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Nominations for Egypt's presidency will open in April, Egypt's newly-appointed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mohamed Attia, has revealed.
The constituent assembly that will be elected by the parliament will draft the country's new constitution within a month, before subjecting it to a public referendum, Attia said in statements quoted by state-run Al-Ahram on Sunday.
Presidential elections will by organized following the constitutional referendum, the minister said. A constitutional declaration issued by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in March stipulates that the new parliament will elect a 100-strong assembly to draft the constitution. Egypt's parliamentary elections are slated to end in March.
Attia explained that the constituent assembly will be formed in a joint meeting by both houses of parliament after the end of the parliamentary polls.
According to the interim constitution, the assembly should draft the constitution in a maximum period of six months, and the document will be open for referendum within 15 days after it is written.
In December, the SCAF's advisory council proposed shortening the duration of elections for Egypt's upper house, Shura Council, to end in 22 February instead of 12 March.
In an interview with satellite channel Al-Arabiya, aired on Thursday, the head of the advisory council, Mansour Hassan, said Egypt has experts who can draft a constitution within one week. Hassan told the channel that if the constitution is not concluded on time, presidential elections will be held as scheduled, and the SCAF will hand over power on the first of July.
SCAF head Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi vowed in a speech on 22 November to hand over power to a civilian government before the end of June and after presidential elections.