More election details emerge
The Supreme Military Council has outlined more details of the forthcoming elections in a press conference held yesterday. The new information includes:
• By 30th September the nomination of candidates, campaigning, agreeing voter registration lists and defining constituencies will have started
• Voting will be over three rounds, with 15 days between each round and voting will be for both houses of the parliament on the same days
• It will be a mixed system of a national party list and single-seat constituencies on a first past the post basis within districts as yet undefined
• Fifty percent of seats will be reserved for farmers and workers, but the women’s quota introduced by ex president Hosni Mubarak will be removed.
• They will not invite international observers, but independent Egyptian human rights groups and others will be free to observe.
• The Defence Minister will retain the previously held right of the president to nominate ten of the 514 members of the lower house. The previous right of the president to nominate a third of the members of the upper house will not be retained.
Meanwhile the government has delayed the swearing in of the new ministers nominated by interim prime minister, Essam Sharaf, on Monday. He was taken to hospital apparently suffering from exhaustion, whilst protesters have complained about the appointment of the new antiquities minister and the failure to replace the interior and justice ministers, both of whom are seen to have been closely associated with the ex president.