Egypt presidential vote to be early June

Egypt’s first presidential election since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year will be held in the first week of June, an official at the judicial committtee supervising the vote said.

Army leaders who took over from Mubarak in February last year have faced street protests and widespread demands that they hand power to civilians sooner than the end-June deadline they had set themselves.

“Presidential elections begin in the first week of June and the president will be sworn in by the end of June,” committee member Ahmed Shams el-Din told Reuters.

“Any run-offs will take place within the month of June, and by July we will have an Egyptian president,” he said.

Similar reports about the timing were carried in state-run newspapers on Sunday. The judicial committee is due to hold a news conference later on Sunday to announce the official timetable.

Officials said this month that nominations for the race would be accepted from March 10, suggesting the generals may have accelerated their planned handover of power. Some politicians had pushed for a vote in May or earlier.

Under new rules approved in a referendum last year, presidents will be limited to two consecutive four-year terms.

Mubarak was ousted shortly before the end of his fifth six-year term. Most of his terms were secured via single-candidate referendums. In 2005 he ran in the nation’s first multi-candidate race, but rights groups and others said the rules for that race blocked any realistic challenge to the incumbent. – Reuters

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