Egypt to have new elections in October

Voting machine
Cairo, Jul 21: Egypt will go for new general elections in October, the country's military council has announced, but has barred international monitors to observe the upcoming polls, designed to move the nation back to civilian rule.

The Council said that preparations for the elections to the Lower and Upper Houses would be completed by September and voting will begin "30 days later" in three stages, Al Arabiya news channel reported.

"The exact poll dates for the Parliamentary elections, the first since January 25 uprising, would be announced after September 18," General Mamdouh Shaheen, a ruling Council member told reporters here.

The General who outlined the new poll laws said barring foreign monitors was necessary step to protect Egypt's sovereignty, a decision which was swiftly criticised by thousands of activists staging a renewed sit-in at the Tahrir Square, who said it would raise doubts about the transparency of the process.

"We have nothing to hide," the General claimed, but we reject anything that affects our sovereignty.

The Military Council member said the country's judiciary would instead observe the poll process. The elections were scheduled to be held in September but were delayed to allow political parties more time to prepare.

The General announced that the elections would be held in three stages with 15 days between each round and would be based on a mixed system combining a party list and single seat system. 


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