Egypt to hold presidential poll first amid security concerns

Egypt to hold presidential poll first amid security concerns
Sun Jan 26, 2014 17:45:35

Egypt's interim president says country’s presidential elections is going to be held before parliamentary polls, promising that a rise in "dark terrorism" won't derail a transition to democracy.

According to Egypt's newly adopted constitution, those elections are to be held before the end of April, with the parliamentary polls held before end of July.

In a brief televised speech on Sunday, Interim President Adly Mansour said he will ask the election commission to open the door for presidential candidates to register as stipulated in the constitution.

The comments were made as Egypt is struggling to ease tensions following a July 3 military overthrow of country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

Ecstatic crowds gathered across the country Saturday in government-sponsored rallies marking the third anniversary of the start of Egypt's 2011 revolution.

Egypt remains divided, as seen by the widespread clashes that struck across the country Saturday as well.

Egyptian officials said Sunday that the death toll from the recent clashes has reached 49. Three soldiers were also killed in an attack Sunday in the lawless Sinai Peninsula, the state news agency reported.

The July 3 coup toppled Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood-backed government. A Brotherhood-led coalition has held near-daily protests since his ouster, demanding Morsi be reinstated. The protests have often devolved into violence.

"These terrorist attacks aim to break the will of Egyptians," Mansour said. "I tell those terrorists your despicable acts will not realize their goals."
He vowed that the government will fight the violence "relentlessly" and "mercilessly."

Mansour also said he appealed to the prosecutors to review the cases of detainees held without charges from protests, including university students, to ensure that those held for no reasons are released.

Thousands are believed to be locked up following an intense government crackdown on pro-Morsi protests.


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