Egypt Parliament Elections Set for Delay

Egypt Parliament Elections Set for DelayEgypt Parliament Elections Set for Delay

An Egyptian court on Sunday ruled as unconstitutional a clause in the election law that draws voting districts, a verdict that would likely delay parliamentary elections later this month.

Voting had been due to start on March 21 and run into April. An electoral commission spokesman said a “new timetable” was being drawn up, AP reported.

Another court is likely to rule later this month on whether the election should be delayed, but a date for the new vote would be decided by the Supreme Electoral Commission, which went into an emergency meeting on Sunday following the verdict.

Egypt has not had an elected legislature since 2012, when the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the lower chamber was not constitutionally elected.

The forthcoming election is the third and final step in a road map announced by el-Sisi when he ousted Islamic president Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. The first two steps were the adoption of a new constitution by referendum in 2014 and a presidential election that was comfortably won later that year by el-Sisi.

  $3.5b Military Loan

The French government loaned Egypt $3.5 billion (3.2b euro) to finance the recent multibillion-euro purchase of French military equipment, Sisi said in an interview on Saturday.

Egypt signed an agreement this month to buy 5.2 billion euro worth of French weapons, including 24 Rafale jets, a multi-mission naval frigate, and air-to-air missiles.

“The last equipment we got from France was with a French loan worth 3.2 billion euro and this loan was extended from the French government,” Sisi noted.

France said at the time the deal was agreed to that more than half the purchase price would be financed by French banks with a state-backed Coface guaratee.