Egypt’s Interim Leader Sets New Election Timetable

Egypt’s interim leader has called for parliamentary elections by early 2014. The timetable was set by a declaration issued Monday by Adly Mansour.

The declaration includes a road map for amending the country’s constitution and calling for the formation of two committees. The groups will suggest changes to the constitution, which is currently suspended.

The constitution is the same one that was passed a little over six months ago under ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The new constitution will see a referendum vote in roughly five months, according to Mansour’s declaration.

Included in the first committee will be 10 judges, including some from the Egypt high constitutional court, along with several professors of constitutional law. That will be followed by a committee involving members who represent different aspects of Egyptian society. They will discuss and prepare a final draft, which will be put before the people for a vote.

The declaration was published on Monday by the Al-Ahram newspaper, which reported that the second committee “will represent political parties, intellectuals, workers, farmers, syndicates, national councils, Al-Azhar, Egyptian church,” and several more.

The declaration about Egypt elections comes less than a day after the Egyptian military killed 51 supporters of Mohammed Morsi and his political party, the Muslim Brotherhood. The supporters were holding a sit-in outside Cairo’s Republican Guard headquarters, where Morsi is rumored to be held.

Both sides blamed the other over the incident, with the army saying it fired bullets to stop protesters from climbing the fences of the headquarters. The violence came around 4 am local time as the supporters were having their morning prayers.

The declaration also means that Mansour will remain interim president for almost a year, as the new parliament will set new presidential elections within one week after it convenes. The earliest a new president would be elected in Egypt is at least March of 2014, if not after.

While the timetable for Egypt elections has been set, the United States is considering whether or not to halt foreign aid to the Middle Eastern nation.