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Middle East

Egypt election body scraps voting dates

Electoral commission cancels timetable for parliamentary elections which were set to begin next month, state TV reports.
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2013 21:30
Egypt now lies in electoral limbo, with no election dates at a time when uncertainty is taking a toll on the economy [AP]

Egypt's electoral commission has scrapped a timetable under which voting for the lower house of parliament should have begun next month, state media reported, following a court ruling that threw the entire polling process into confusion.

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Thursday's move comes after a court ruled that the electoral law backed by President Mohamed Morsi needed to be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Egypt now lies in electoral limbo, with no election dates at a time when uncertainty is taking a heavy toll on the economy - the Egyptian pound is falling, foreign currency reserves are sliding and the budget deficit is soaring to an unmanageable
level.

The state news agency MENA said the elections committee had issued its decision to scrap the voting schedule after "the committee saw the details and reasons for the ruling by the Administrative Court announced on Wednesday".

Egypt's turbulent transition to democracy after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak two years ago has been marked by a
number of disputes between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and the judiciary, notably last year when Morsi temporarily gave himself sweeping powers and barred the courts from challenging his decisions.

The four rounds of voting had been due to start on April 22 and last until late June. The old lower house was itself
dissolved after a court ruled against a previous version of the electoral law used to elect it.

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