Egypt to hold landmark vote in three stages: army

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 20, 2011 12:24 PM
Egypt to hold landmark vote in three stages: army

CAIRO (Reuters) - Parliamentary elections to smooth Egypt's transition from military to civilian rule will take place in stages to make it easier for monitors to oversee voting, an army general said on Wednesday.

Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) crushed opponents in routinely rigged votes before he was ousted from the presidency in February. A blatantly manipulated election in November last year helped fuel the uprising that toppled him.

The new legislative elections will take place over one month, with voting taking place on different days in three separate regions, General Mahmoud Shaheen told reporters.

Dates for the voting would be announced after September 18 by military decree, he said.

Shaheen said staggering the vote would ensure that judges could monitor polling thoroughly. Voters will cast ballots for both lower and upper houses at the same time and the elections will be held in 120 voting districts.

"The army's role during the elections will be to provide security only. Only the judiciary will monitor," Shaheen said.

(Reporting by Marwa Awad; Writing by Tom Pfeiffer)