[QODLink]
Middle East

Morsi brings forward Egypt general election

President's decision follows appeal from Coptic Christians as opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei calls for boycott.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2013 05:43
ElBaradei's call appeared to reflect confusion within the opposition National Salvation Front [AFP]

President Mohamed Morsi has brought forward the start of the country's parliamentary elections to April 22 after members of the Coptic Christian minority criticised the planned timing of the polls.

The first round of voting in Cairo and four other provinces had been scheduled for 27 April, which would have seen some voting take place during the Easter holiday.

Opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei called for a boycott of parliamentary elections, saying he refused to take part in "an act of deception".

"Today I repeat my call, [I] will not be part of an act of deception," ElBaradei, a former UN nuclear agency chief and a Nobel Laureate, said on his Twitter account.

ElBaradei said that he had called in 2010 for a similar boycott of polls held under Mubarak, who was toppled the following year.

Wide participation

The Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Morsi, dismissed suggestions that the elections, to be held in four stages from April to June, would lack credibility.

Follow spotlight coverage of the struggling young democracy

Essam Erian, senior member of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, said the polls would be carried out under "complete judicial supervision" as well as being followed by Egyptian, regional and international media.

Voting would also be monitored by Egyptian and foreign civil society and human rights organisations, he said on his Facebook page, adding that he expected wide participation.

ElBaradei's call appeared to reflect confusion within the National Salvation Front (NSF), which groups a number of parties opposed to the Islamists - including his own Constitution Party.

On Friday NSF spokesman Khaled Dawood said the front would meet in the coming week to decide whether to participate.

Previous opposition boycott threats have failed to materialise.

282

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.