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SCAF's Advisory Council proposes Egypt presidential polls in May

Council recommends mid-May elections to allow SCAF to hand over power to civilian authority in early June

Ahram Online, Tuesday 31 Jan 2012
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Field Marshal Tantawi (Photo: Ahram Archives)
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After two days of negotiations, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)'s Advisory Council has recommended that the SCAF set presidential elections for 16 May instead of June to allow the military council to hand over power to a civilian authority in early June instead of the end of June. The recommendation came after the SCAF asked the Advisory Council to consider an earlier-than-scheduled handover of power to a civilian authority.

The Advisory Council, which consists of prominent political and intellectual figures appointed by the SCAF for "consultative" purposes, proposed that presidential elections be held on 16 May, with runoff polls to take place on 23 May (in the event that no candidate wins an outright majority of votes). Such a scenario would enable the SCAF to step down in the early days of June.

While the military has repeatedly vowed to relinquish executive authority following scheduled presidential elections in June, revolutionary groups are demanding an immediate transfer of power to the speaker of Egypt’s newly elected parliament or an interim president.

The SCAF made the request at a Saturday meeting with members of the Advisory Council. The meeting was convened to discuss recent escalations that have coincided with the revolution's first anniversary on 25 January, which featured calls by some revolutionary groups for an immediate end to military rule.

Freedom and Justice Party Secretary-General Mohamed El-Beltagy, meanwhile, has pledged his party's support for the transfer of power in June following scheduled presidential polls.

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