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Egypt braces for early presidential polls

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 22:28

Cairo: Egypt`s military leader has told
electoral officials to speed up preparations for presidential
elections after a new eruption of street protests demanding
that the ruling generals move more quickly to hand power to an
elected government.

The military rulers had previously promised to hold
presidential elections for their successor by the end of June.

But Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling
military council, yesterday asked election commission
officials "to quickly finish legal procedures for presidency
nominations," according to Egypt`s state-run news agency MENA.

Election Commission Chief Abdel-Moez Ibrahim said that based on Tantawi`s orders, nominations
for president would be accepted on March 10, a month earlier
than the original date.

He didn`t give a date for elections, but it was an
indication that the vote may be held about a month ahead of

The ruling council pledged "to hand power to an elected
civilian authority in a democratic, transparent and honest

Relations between the pro-democracy movement behind
Egypt`s uprising last year and the ruling generals who took
power from ousted President Hosni Mubarak have grown
increasingly hostile, punctuated by bouts of rioting, clashes
and killings.

The protesters have long called for an immediate transfer
of power to a civilian authority and accuse the generals of
bungling what was supposed to be a transition to democracy.

Egypt has already held parliamentary elections which were the
freest and the fairest in decades and propelled Islamists to


First Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 22:06

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