Egypt to hold parliamentary elections

Updated: 2011-09-28 09:34


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CAIRO - Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) decided on Tuesday that the People's Assembly and Shura Council elections will be held on November 28 and January 29 respectively, official news agency MENA reported.

As a step to hand over power to civilians after eight months of military ruling, the SCAF also issued a decree on Tuesday to amend the law on the parliamentary elections.

According to the amendment, the People's Assembly seats will be 498 and the Shura council, 270 seats.

Seventy percent of the parliamentary seats will be based on the party list system and the remaining thirty percent through individual-candidate voting, according to MENA.

Egypt will be divided into 60 constituencies in accordance to the decree, 30 for the party lists system in which each list must include at least a woman candidate while the other 30 for the individual-candidate system in which the candidate shouldn't be affiliated to any political party. Nomination for the parliament elections will start on October 12.

The first session of the new People's Assembly will be convened on March 17, 2012 while the new Shura Council will convene its first session on March 24, 2012.

The SACF announced on February 14 the dissolution of the lower and upper houses of parliament formed after the elections in last November, when over 90 percent of the seats were garnered by the then ruling National Democratic Party presided by former president Hosni Mubarak.

However, representatives from 22 parties asked the SCAF to delay the parliamentary elections for six months to give the new political parties a chance to make more preparations, including choosing their candidates and setting suitable mechanism to compete with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the most organized movement in Egypt.

The Freedom and Justice Party affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood aims to contest up to half of the parliamentary seats in the elections.

Representatives from the 22 parties expressed in a statement their support for the SCAF which has been running the country since the fall of the former regime and asked for more time to carefully study the parliamentary laws in order to conduct a fair electoral system.

They threatened to boycott the coming elections if SCAF wouldn't respond to their demands.

The statement had been signed by parties including Social Justice Party, Egyptian Liberation Party, Democratic People, Egypt 2000 Party and Labor Party among others.

The SCAF would not involve in the coming elections, according to Hussein Tantawi, chairman of the SACF.