Egypt to hold early presidential elections

The Egyptian government announced Sunday a change to the country's electoral schedule that advances presidential elections ahead of parliamentary elections, a move that may expand the legislative powers of the presidency.
Posted By JC Finley  |  Jan. 27, 2014 at 1:19 PM
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CAIRO, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour announced an electoral schedule change in a televised speech on Sunday, declaring that the presidential election will be held in mid-April, before the parliamentary elections.

The Egyptian military had originally planned for parliamentary elections to precede the presidential vote. Mansour explained the decision to amend the election schedule, saying "I had previously held a series of sessions for dialogue with some of the major political stakeholders and representatives of the different political groups which indicated a majority in favor of holding presidential elections first."

The schedule change could grant the new president expanded legislative authority as he would be in a position to leverage lawmakers and potentially voters. It would also likely allow current government officials to remain in power.

Deputy Prime Minister General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has indicated his intent to run for president.

In mid-January, Egypt held a constitutional referendum that garnered criticism from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for the country's "polarized political environment" and the government's lack of inclusiveness throughout the drafting process, "arrests of those campaigning against the constitution," and procedural irregularities at the polls.

The election schedule change was announced the day after the third anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution. On Saturday, 50 people were killed and more than 250 injured when protesters clashed with security officials.

[CNN] [Los Angeles Times]

Topics: John Kerry, Fatah
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