According to reports, Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi has decided to reschedule the dates of upcoming parliamentary elections for the new People's Assembly to April 22-23, after Coptic members in the Shura Council had objected the planned timing as some voting would take place during their holy Easter celebrations on May 5.
Ahmed Fahmy, the speaker of the Shura Council, informed lawmakers that the president had signed a new decree to bring forward the start of the country's parliamentary elections.
According to the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, the presidential spokesman said on his Facebook page Saturday that the polls would take place in four regional stages:
- The first round April 22-23
- The second round will be held May 11-12
- The third round, May 28-29
- The final round, June 15 -16.
Egyptian state media MENA reported Thursday that the Shura Council (the upper house of Egyptian bicameral Parliament) adopted an electoral law that was amended by High Constitutional Court (HCC) and referred it to President Mohamed Morsi for ratification.
It is worth mentioning that the elections for the parliamentary elections of People's Assembly (the lower house of parliament) should be held within 60 days after the ratification of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, liberal politician and top opposition figure called Saturday for a boycott of Egypt's upcoming parliamentary elections.
He wrote on his Twitter account: "I called for parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat, my call will not be part of an act of deception."
In an attempt to counteract this call, the vice president of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), formerly headed by Morsi, Essam El-Erian wrote on his Facebook page that “running away from elections only means that some want to assume the executive authority without a democratic mandate.”
In an apparent response to El-Erian’s comments Amr Mussa, the ex-head of the Arab League and member of Egypt’s key opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front (NSF), said on his Facebook page, "There is a large group that wants a boycott, but it has not yet been discussed, and no decision has been taken.”
In another context, The Guardian reported that despite the country's collapsing economy and frequent calls to Morsi’s government to spend money to aid the poor population, Egypt's Interior Ministry spent $2.5 million in January 2013 to urgently buy US tear gas to break up anti-regime protests that began in November, after Morsi adopted now-repealed powers that shielded his decisions from judicial review.
According to Major General Osama Ismail of the Interior Ministry letters to the Egyptian Ministry of Defense: “Due to the company’s failure in importing the shipment, citing the difficult procedures governing importing from abroad, and the Interior Ministry's urgent need [for tear gas], we thought we would write to you to take the necessary steps to approve transferring the shipment on board of a military jet from the US to Egypt. Al-Guindy Company is willing to pay for the shipping costs.”
The Muslim Brotherhood will win the upcoming elections despite the Egyptian opposition's strength, as unfortunately Egypt is like most Arab and Islamic countries – its people don’t have an independent ruling decision for their country. There are those who have interests in Egypt and have found that at this stage, which we do not know how long it will last, the Muslim Brotherhood, whether in Egypt, Gaza or Tunisia, is protecting their interests.
Egyptian people should accept this fact as long as there is an economic deficit, which forces them to depend on financial and military aid from abroad. It is obvious that this aid will not be for free. This reality applies on most countries of the Third World.