Egypt’s military-backed government reversed field, saying it would conduct presidential elections before a parliamentary vote, officials said. The next leader looks increasingly likely to be the military’s chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who was promoted to field marshal Monday and has indicated he was mulling a bid, several media outlets reported. The decision Sunday to flip the elections and parliamentary vote changes the electoral schedule set by the military after it ousted President Mohammed Morsi in July, putting the nation’s next leader in a position to sway voters toward parliamentary candidates he supports, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The decision also likely will set up clashes with the Muslim Brotherhood, the now-outlawed Islamic group to which Morsi belonged. The Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday called for more demonstrations.
“We don’t recognize a road map that was brought on top of military tanks against the will of the Egyptian people and in an environment of extreme repression unprecedented in Egypt’s history,” said spokesman Abdullah el-Haddad.
When he announced the changed schedule, Interim President Adly Mansour said the government met “with some of the major political stakeholders and representatives of the different political groups which indicated a majority in favor of holding presidential elections first.”