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Egypt lays out election calendar

March 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

CAIRO, March 30 (UPI) -- Elections for a new president in Egypt are scheduled to occur no later than November, the ruling military council in Cairo announced Wednesday.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced Monday the country would have parliamentary elections in September. It didn't announce a date for the presidential contest, however

Roughly 40 percent of the eligible voting population in Egypt turned out to vote in a constitutional referendum meant to pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections this year. The amendments impose term limits on the president and give the judiciary more oversight powers in an election.

The military council announced Wednesday that an interim constitution would be the law of the land until lawmakers draw up a permanent document. Presidential elections in the country are scheduled for no later than November, Bloomberg News reports.

Military authorities said if a president was elected before rank-and-file lawmakers, the new leader could define the structure of state institutions and act as "a new dictator."

Opponents argue that having parliamentary elections first would give groups like the National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood an upper hand in Egyptian politics.

The military council took control of the country after Hosni Mubarak resigned as president Feb. 11 following weeks of anti-government protests.

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