Egypt postpones parliamentary polls after ruling on election law

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012, when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber. (File: AP)

Egypt’s election commission on Sunday announced a delay in parliamentary polls after a court ruled that a law defining voting districts was unconsitutional.

Shortly after the announcement, the supreme election committee said it is working on a “new timetable” for holding parliamentary election, Reuters news agency reported.

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court had ruled that parts of the law organizing parliamentary elections starting March 21 violate the charter.

Following the ruling, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the law to be redrafted within a month.

Sisi also asked that "legal measures be undertaken to avoid delaying" the election, a statement from his office said.

The administrative court, which rules on state related matters, will now decide whether to formally rule on delaying the election.

The constitutional court said sections of the law dividing the electoral districts were unconstitutional.

Lawyers who appealed against the law had said it failed to divide districts in a way that would adequately represent the electorate.

One of the lawyers told Agence France-Presse that the ruling meant the election will be delayed and the process will start from scratch.

"The election will be delayed and the process will have to start from the beginning," said Mohamed Abdel Wahhab.

Former constitutional court judge Tahany al-Gebaly told Agence France-Presse it was not immediately clear whether the poll would be pushed back or for how long.

The law may be amended in time for the election to start on schedule, but if candidates have to register again it would be delayed, she said.

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

[With AFP and Reuters]
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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