UPDATE Elections start in november

Finally: On Tuesday, the 27th, the military leadership announced the dates for the upcoming elections: Candidates can register from the 12 of october on. The parlament will be elected in three rounds.
- The people assembly (lower house) will be elected on 28th of november, 14th of december and 3rd of january, each round the voting takes place in different districts (Cairo p.e. the 28th of november).
- For the Shura (upper house) the elections will start on 29th of january.
In march both houses should have their first assembly.

At the same time there were some information that the presidential elections, said to be held shorty after the parlamentary ones, will be postponed to end of 2012 or 2013.

On Sunday, just two days before announcing the dates, the government, backed by the military, confirmed again a change to the election law. The new law amendments are criticized widely by politicians, parties and activists. One third of the seats will now be given to „independent“ candidates in a single-winner system (the winner of a election district will take all the votes and get to seats, all other votes are lost) while the rest will be elected through a list-based system. Questions were rised who these „independent“ candidates will be and fears that these seats might be given through corruption or to candidates loyal to the old regime (that always used the singe-winner system) or the ruling military. The government changed the election law several times in the last month, still many facts about how the elections will be organized or controlled remain unclear. The military council announced before it will not allow any international observers. Further concerns are rised due to the fact that the emergency law is in full power again since three weeks – how can there be free elections or a free election campaign while every discussion of the politics of the ruling military council can be punished, demonstrations have to be allowed and everybody can be arrested without any reason?

Update (4. Okt.)
After a meeting of 13 party-leaders on Saturday the SCAF decided to take the changes back (articel in the taz in german about the changes), all seats of the parliament will be given by party-lists. The parties now will therefor not boycott the elections. The deal the parties signed with the SCAF was nontheless critizied for ignoring same important demands: the ending of the emergency law for example. Protests came also from other side: As the government announced and confirmed today that some former members of Mubaraks party NDP are not allowed to take part in the elections, members of the 10 parties that evolved from the former NDP threatened with protests, blocking of roads and cuts in electricity. The announced a march with 15 million people on Tahrir – in favor of the old regime. Counter-revolution II?

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