Egypt, on Sunday announced that its long-awaited parliamentary elections will take place in two stages in October and November.
Head of the Supreme Election Committee, Ayman Abbas, said that half the country’s 27 governorates will vote on Oct. 18-19. The second stage will take place for the remaining governorates on Nov. 22-23.
Also, Voters outside Egypt for the first stage will cast ballots on Oct. 17-18, and the rest on Nov. 21-22. The period for candidates to register opens Sept. 1 and lasts 12 days.
Speaking at a news conference in Cairo, Abbas said that the first stage of the vote would be for the governorates of Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, el-Wadi el-Gadid, Sohag, Qena, Aswan, Red Sea, Luxor, Alexandria, Beheira and Marsa Matrouh.
The second stage would encompass Cairo, Qalioubiya, Dakahliya, Menoufiya, Gharbiya, Kafr el-Shiekh, Sharqiya, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai and South Sinai.
For about three years now, Egypt has been without a legislature. In its absence, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi held legislative authority and has passed dozens of laws by decree in just over a year of his tenure.
Parliamentary elections were supposed to be held in March, but was suspended after a court ruled that part of the election law was unconstitutional.
Last July, El-Sissi endorsed an amended law defining voting districts, which political groups and rights defenders said was steered by security concerns and ignored demands of Egypt’s budding political groups seeking smaller districts to enable them to compete.
The upcoming elections will be the first since El-Sissi was elected to office after overthrowing Islamist President Muhammed Morsi in a 2013 coup d’état.