Egypt election committee to announce date for parliamentary poll Sunday

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Aug 2015

Egypt's main election committee said it will announce when the long-awaited parliamentary polls will begin in a press conference on Sunday.

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

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

The Supreme Election Committee said Thursday it "will announce the measures of the 2015 parliamentary elections in a press conference on Sunday."

The committee will announce "when the vote will begin, the timetable for the poll, and conditions and time of candidacy," a statement from the committee's spokesman, Omar Marawan, said.

The committee said earlier this week it had accepted requests from dozens of news organisations and hundreds of 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.

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