Egypt sets Oct election date, after 3 years without parliament

Updated: 2015-08-31 11:23


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Egypt sets Oct election date, after 3 years without parliament

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) waves during the opening ceremony of the new Suez Canal, in Ismailia, Egypt, August 6, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - Egypt will hold a long-awaited parliamentary election, starting on Oct 18-19, the election commission said on Sunday, the final step in a process to bring back democracy that critics say has been tainted by widespread repression.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, dominated by the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, reversing a major accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The election had been due to begin in March but was delayed after a court ruled part of the election law unconstitutional.

A second round of voting in the two-phase election will take place on Nov 22-23, the election commission told a news conference. Voting for Egyptians abroad will take place on Oct 17-18.

The then military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who went on to become president, toppled Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The army then announced a 'roadmap' to democracy in Egypt, the most populous Arab state and ally of Western powers.

The government says the election is proof of Egypt's commitment to democracy.

In the absence of parliament, Sisi has wielded legislative authority to curtail political freedoms but also introduced economic reforms.

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