Cairo: Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has preponed the first post-constitution parliamentary elections to be held from April with the dates clashing with the Easter holidays, even as a leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei called for a boycott of the polls.
Egypt`s parliamentary elections, previously scheduled to begin on April 27, have been brought forward to start on April 22, according to a statement issued by the presidency yesterday amid calls for boycott.
The decision came after members of Egypt`s Coptic Christian minority had criticised the planned timing of the elections because some voting would take place during their Easter holiday, Ahram online reported.
The change in schedule entailed date changes in all four stages of the anticipated elections.
The first round of voting will be held on April 22 and 23. The second round will be held on May 11 and 12 in Giza. The third round of voting will be held on May 28 and 29.
The final round is scheduled to take place on June 15 and 16.
Mursi announced the initial election plan on Thursday amid support from Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the group he hails from.
Opposition forces, on the other hand, have been complaining they were sidelined in talks over setting elections laws and time frame.
ElBaradei, prominent critic of Mursi and founding member of the main opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front (NSF), called early yesterday to boycott the elections, saying he will not be "part of an act of deception."
"[I] called for parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat my call, will not be part of an act of deception," ElBaradei wrote on Twitter.
However, some within ElBaradei`s opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF), criticised his decision, saying it was too hasty.