Egypt ruling threatens delay in upcoming elections | News | DW | 01.03.2015
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Egypt ruling threatens delay in upcoming elections

Egypt's upcoming elections beginning later in March could be delayed. It comes after a court ruled a clause in the election law that defines voting districts was unconstitutional.

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled on Sunday against a law setting out parliamentary constituencies, saying they did not respect the constitutional principle of equal representation.

"The court ruled that Article 3 in Presidential Decree Law 202 for 2014 on dividing constituencies in the parliamentary election ... was unconstitutional," Judge Anwar al-Asy said.

The decision could be used as ground for delaying parliamentary elections due to start later this month and continue until May. The administrative court will now decide whether to formally rule on whether the election will be delayed.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012, when the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the lower chamber was not constitutionally elected.

This year's polls are the final step in a political roadmap outlined by former army chief - now President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi after he ousted Islamist ex-President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

Egyptian authorities say the elections show a commitment to democracy, but critics say el-Sissi has undermined freedoms gained since the toppling of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

El-Sissi has ordered the election law to be redrafted within a month, and that "legal measures be undertaken to avoid delaying" the election.

Egypt's main election committee said on Sunday it was working on a "new timetable" for the polls.

jr/kms (dpa, Reuters, AFP, AP)

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