Egypt will start its parliamentary elections on November 21, according to news agency Reuters.

Egypt’s election commission head, Abdel Moez Ibrahim, has stated the voting for the lower house, the People’s Assembly, will be in three stages that will start on November 21 and finish on January 3. Voting for the upper house, the Shura Council, will then take place on January 22 until March 4.

The votes will be the first since the uprising that took place back in January, which saw President Hosni Mubarak fall in power after 30 years of autocratic rule.

The date for the presidential poll will be decided after the parliamentary vote. The council has reassured Egyptians that the poll will be free and fair, confirming that the judiciary will oversee the vote.

Voters will be allowed to cast ballots for the lower and upper houses at the same time and it has been revealed that the elections will be in 120 voting districts.

The three stages will be separated by 15 days apart and during this time any re-runs will be held.

Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour has announced this week that Egypt will not go through with its plans to change visa requirements for individual tourists.

The requirements would have forced tourists to get entry visas in their home country before entering Egypt. Tour operators objected to the new visa requirement emphasising it would keep tourists away from Egypt.

Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour commented, “Issuing a decision like this would have severe negative effects on tourism which was made obvious by reactions from inside and outside Egypt and this led to cancelling the decision completely.”

The decision has been welcomed by travel agents and hoteliers who have enjoyed month on month growth since the January revolution.

Source: Reuters,