Egypt to begin vote for parliament in March  


Cairo: Egyptians will begin heading to polls in late March to elect their first parliament in more than two years, the election commission said Thursday night.

The vote for the 567-member parliament or House of Representatives will be held in two stages, with the first scheduled  inside Egypt for March 22-23, the commission said at a press conference. Egyptians abroad will cast their ballots on March 21 and 22.

The first stage  will be held in 14 of Egypt’s  27 provinces. Run-off votes in this round will be staged on April 1 and 2.

Voting in the second stage including Cairo is to start on April 26, covering two days. Related run-offs are slated for May 6-7.

Both stages will be held under full judicial supervision, the commission’s chief Ayman Abbas said.

The elections will be based on a mixed system combining individual and party candidacies.

The new parliament will comprise 540 elected members and 27 others appointed by the president.

The parliamentary polls will be the third and final milestone in an army-backed roadmap announced following the ouster of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi in mid-2013.

Last year, Egyptians endorsed a new constitution replacing a charter crafted by Islamists. In May 2014, former defence minister Abdul Fattah Al Sissi  won presidential elections.

In June 2012, i.e. days before Mursi  took office, the Constitutional Court dissolved the parliament where his Islamist backers wielded the majority. Mursi was deposed by the military in  July 2013 following enormous street protests against his one-year rule. His Muslim Brotherhood group was later outlawed and listed a terrorist organization.


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