Egypt Sets Date for Presidential Election

Egypt sets May 23 and 24 for the first presidential election since Mubarak's ouster. New president to be named June 21.

Elad Benari,

Egyptian parliament
Egyptian parliament

Egypt has set May 23 and 24 for the first presidential election since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

An official said the nation's new president is to be named June 21.

Egypt's ruling military has pledged to turn over power to a civilian government after a new president is chosen, but it has not set a date for the transfer. The military has come under stiff criticism from reformers for its handling of the transition period, which has been scarred by frequent violent protests and continued economic malaise.

The head of Egypt’s Election Commission, Farouk Sultan, told a nationally televised news conference that a 21-day presidential election campaign period would begin April 30, more than a month after candidates can submit their applications for the race.

He added that if necessary, a runoff election would take place on June 16 and 17. If no candidate wins 50 percent of the vote in the first round in May, the top two finishers would face each other in a runoff.

Last week, Egypt released final results in its elections for the upper house of parliament, which began January 29. The results confirmed that the Islamist parties are the biggest winners in the vote and now control both houses of the country’s parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) secured 105 seats in the parliament, which is called the Shura council. The Salafist Al-Nur party took 45 seats, while the liberal Wafd won 14 and the Egyptian Bloc eight. Another eight seats went to smaller factions, the official seat.

The first set of elections was held in the last quarter of 2011 for the Lower House of Egypt’s Parliament. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and Salafist Al Nour Party were the big winners of those elections as well, sweeping the majority of the seats in the Lower House of the Parliament.

A member of the once-outlawed Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has been elected Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament. The members of both houses of parliament are to now choose a panel to draft a new constitution for Egypt.