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When Will the Egyptian Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Be Held?

Posted on the 15 September 2011 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman
The million dollar question is when will elections be held in Egypt? The short answer is that it is not yet clear.
Presidential hopefuls, including Mohammed El Baradei have asked that the SCAF hold the upcoming Presidential elections in February. Seven presidential candidates met on Tuesday.
Al Masry al Youm reports
Presidential hopefuls Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa, Mohamed Selim al-Awa, Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Hazem Abu Ismail took part in the meeting, in addition to Hesham el-Bastawisi, who participated via telephone from abroad. Presidential Hopefuls Demand Elections be held in February 
On September 14, the SCAF said that it is willing to amend the law on parliamentary elections currently scheduled for November. The Egyptian parliament is composed of two houses: The People's Assembly and the Shura. However, it says that 50 percent of seats should go to workers, and 50 percent to farmers. This is interesting, because who will decide and define who workers are and who farmers are.
In July, the SCAF passed a law suggesting that half the parliament should be elected on an individual basis and half the parliament should be elected on a proportional closed list basis. The press says that the "Military council passed a law." However, in the absence of a parliament, perhaps the correct terminology should be that the "military council issued a decree."
In August, Egypt's High Election Commission formed six subcommittees to manage the oversight of parliamentary elections. These subcommittees are in charge of 1) voting and balloting stations 2) voters lists including names and IDs 3) candidates campaign logos 4) investigating and addressing elections related complaints 5) the participation of election observers 6) rules regulating electoral propaganda.
The Muslim Brotherhood, however, does not want any delays. They say that the legitimacy of the transitional period will end on September 27th.
However, many analysts say that the MB, Islamists, and the remnants of the old regime wish to have elections as soon as possible, because there forces are more organized. The sooner elections are held, the better the MB and NDP will do. Later elections will assist the secular groups, and leftists. The risk, however, is that delaying elections will result in no elections.  Further, by delaying elections, the SCAF is left in place, which increases the period of time during which Egypt is ruled by a military junta.
Meanwhile, in another ominous portent, Al Jazeera's Mubashr Misr channel has been shut down and new satellite channels will not be authorized. Without a free media, it is difficult to hold a free and fair election. Some analysts worry that this media crackdown is an effort to prevent coverage of vote-rigging and other anti-democratic practices.

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