الإثنين , يونيو 15 2020

Court ruling jeopardises Egypt poll

Egypt parliament (file)Egypt’s Islamist-dominated House of Representatives was dissolved in 2012

Egypt’s Supreme Court has ruled part of an election law unconstitutional, possibly delaying parliamentary polls which begin this month.

The ruling referred to sections of the law on division of electoral districts.

President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi ordered the law to be redrafted within a month.

Egypt’s main parliament chamber was dissolved in 2012. The elections are the final step of a transitional roadmap following the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi.

They are scheduled to be held several stages, starting 22-23 March.

Former army chief Gen Sisi was elected president in May 2014.

Mr Sisi approved a constituencies law in December creating 567 parliamentary seats, 420 of which would be contested by individual candidates, 120 allocated according to party lists and 27 assigned by the president.

His supporters are expected to dominate the new chamber.

President Sisi in presidential palace - 23 FebruaryMr Sisi has called for a prompt redrafting of the law

But lawyers who appealed against the law told AFP news agency that in its current form it did not adequately represent the electorate.

A statement from the Higher Electoral Commission is expected but an official told the private CBC channel that the vote would be delayed until it had reviewed the law.

Later a statement by Mr Sisi’s office said that he had ordered the redrafting of the law, demanding that “legal measures be undertaken to avoid delaying” the elections.

Crackdown on Islamists

The first two steps of the roadmap were the adoption of a new constitution in January 2014 and Mr Sisi’s election.

The previous House of Representatives was dominated by supporters of Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, but since his overthrow the military has launched a crackdown on the Islamist movement that has left more than 1,500 people dead and more than 16,000 in detention.

Its powers were transferred to the consultative Shura Council pending fresh elections, but Mr Morsi was ousted before they could be held.

The Shura Council was then dissolved by the interim authorities before the new constitution did away with it altogether. Since then, the president has held all legislative powers.

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