PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION PLANNED IN EGYPT

Egypt’s military leadership are to hold a parliamentary election in September, setting a date that political analysts said would be ideal for well-prepared Islamists and former members of Hosni Mubarak’s party.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power after Mubarak’s step down, stated the emergency laws that have restricted political life for years would be lifted before the elections take place.

There has been no date announced as to what day this will happen, but a new approved law will reduce restrictions on political party formation.

Reform groups have asked the military to lengthen the time the elections are due to take place, to let political life in Egypt recuperate after years of oppression.

Political scientist Mustapha al-Sayyid commented on the election announcement: “It is a challenge for the new forces that came up as a result of the revolution. This period is relatively short for these parties.”

The decision has come after the mass majority of Egyptians voted in favour of the amendments, which promised judicial supervision of elections and setting the president’s term limits to two four-year terms.

Leader of the newly licensed Wasat Party (Centre Party), Abou Elela Mady, commented: “The time is short but we will work with all our capacities to take part. It doesn’t give us a full opportunity but it is a good start.”

Islamist group The Muslim Brotherhood, who were barred under Hosni Mubarak’s ruling, has surfaced as the most organised political group. Other newly formed groups are in the process of organising.

The elections are a major signpost on the path set by the military, in a move that will end in the army handing over power to an elected government.

A date for the presidential election will be decided after the government elections take place.

Source: Reuters