Earlier this month, Egyptians voted overwhelmingly in favour of constitutional amendments [AFP]

Egypt's first parliamentary election since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak will be held in September, and the country will lift emergency laws before the vote, a top military officer said.

"The legislative elections will be held in September," Mamdouh Shaheen, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said on Monday.

"We have said before that parliamentary or presidential polls will not be held while emergency law is still in force," he added.

The legislative election date means parties that were crushed under Mubarak's rule have some five months to
prepare for the first free parliamentary polls in decades.

The military council has ruled Egypt since Mubarak was toppled from power on February 11, following mass protests against his rule.

The council plans to relinquish power to a civilian government once a presidential election is held. But no date has yet been decided for a presidential vote, Shaheen said, without elaborating further.

The military council also approved a law that eases restrictions on the formation of political parties.

Shaheen said new parties would need the approval of 5,000 members from at least 10 of Egypt's 29 provinces.

Earlier this month, Egyptians voted overwhelmingly in favour of constitutional amendments, paving the way for elections this year.

Source: Agencies