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Egypt parliamentary polls to begin Nov 21

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Cairo : Egypt’s supreme election commission has proposed to hold elections to the country’s parliament starting Nov 21, the Al Ahram newspaper said.

Elections to both the upper and lower chambers of parliament will be held in three stages. Polls to choose lawmakers in the lower house — the People’s Assembly — will be held from Nov 21 to Jan 3, 2012.

Elections to select members of the upper house — the Shura Council — will be held from Jan 22 to March 4.

The announcement comes amid growing dissatisfaction with how the reforms are being conducted by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

A rally was held recently to demand the council to speed up power transition to democratically elected authorities. The rally turned violent when some protesters attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Egypt has no democratically elected parliament and executive power after president Hosni Mubarak stepped down in the wake of nationwide protests. The military council dismissed the parliament and demanded the constitution to be rewritten or amended.

Under the reform plan, the parliament is to be elected first to draft the new constitution. Then a president would be elected.