Top-level meeting today might change Egypt's elections plans all over again

Ahram Online, Sunday 18 Sep 2011

A meeting with Egypt's ruling military today, Sunday, might result in changes to the parliament election voting system and dates

parliamentary elections
Electoral workers are seen through a ballot box in a polling station during parliamentary elections (Photo: Reuters)

The number two man in Egypt’s ruling military council, Chief of Staff Sami Anan, is meeting today with representatives of different political groups and official parties to further discuss the details concerning Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

The meeting, according to Mohamed Attia, minister of local development will discuss the possibility of applying the electoral list voting system only instead of the mixed system that was proposed by the interim government and was highly criticised by various political parties.

"There are three reasons behind reconsidering the electoral system," Attia told Al-Ahram daily paper. "First: using the electoral list system will give a bigger chance for parties and alliances to form electoral bases. Second: the new system will minimise the possibility of intimidation and violence that the single seat system would propitiate. Third: there will be a list for independents who do not want to be part of any other political or electoral coalition."

Changing the electoral system, according to Attia, means that the election district law will also have to change. This might mean that the elections will be delayed once more even though both the government and the military council insist that they will stick to the announced date, i.e the last week of November.

On the other hand, no official denial was issued regarding media reports that the parliamentary elections will be held in stages and not all at once.

According to Al-Ahram daily newspaper, Egyptians are expected to head to the polls for the People's Assembly (parliament) elections on 21 November. The elections will be held in three stages; the last of which on 3 January. As for the Shura Council (Upper House) elections will be on 22 March and will end on 4 March. Reports say the military council will announce the final dates on 26 September.

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