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Egypt sets October election date, after 3 years without parliament

AFP | File photo of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egypt will hold a long-awaited parliamentary election in two phases starting Oct. 18-19, the election commission said on Sunday, the final step of a roadmap to democracy that critics say has been tainted by a crackdown on dissent.

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The first phase of voting was due to begin in March but the election was delayed after a court ruled part of an election law unconstitutional.

The second phase of voting will take place on Nov. 22-23, the election commission told a news conference.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, reversing a major accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Then military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who went on to become president, toppled Egypt’s first freely elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The army then announced a roadmap to democracy in Egypt, the most populous Arab state and close ally of Western powers.

That announcement was followed by the toughest crackdown on Islamists in Egypt’s history. Security forces killed hundreds at street protests and thousands were arrested.

The government says the election is proof of Egypt’s commitment to democracy.

(REUTERS)

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