Egypt Independent

Commission sources: Parliamentary elections within 7 months at least

Long-awaited parliament elections are not to be held before May 2015, according to sources at the High Elections Commission, who said the panel was going to convene Monday to discuss its latest preparations for the polls.
According to the political roadmap declared after former president Mohamed Morsy's ouster in July 2013, parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held before the end of 2014. The presidency had reiterated its commitment to that procedure.
But the delay in declaring the timetable for elections raised ire among democracy activists and some politicians who decried it as a violation of the roadmap.
The HEC source, who asked not to be named, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the delay in adopting the map of constituencies affects the commission’s ability to set a date for the vote. “We can not set the timetable without opening the door for nominations, which cannot also be done without adopting the law defining constituencies,” he said.
The commission is studying the possibility of running the polls over three or four stages due to the security situation, the source said. “In that case, we would need for months at least to end the vote all over the republic,” he explained. At least ten days are needed to receive candidacy applications, five days to make the initial candidates’ lists and 15 days for challenges to nominations, the official added.
The long period suggested for the polls would not represent a problem as long as the process runs transparently and in a secure environment, the source argued, adding that local and international groups are welcome to monitor the vote as long as they comply with the set conditions.
The commission is currently filtering voters registers and has formed committees tasked with reviewing candidacy applications, the source revealed.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm