Egypt court throws poll timetable into confusion
Cairo, March 6, 2013
An Egyptian court threw the timetable for parliamentary elections due to start in April into confusion on Wednesday, ordering the cancellation of President Mohamed Mursi's decree calling the vote.
The Administrative Court referred Egypt's amended electoral law, under which the controversial lower house polls are due to be held, to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review.
Egypt has been torn by political confusion and strife since the 2011 uprising that deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Many opposition parties had announced they would boycott the vote, which had been due to be held in four stages from April 22 until late June.
The presidency made no immediate comment.
The court made its ruling on technical grounds, saying in a statement that the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament, had not returned the amended electoral law to the Supreme Constitutional Court for final review before passing it.
Egyptian courts have made a number of rulings that have gone against Mursi and his ruling Muslim Brotherhood. The previous Islamist-dominated lower house was dissolved by a court ruling that struck down the original electoral law under which the chamber had been elected.
Political science professor Mustapha Al-Sayyid said a delay to the elections was likely as the case bounced between differing courts.
"Of course the government will appeal but eventually, judging by previous experience, the higher court will rule to postpone the vote until the Constitutional Court sees the amended electoral law, which should have happened in the first place," he said.
Mursi called the elections on Feb 21 and had already changed the starting date to avoid making members of the Christian minority vote during their Easter festival. - Reuters