Egypt candidate Moussa pushes for parliament vote delay

AFP, Saturday 21 May 2011

Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa calls for a postponement of parliamentary elections until either a president is elected or there is a consensus on the constitution

Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa called Saturday for the delay of parliamentary elections in September until a presidential poll is held or a new constitution put in place.

Moussa, the outgoing Arab League secretary general, said September was too early for a parliamentary election, in which Islamists are expected to make a strong showing at the expense of poorly-organised secular groups.

"I am not for a postponement in the democratic process, and I believe it should start before the end of the year, but I think September is too early to hold a parliamentary election," he said.

"It's better to start either with the election of a people's founding committee to put in place a new constitution or to hold a presidential election," he said at a government-organised "national consensus" conference.

The military, which has ruled the country since a revolt overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in February, has said the parliamentary poll will be held on schedule in September, followed by a new constitution and then a presidential vote.

The September election is expected to boost Islamists, particularly the well-organised Muslim Brotherhood movement, which has formed a party to contest roughly half of parliament's 508 elected seats.

Secular groups that spearheaded the revolt against Mubarak want the election postponed until they can better organise themselves into parties.

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