Egypt’s Morsi Sets Date for Elections, Sparking Condemnation

Opposition Says Elections Are Unacceptable

by Jason Ditz, February 22, 2013

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has announced that parliamentary elections will begin in April 27, the first election since the approval of the constitution. The election will, as with past ones, take a staggered regional approach, and won’t be completed until late June.

Opposition parties were quick to issue a condemnation of the plan, saying that any elections at all are unacceptable until Morsi accepts demands to include them in an interim cabinet. Morsi has declined to appoint any cabinet at all until there are actual elections behind it, saying the new government needs the “legitimacy of the ballot box” after the Mubarak regime’s rule.

Egypt’s military has recently been condemning Morsi more often, and concerns that they may soon launch a coup likely fueled the rush to elections, though Morsi has so many opponents these days that either a decision to hold them or delay them was bound to provoke condemnation.

The last parliamentary election saw Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) winning a large plurality, but that parliament was disbanded by the junta almost immediately thereafter. With a constitution in place, the next vote seems like it will count, assuming the military doesn’t seize power outright, and the FJP is expected to once again do well, though the opposition does seem better organized now than they were in the last vote.

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