Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Egyptian PM reportedly backs down on election postponement

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Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf is now reportedly denying media reports, noted previously on Fresh AIR, that he supports postponing parliamentary elections scheduled for September until after a new constitution is drawn up, a process only scheduled to commence in September.  

Egyptian media outlet Al-Shorouq is
reporting that Sharaf claims his comments were misunderstood and he supports proceeding with the elections in September.  

Postponing elections is seen as a mechanism to allow the development of political parties in a country where no free and independent parties have existed in half a century. 

The Muslim Brotherhood is vehemently opposed to postponing elections, which it claims would go against the intent of the referendum result in March that called for democratic elections to be held to elect a new parliament and president within six months.  

Most analysts believe that the main beneficiary of early elections will be the Muslim Brotherhood, which is well funded and organised, and has a large membership it can mobilise as volunteers.

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