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Interim Egyptian President Sets Timetable for Elections

  • VOA News

Egypt's interim president has set a timetable for the country to hold parliamentary elections early next year followed by a presidential ballot.
In a decree issued Monday, Adly Mansour said a referendum will take place within five months to ratify amendments to the country's constitution.
After that, according to the decree, parliamentary elections will happen within two months and a date for a presidential vote will be announced once the new chamber convenes.
Last week, Egypt's army suspended the Islamist-drafted constitution with the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, following massive protests against his rule.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called for more protests on Tuesday, after 51 people died Monday in clashes between the military and supporters of Morsi in Cairo. Military officials said one soldier was among the dead.
The clashes took place near the Republican Guard headquarters. Muslim Brotherhood officials said the army opened fire without reason, killing men, women and children. A military spokesman said troops fired only after coming under heavy gunfire from what he described as terrorists trying to storm the building.
The army and Muslim Brotherhood are accusing each other of provoking the violence.
Mansour has called for restraint and has ordered a judicial investigation.
In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is concerned by the increasing violence and what he called a "dangerous level of political polarization" in Egypt. He also said cutting off aid to Egypt would not be in Washington's best interests. Egypt is the second-largest recipient of U.S. financial assistance behind Israel.
Egypt's army announced Morsi's removal from power last Thursday. The army described the move as necessary to enforce the will of the millions of people who have repeatedly demanded his resignation. But the Muslim Brotherhood called the action a military coup.

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