Egypt to hold presidential polls in summer: Minister

Egypt to hold presidential polls in summer: Minister
Fri Nov 8, 2013 19:01:48

Interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said on Friday that Egypt would hold parliamentary elections between February and March, followed by presidential polls in early summer.

Fahmy said that the political arm of ousted President Mohamed Mursi's banned Muslim Brotherhood could take part.

Fahmy's comments provided the most specific timeline yet for the end of the interim army-backed government and a return to electoral politics in the Arab world's most populous country, which since Mursi's ouster on July 3 has seen some of the worst violence in its modern history.

Fahmy told Reuters in an interview that the Freedom and Justice Party, political arm of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, "is still legal in Egypt" and free to participate in the parliamentary election.

The Brotherhood failed in an attempt on Wednesday to overturn a court ruling banning it.

Mursi himself is on trial on charges of inciting violence during his rule.

Speaking during a visit to Spain, he said presidential elections would be announced "by the end of next spring" and that the elections would be held "a maximum of two months after the announcement."

"So you're looking at elections in the summer for president, that's the last step," he said.

He had said in September that the transitional phase of government should end "by next spring," though he did not give specific dates at that time.

The elections will come after a referendum on a new constitution, which Fahmy said would be held in December.

A 50-member committee is working on amending a constitution that was drafted under Mursi by an Islamist-dominated assembly.

Since July, the army-backed government has carried out a security crackdown on Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood. Its leaders are behind bars, as are more than 2,000 of its members and supporters.


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