Egypt's interim president to decide on voting system

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 27, 2013 4:00 PM
Egypt's interim president to decide on voting system

CAIRO (Reuters) - An assembly amending Egypt's constitution has left it to the army-backed interim president to decide on the voting system to be used in a parliamentary poll next year, state news agency MENA said on Wednesday.

Egypt's political transition has stumbled since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011. In July the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after big protests against him.

A referendum on the amended constitution is due in December, an important step in the interim government's roadmap that it says will lead to parliamentary and presidential elections.

The voting system to be used in the legislative election is a political hot potato. Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood triumphed in the last poll in late 2011-early 2012 under a hybrid system in which two thirds of the seats were allotted proportionally to party lists and one third to individual candidates.

MENA said the 50-member drafting committee had recommended reversing these proportions, but had left it to interim President Adly Mansour to "choose what he sees as suitable".

Mohamed Abul Ghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and a member of the drafting body, told Reuters this week that a party list system would make it easier for liberal and leftist parties formed after the 2011 uprising to gain seats.

The authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood, which came top in every post-Mubarak national vote. It may be allowed to contest the next election via its Freedom and Justice Party or individual candidates, but it is not clear if it will do so.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelatti; Editing by Alistair Lyon)