Middle East

Egypt's President Morsi calls elections

Mohammed Morsi signs the constitution into law, 25 Dec
Image caption Mr Morsi hopes the election will put an end to increasingly vocal opposition and protests

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has called parliamentary elections, starting on 27 April and end in June.

A presidential decree said voting would take place in four regional stages, due to a shortage of election supervisors.

Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement hope the election will put an end to increasingly vocal opposition and street protests, analysts say.

The Islamist-dominated parliament was dissolved last June after judges ruled election laws were unconstitutional.

In the last elections, in January 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party won roughly 40% of the vote.

Egypt is deeply divided between Mr Morsi's Islamist supporters and a liberal-led opposition, and has been wracked by unrest, insecurity and an economic crisis.

Tensions have intensified since an Islamist-backed constitution - criticised for failing to protect key rights - was adopted in December.

Thursday's decree states voting will take place in:

  1. Cairo and four other provinces on 27-28 April, with a run-off scheduled for 4-5 May
  2. Giza, Alexandria and six other provinces on 15-16 May, with a run-off scheduled for 22-23 May
  3. Eight provinces on 2-3 June, with a run-off scheduled for 9-10 June
  4. Six provinces on 19-20 June, with a run-off on 26-27 June

The new People's Assembly will be invited to convene on 6 July, the decree said.