Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt’s highest election committee has announced that parliamentary elections are set to take place in two stages in March and April, completing the third and final step of the political roadmap announced following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013.
The announcement was made by head of the Higher Elections Committee Ayman Abbas on Thursday evening. Abbas announced that the first stage of voting will take place on March 21-22 for Egyptians living abroad, and between March 22-23 for residents. The second stage of voting will take place on April 25-26 for Egyptians living abroad and April 26-27 for residents.
Fourteen Egyptian governorates will vote in the first stage of elections; the remaining 11 governorates, including Cairo governorate, will vote in the second stage.
Runoff votes will take place between March 31 and April 2 for those who voted in the first stage of elections and May 5-7 for those who voted in the second stage.
Abbas did not specify when the results of the parliamentary election will be announced, nor a final date for parliamentary candidates to register.
Legislative elections represents the third and last stage of the military-backed political roadmap that was initiated on the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi following the drafting of a new constitution and presidential elections last year.
Egypt has been without a parliament for more than two years, after the last parliament was dissolved by a 2012 court ruling. Legislative power in Egypt rests in the hands of a president when there is no parliament.
While the last parliament was dominated by Muslim Brotherhood figures, the group and its political party—the Freedom and Justice party—have since been outlawed, with political observers not expecting Islamists to secure a strong presence in the new parliament.
A new parliamentary election law, passed in June 2014, allocates close to 80 percent of parliamentary seats to individual candidates, meaning that party politics will take a backseat in the forthcoming elections.
Egypt’s new parliament will be made up of 567 MPs; 420 independents and 120 party-based MPs. The president will also appoint 27 parliamentary deputies directly by presidential fiat.