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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Egypt's Supreme Electoral Committee to set a timetable for the parliamentary elections

Egyptian Parliament
(Image: Egyptian Streets)
Egyptian Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC), a judicial body comprised of seven members in charge of supervising the upcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt, announced it is ready to set a timetable for the polls during the press conference to be held on Sunday, 30 August.

According to the SEC's official statement released on Thursday, 27 August, the Committee Chairman Ayman Abbas will announce the dates of the elections during this press conference.

In addition to that SEC  also gives the details regarding the beginning and end of registration of candidates running for this year's parliamentary polls, the details and time of the election campaigning and the timetable for the vote itself, both in Egypt and in Egyptian embassies abroad as well.

Mr. Abbas also declared that all the details regarding the issue of the candidates' registration including necessary documentation and health check papers will be also announced during the Sunday's press conference.

The timetable for the election is announced after final consultations with the relevant ministries, including Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense, which are in charge of securing the parliamentary polls to be held under very complicated security circumstances.

Registration of candidates will begin in 12 or 13 September and will last for ten days, closing ahead of Islamic Holiday Eid Al-Adha which is expected to take place on 25 September this year.

The parliamentary elections will be held in two stages. The first stage of the polls will be held on 17-18 October for Egyptians living abroad and on 18-19 October for Egyptians living inside the country, and will include 14 Egyptian governorates. The elections campaign for the first stage is expected to start on 1 October and close before 17 October. The second stage of election will include 13 other governorates and will take place on 21-22 November for Egyptians abroad and on 22-23 November for Egyptians living inside the country. The election process itself will probably take up to two months, according to the reports.

The SEC's official spokesperson Omar Marawan stated that the Committee's readiness to announce the timetable for the long awaited parliamentary elections at the end of August signalizes the first phase of preparations for the vote is finalized. All the election laws were passed and ratified. The process of issuing permits for the civil rights organizations and NGOs monitoring the election's process and obtaining accreditation for covering the polls for the local and foreign journalists are also underway, according to Mr. Marawan.

Egyptian political parties and forces in their turn generally welcomed the announcement of the election timetable and the details of the registration and election's process, despite the numerous disagreements between many local political forces.

Egypt was waiting for the parliamentary elections since the ouster of the Islamist backed President Mohamed Morsi back in 2013, and the Parliament's election is the third stage of the political roadmap adopted by the current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

It's worth mentioning also that these elections are seen to be of a great importance for Egyptian state and society, as they will be held after two major revolutions that shook Egyptian state, and in addition to that these polls will be held without two biggest and most influential political powers of Egypt: the Mubarak-era NDP (National Democratic Party) and the Muslim Brotherhood's FJP (Freedom and Justice Party). The first party consisted of numerous businessmen and oligarchs who mixed politics with their economic interests, while the second party mixed the politics with religion.

As for the NDP, it was dissolved after the regime of Hosni Mubarak fell, but its members still can run for the Parliament seats as individuals or members of other parties in case if they were not convicted for corruption charges. Muslim Brotherhood in its turn including its political wing FJP was designated a terrorist organization in Egypt after fall of Mohamed Morsi' rule in summer 2013, the group's and party's activities were banned, while thousands of its members including the leading figures are currently imprisoned and facing trials.