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Egypt's ElBaradei Calls for Election Boycott

A top Egyptian opposition figure has called for a boycott of the nation's upcoming parliamentary elections.

Mohamed ElBaradei said Saturday that he refuses to take part in the elections called by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi earlier this week.

Mr. Morsi called for the voting to start on April 27, but officials announced Saturday that he is considering changing the dates after objections from members of the Coptic Christian minority. The original schedule would overlap with Christian holidays.

ElBaradei, a former chief of the U.N. nuclear agency, described the poll as "an act of deception."

Islamists have managed to win every election since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Other opposition leaders have not yet said whether they agree with ElBaradei's call.



ElBaradei noted on his Twitter account that he had called for a similar boycott of polls in 2010 under Mr. Mubarak, who was ousted the following year.

The voting will take place in four stages across a country deeply divided between the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party that has ruled since the ouster of Mr. Mubarak and the more secularist opposition.

As scheduled, the voting would end in late June with the parliament scheduled to hold its first meeting on July 6.

This will be Egypt's first election since an Islamist-backed constitution was adopted in December. Critics say the constitution - drafted without opposition input and approved in a hastily organized referendum - fails to provide adequate human rights protections and fails to curb the power of the military establishment.

Violent protests have rocked Egypt for months.

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