A number of major political parties are discussing calling on the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to postpone the first round of the Egyptian parliamentary elections for two weeks, sources close to the consultation told Ahram Online. The Wafd Party had floated a similar suggestion in a public statement yesterday.
According to the sources, such a proposal would imply putting off the first stage of the elections, in which polling was due to be held in 9 governorates, including Cairo and Alexandria, where Egypt's re-launched revolution is at its most powerful. On Tuesday night, early a million protesters in the revolution's epicenter in Tahrir, and tends of thousands in Alexandria fiercely rejected the concessions offered in a televised address by de facto ruler of the country, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of SCAF.
According to the time-table set by SCAF, elections were to be held in three stages, each involving polling in 9 of the country's 27 governorates, in order to guarantee the provision of full judicial supervision of the poll, as stipulated by the Constitutional Declaration currently in place pending the promulgation of a permanent constitution.
The proposed two-week postponement could thus begin with those governorates that had been slated to stage two of the elections, namely Giza, Beni Suef, Menoufiya, Sharqiya, Ismailia, Suez, Beheira, Sohag, and Aswan, while putting off the governorates of Cairo, Fayoum, Port Said, Damietta, Alexandria, Kafr El-Sheikh, Assiut, Luxor, and the Red Sea, to the very end of the polling process, effectively transforming stage one into stage three, and putting off the end of the elections of the People Assembly, the lower house of parliament, to around the end of January 2012.