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Egyptians to vote for parliament in October

The polls had initially been scheduled for early 2014 but were repeatedly delayed on legal grounds

Published: Updated:

Egypt’s legislative elections, the first since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office, are to be contested in phases between October 17 and December 2, the electoral commission announced on Sunday.

The polls had initially been scheduled for early 2014 but were repeatedly delayed on legal grounds amid charges from rights groups of repressive measures by Sisi’s regime which has cracked down on the Islamist opposition.

In a complex electoral system for the 568-member parliament, a sector of the electorate living abroad will vote on October 17, followed on the following two days by voters in 14 of the country’s 27 provinces.

Runoffs in the same constituencies will be held on October 26, 27 and 28.

Remaining voters abroad and inside the Arab world’s most populous country will take part in a first round on November 21, 22 and 23, followed by runoffs on November 30, December 1 and 2.

The polls are to start more than two years after the military under Sisi, who was then army chief and won a presidential election last year, toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, whose now-banned Muslim Brotherhood had swept Egypt’s last legislative vote in late 2011.

The constitutional court had ruled in March that part of the electoral law was unconstitutional, prompting the latest delay before the electoral commission started work on setting new dates.

Lawyers who appealed against the law said it did not divide districts in a way that would adequately represent voters.

After Morsi’s ouster, Sisi announced plans for a new constitution, to be followed by presidential and parliamentary elections.

A new charter was adopted in January 2014 and Sisi was elected president in May of last year.

ht-gir/hc/srm
DATELINE:*Cairo, Aug 30, 2015 (AFP) -