Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour has announced that Egypt will hold a presidential election before parliamentary polls, changing a political “road map” laid down after the army overthrew Mohamed Morsi last summer. The long-expected change could pave the way for the swift election of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the popular defence minister who many expect will run for the presidency. The “road map” had called for parliamentary elections first, but many of Egypt’s political parties said they would not be ready for a legislative vote this spring. “Most of the political forces demanded presidential elections first,” Mansour said in a televised address, “and I have amended the road map to meet their demands.”
The president did not announce a date for the vote, a job that falls to the High Elections Commission. It must be held no less than 90 days after the constitution was adopted, which will require a ballot before mid-April.
Mansour also said he would increase the number of courts dealing with terrorism charges, to “bring perpetrators to justice swiftly.” Security in Egypt has deteriorated since Morsi’s removal, with bombings now a regular occurrence in Cairo and other major cities.