World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt brought forward the start of parliamentary elections to April 22 on Saturday to meet a demand by the Christian minority, who said the original schedule would conflict with their Easter celebrations.
This should satisfy Coptic Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population. Mohamed ElBaradei, saying he would boycott the polls.
The decision by President Mohamed Mursi to start the four-stage vote five days earlier than scheduled was announced by his spokesman on Facebook.
Mursi called the lower house elections on Thursday, aiming to conclude Egypt's turbulent transition to democracy.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Mursi, rejected any call to boycott the voting which has been scheduled in four stages from April 27 to June. Essam Erian, a senior member of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, said the polls would be carried out under "complete judicial supervision" as well as being followed by Egyptian, regional and international media.
Voting would be monitored by Egyptian and foreign civil society and human rights organisations, he said on his Facebook page, adding that he expected wide participation.
The National Salvation Front (NSF), which groups a number of parties opposed to the Islamists including ElBaradei's, is due to decide in the coming week whether to join a boycott.
"This is Dr. ElBaradei's own position and own opinion," said NSF spokesman Khaled Dawood, but he added that other NSF leaders were sympathetic to the idea of a boycott.
"This is yet another individual move by the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mursi, establishing facts on the ground and then asking you to basically go with the rules of the game they've set on their own," he said.Last Mod: 24 Şubat 2013, 15:19