Egypt's interim president says presidential elections to be held before parliamentary poll | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Egypt's interim president says presidential elections to be held before parliamentary poll

FILE - In this Thursday, July 4, 2013 file photo, Egypt's chief justice Adly Mansour prepares to be sworn in as the nation's interim president. In a televised speech Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, Egypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, says he is amending the country's transitional plan to allow for presidential elections before parliamentary polls. According to Egypt's new constitution, the presidential vote is to be held before the second half of April. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
January 26, 2014 - 5:40 AM

CAIRO - Egypt's interim president announced Sunday that the country will have presidential elections before parliamentary polls, promising that a rise in "dark terrorism" won't derail a transition to democracy following a July 3 popularly backed military coup.

According to Egypt's newly adopted constitution, those elections are to be held before the end of April, with the parliamentary polls held before end of July.

In a brief televised speech, Interim President Adly Mansour said he will ask the election commission to open the door for presidential candidates to register as stipulated in the constitution.

The announcement, an amendment to the military-backed road map adopted after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, was expected. Many think that the army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi will run for president. Ecstatic crowds gathered across the country Saturday in government-sponsored rallies marking the third anniversary of the start of Egypt's 2011 revolution, with many openly calling for el-Sissi to run.

The general has not yet made a formal announcement. He would have to quit his post as defence minister before launching a campaign.

But Egypt remains divided, as seen by the widespread clashes that struck across the country Saturday as well. Egyptian officials said Sunday that the death toll from the clashes was now 49. Three soldiers also were killed in an attack Sunday in the lawless Sinai Peninsula, the state news agency reported.

The July 3 coup toppled Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood-backed government. A Brotherhood-led coalition has held near-daily protests since his ouster, demanding Morsi be reinstated. The protests have often devolved into violence.

The continued protests, coupled with a rise in terrorist attacks, continued to challenge authorities. Mansour said Sunday that the rise in terrorist attacks against police and military will not derail the country's transition to democracy.

"These terrorist attacks aim to break the will of Egyptians," he said. "I tell those terrorists your despicable acts will not realize their goals."

He vowed that the government will fight the violence "relentlessly" and "mercilessly."

Mansour also said he appealed to the prosecutors to review the cases of detainees held without charges from protests, including university students, to ensure that those held for no reasons are released. Thousands are believed to be locked up following an intense government crackdown on dissent.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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