Experts say presidential elections should precede parliamentary poll

Several legal experts and politicians have suggested that the presidential election be held before the parliamentary poll so no single power can seize parliament to mobilize support for a presidential candidate who serves its agenda.

Failing to proceed in this order would risk returning Egypt to its pre-revolutionary state, they say.

Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, various figures called for the postponement of parliamentary elections until political parties are strong enough to gain people's trust and build popular bases, which would in turn bestow legitimacy on their activities.

Abdel Ghaffar Shokr, a member of the National Association for Change, called for presidential elections within six months and the formation of a technocratic government. The elected president should then oversee a one-year transitional reform program in which freedoms are bolstered, corrupt officials tried, Emergency Law abolished, a new Constitution put in place and laws regulating the formation of parties amended.

Shokr rejected the idea of holding parliamentary elections first. "The only two powers currently capable of competing in the election are the Muslim Brotherhood and businessmen," he said. "This will harm new parties which the youth of the revolution intend to set up."

As existing parties have not yet achieved enough popularity to make considerable electoral gains, parliament is likely to be reproduced with all its former drawbacks.

Ammar Ali Hassan, a professor of political science, added that pushing parliamentary elections back will provide an opportunity for parties to improve communication with the electorate. New political parties may then be formed, which would reshape the political map for the better.

Nabil Abdel Fattah, vice president of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said that only groups with money will achieve wins in parliamentary elections if they are conducted within such a short period.

Abdel Fattah added that these powers would then make political deals to eliminate the roles aspired to by the generation who laid down their lives for the success of the 25 January revolution.

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