Egypt PM: Parliamentary elections by end of year

Ahram Online: Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said Monday that parliamentary elections would take place as planned by the end of the year, state news agency MENA reported.

In comments to Al-Youm television channel, Mahlab said the Cabinet did not intend to delay the elections and that logistical preparations were underway.

The parliamentary vote is the third and last step in a political roadmap set forth after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Since then, a new constitution has been passed and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi elected president.

The president holds legislative powers until an elected parliament convenes.

A parliamentary elections law was passed by former president Adly Mansour on his last day in office in June.

The law was criticised by numerous parties for allocating 80 percent of parliamentary seats to individual candidates. Political groups said this would recreate the political environment that allowed Hosni Mubarak’s now-dissolved National Democratic Party to manipulate political power.

A grouping of left-leaning parties has called for the law to be amended before the elections.

Meanhile, addressing water cuts in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City, Mahlab reiterated to Al-Youm that they were caused by negligence and that those responsible would be investigated by prosecutors. He said the water supply was back to the area, after broken water pumps were fixed.

Water cuts have been recurrent in Cairo and other cities often due to periodic maintenance or system breakdowns. Several impoverished areas inside and outside the capital have long complained of failures by successive governments to provide basic water supply systems.

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