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Egypt parliament vote may take place in Nov: Source

world Updated: Jul 13, 2011 14:40 IST

Reuters
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Egypt's parliamentary election may not be held until November, about two months later than suggested, an army source said on Wednesday after some political groups have called for voting to be delayed.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organised group, is widely seen as best prepared to benefit from a swifter vote.

Other political groups, including liberal movements, which have been racing to form parties since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from the presidency in February, have said a delay would help broader participation.

The army source said registration of candidates would start in September, which he said meant the army was sticking to its commitment to start the hand over of power to civilians then.

"Procedures for a parliamentary election will begin in September, possibly the middle of the month. That will involve registration of candidates," the army source said.

"Then there will be a campaigning period, after which an election will be held," he said.

"This could take the voting till after September, possibly November."

Another military source said that according to the military's constitutional agenda "procedures" for the vote had to start in September although this did not necessarily mean the vote would happen then.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said in July the election would be held in late September, although in June he had indicated he backed a delay because it would allow more groups to organise.

"Having elections in November would certainly offer nascent parties more time to prepare for the election race. At least now we have more time to compete with already established groups," said Mohamed Anis, a founding member of the new Justice Party.

The military has suggested the voting date may be pushed back but this is the first time it has indicated by how long.

"I have said before, and may be people have not been understanding this correctly, that procedures for the election have to start before the end of September, but not necessarily the voting itself," General Mamdouh Shahin said.

He was speaking at a news conference on Tuesday called after protests that have increasingly focused on the military council which has run Egypt since Mubarak was ousted on Feb. 11.
Protesters have been camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square since Friday, when there was a demonstration demanding swifter trials for Mubarak and his allies accused of corruption and the killing of protesters during the uprising.

More than 840 people were killed in the 18-days of protests that unseated Mubarak after police used live ammunition, rubber bullets and batons.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which has formed a political party to compete in the vote, was banned under Mubarak and its members routinely detained without charge.

But it was still given enough space to build a broad network of supporters through its social and charity work. It also skirted a ban on running for parliament by fielding candidates as independents. It won 20 percent of seats in a 2005 race.