Nation sets election date after three years without parliament
Egypt is to hold parliamentary elections in two stages in October and November after being without a parliament since it was dissolved in June 2012.
The elections are due to take place in 14 governates on 18-19 October, and in 13 governates including Cairo, on 22-23 November. Egyptian voters living abroad will cast ballots in a first stage on 17-18 October, and a second round on 21-22 November.
The elections had originally been scheduled for March and April but were postponed indefinitely after Egyptian courts ruled that the legislation defining electoral districts and the individual seats system was unconstitutional. However, following a recent amendment to the laws regulating electoral constituencies, the elections have now been given the green light.
The long-awaited parliamentary polls are the final stage in a “roadmap to democracy” announced by then army chief Sisi immediately after the ousting of Islamist president Mohammad Morsi in July 2013.
The Egyptian parliament is made up of a of 568 seats, 448 of which are elected as indivudals, and 120 through party lists with quotas for women and the young. The president may appoint up to 28 of his own members, or five percent of the total.
Political analysts predict that politicians loyal to Sisi will win heavily in the polls. This is likely to please Egypt's western allies who view the president as a bulwark against jihadist terrorism, but disappoint those who accuse him of repression and quashing any real opposition, in particular his clampdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party.
The government says the elections are proof of Egypt's commitment to democracy.