors' Black Friday 2014 Prices And Includes Exclusive Deals For Samsung LED HDTVs And iPad Air 2 [WATCH VIDEO]
- US Plane Flying Over Russian Skies Spotted; Vladimir Putin Ready For 'Practical Cooperation' With US
- Alleged 'Microsoft Lumia 1030' Front Panel Leaked With Capacitive Buttons; 'Xbox One' Owners To Get Free Goodies On Anniversary
- Nexus 6 Release Date And Price Under AT&T, T-Mobile And Sprint Listed
- Walmart Pre-Black Friday 2014 Sale On Nov. 21, 2014 Includes Discounts On The 'NBA 2K15' For PS4 And The 'Skylanders Trap Team’ Starter Kit [WATCH VIDEO]
- Black Friday 2014 Sale: Top Deals On Game Consoles Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Wii U And More
- Cold War 2: Russia, China And North Korea’s Blacklisted Company Fortify Alliance -- Reports