Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has endorsed an amended law defining voting districts in this country of more than 50 million voters, his spokesman said Thursday, removing the last hurdle for setting the date for the long-delayed parliamentary elections. Egypt has not had an elected legislature since 2012, when the country’s Supreme Court ruled that the parliament’s lower chamber was not constitutionally elected. An earlier version of the law was declared unconstitutional by the same court in March, causing an indefinite delay in parliamentary elections. The court at the time said the law failed to guarantee equal representation for voters, and asked that it be amended.
A judicial official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, said the reviewed version took into account the Supreme Court’s concerns. He said he hoped the amended law would not be challenged again.
But political groups and rights defenders said the new law was steered by security concerns and ignored demands of Egypt’s budding political groups seeking smaller districts to enable them to compete, as well as a higher percentage for representation based on party lists.