Egypt elections committee to announce new poll timetable this month
Ahram Online , Sunday 23 Aug 2015
Egypt's long-awaited parliamentary elections are expected to be held before year's end

Egypt's Higher Elections Committee (HEC) said Sunday it will announce a new timetable for long-awaited parliamentary polls in a press conference later this month.

The vote was previously scheduled for 22 March before a court ruled earlier in March part of an electoral law defining districts was unconstitutional.

Parliamentary elections is the final step in a political roadmap that was announced following the July 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

"The committee will announce the organisational measures for the election in a press conference later this month," a statement from the HEC said.

The committee also said it had accepted requests from 44 news organisations, 13 news websites and over 768 foreign reporters to cover the poll.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the lower chamber, the House of Representatives, after ruling it was not constitutionally elected.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said elections would take place before the end of the year, while other officials said the long-awaited vote might be held as early as September.

In the absence of parliament, El-Sisi has wielded legislative powers.

Under a new law, the House of Representatives will consist of 448 seats for individual candidates and 120 seats for winner-takes-all party lists with quotas for youth, women, Christians and workers.

Several political parties have voiced opposition to the new laws regulating the vote, with some, such as El-Dostour and Nasserist Karama, announcing they will boycott the elections.

Critics say the focus on individual candidates opens the door to patronage-based politics and that current laws fail to provide fair representation.