Egypt to hold presidential vote first before parliamentary polls
Egypt to hold presidential vote first before parliamentary polls

Egyptian government is likely to call a presidential election before parliamentary polls, ,rearranging the political timetable in a way that could see army chief General "Abdel Fattah al-Sisi" elected head of state by April.

Parliamentary elections were supposed to happen first under the roadmap unveiled after the army deposed Mohamed Mursi in July after mass protests against his rule.

But critics have campaigned for a change, saying the country needs an elected leader to direct government at a time of economic and political crisis and to forge a political alliance before a potentially divisive parliamentary election.

A draft constitution concluded on Dec. 1 opened the way for a change in the order of the elections by leaving open the question of which should come first.

Secular-leaning politicians who want the presidential election before the parliamentary polls lobbied interim head of state "Adly Mansour" during four recent meetings.

An army official said that "presidential elections are most likely to be held first, as it seems to be the demand of most parties so far."

In an interview broadcast late on Sunday, interim Prime Minister "Hazem el-Beblawi" sidestepped a question on whether the presidential election would be held ahead of the parliamentary vote, saying the focus should be on the forthcoming referendum.

The referendum has been set for Jan. 14-15.

The draft says steps towards holding the first of the elections should be begin no later than 90 days from the ratification of the constitution. Mansour said on Sunday the government was committed to holding both presidential and parliamentary elections within six months of its approval.

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