Egypt to Hold Early Presidential Election

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Egypt's Interim President Adly Mansour announced that the country will hold a presidential election before parliamentary polls, changing a political "road map" laid down after the army overthrew Mohamed Mursi last summer.

Egypt to Hold Early Presidential Election

The long-expected change could pave the way for the swift election of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the popular defence minister who many expect will run for the presidency. The "road map" had called for parliamentary elections first, but many of Egypt’s political parties said they would not be ready for a legislative vote this spring.

"Most of the political forces demanded presidential elections first," Mansour said in a televised address, "and I have amended the road map to meet their demands."

The president did not announce a date for the vote, a job that falls to the High Elections Commission. It must be held no less than 90 days after the constitution was adopted, which will require a ballot before mid-April, Al Jazeera reported.

Mansour also said he would increase the number of courts dealing with terrorism charges, to “bring perpetrators to justice swiftly.” Security in Egypt has deteriorated since Mursi’s removal, with bombings now a regular occurrence in Cairo and other major cities.

His comments came after the government announced that 49 people were killed on Saturday in violence that erupted on the third anniversary of the popular uprising which toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Nearly 250 people were wounded in Cairo and several other provinces during the demonstrations, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

The worst violence was directed at supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Mursi, who staged dozens of rallies across the country.

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