Egypt sets dates for presidential elections | News | DW | 29.02.2012
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Egypt sets dates for presidential elections

Egypt's elections commission has set May 23 and 24 as the date for the country's first presidential election since the fall of Hosni Mubarak. The ruling military council is expected to hand over power to the winner.

Egyptians are to go to the polls to elect a new president on May 23 and 24.

The head of the country's elections commssion made the announcement during a nationally televized press conference in Cairo on Wedesday. Farouk Soltan told reporters that if no candidate wins the first round outright, a run-off election will be held on June 16 and 17. A decision is to be announced by June 21. Soltan said there would be no international monitoring of the polls.

The elections would mark a return to civilian rule for the first time since mass demonstrations forced long-time President Hosni Mubarak to step down just over a year ago.

Extended miltary rule

The military council, which has been running the country since Mubarak was toppled, has also faced a series of street protests demanding that it hand over power to a civilian leader sooner than the end-of-June deadline that it had impose on itself.

The council had originally pledged to hand over power within six months of Mubarak's resignation, but a number of factors contributed to the transitional period being stretched to three times as long.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned during Mubarak's three decades in power, won the elections for both houses of parliament earlier this year, but they have said they would not be nominating a candidate for the post of president. Several other candidates have already thrown their hats into the ring.

pfd/ipj (dpa, AFP, AP)