[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list