Egypt sets Oct election date, after 3 years without parliament

Updated: 2015-08-31 11:23


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"The question will remain: will this parliament be an effective check and balance against the executive? There are some signs it may, due to the likely prevalence of big-business interests within it, be argumentative on issues pertaining to economic policy," said H.A. Hellyer, nonresident fellow at the Brookings Centre for Middle East Policy in Washington.

"But on issues of political reform, legislative reform, or security sector reform, there probably won't be much appetite to affect much change from within this forthcoming parliament."

The House of Representatives is made up of 568 seats, with 448 elected as individuals and 120 through winner-takes-all lists, with quotas for women, Christians and youth. The president may appoint a number of people to the house, not exceeding 5 percent of its makeup.

Some political parties criticise the emphasis on individuals as a throwback to Mubarak-era politics, which often favoured candidates with wealth and family connections.

With Mubarak's National Democratic Party gone, loyalists have scrambled to form alliances to secure Sisi a sizeable bloc of support.

Hardcore Brotherhood supporters are likely to boycott the vote while Egyptians who had backed the group but then became disillusioned with it during Mursi's troubled rule could either vote for other Islamists or pro-Sisi candidates.

The Brotherhood won nearly every election since Mubarak's ouster but has now been driven underground as its leaders face the death penalty or long jail sentences.

Egypt will prepare for elections facing several challenges, including the struggle to revive an economy battered by years of political turmoil following Mubarak's ouster and a stubborn Islamist militant insurgency based in the Sinai.

Those militants, affiliates of the Islamic State group that holds large chunks of Iraq and Syria, have killed hundreds of soldiers and police since Mursi's downfall.

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