March: elections in Egypt
babelmed - 15/02/2015
The first stage of voting will take place on March 22-23. Residents from the Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, Wadi al-Gedid, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, the Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira and Matoruh governorates will head to the polls on those dates.
Registered voters from those provinces currently residing abroad will begin voting a day earlier, on March 21-22.
The second stage of voting encompasses Cairo, Qalyubiya, Daqahlia, Monufiya, Gharbiya, Kafr al-Sheikh, Sharqiya, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez and North and South Sinai. Voting for the second phase will roll out on April 26–27, while expats from these governorates can vote on April 25-26.
If needed, runoffs for the first round of voting would be held on April 1–2, and March 31–April 1 for expats.
Runoffs for the second round are scheduled for May 6–7, and May 5–6 for expats.
In the press conference, High Elections Committee head Ayman Abbas declared that Egypt achieved two major feats last year: first, ratifying the Constitution, and second, electing a president. The third and final achievement will be electing a parliament, he said.
State media hailed the announcement, with the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram proclaiming that “the roadmap train” has reached its final stop.
Following former President Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power in July 2013, interim President Adly Mansour issued a constitutional declaration setting a clear time frame for the intended roadmap out of the transitional period.
The roadmap began with the formation of a committee of experts to propose amendments to the 2012 Constitution, and originally ended with the announcement of presidential elections within a maximum period of seven months from the declaration’s issuance.
According to the roadmap, following the ratification of the constitution, the interim president would call for parliamentary elections to be held in a period not less than one month and not more than two months after the referendum. Presidential elections were set to be announced a week after the first parliamentary session was convened.
According to Article 230 of theConstitution, the parliamentary elections should have been held within a period not exceeding six months of the date the Constitution goes into effect.
However, by the time parliamentary elections are finally held, it will have been more than a year since the Constitution was ratified.
Unlike Mansour's decree, the constitutional article did not specify whether the presidential or parliamentary elections should be held first, but it did stipulate that both bodies should be elected within the six-month deadline.
The People's Assembly, or the lower house of Parliament, was dissolved in June 2012 after the Elections Law was ruled unconstitutional.
Further press conferences will be held to announce more details regarding elections monitoring and media coverage, as well as to address any questions, Abbas said.
He added that changes cannot be made in the electoral database unless by court order, and only up to 15 days prior to the elections.