Egypt to hold parliamentary elections in April
February 22, 2013 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
Egyptians will elect the first full parliament since President Mohamed Morsy took office.
- Elections will be held in four stages
- House of Representatives will have its first session in July
(CNN) -- Egypt will hold parliamentary elections in several stages beginning April 27, a member of President Mohamed Morsy's presidential team announced Thursday.
Pakinam el-Sharkawy made the announcement on state television.
These will be the first elections since Egypt's highest court dissolved the lower house of parliament last June, and it will be the first full parliament in Morsy's presidency. The upper house, the Shura Council, has continued to meet.
Thousands of Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square after Mohamed Morsi is declared the nation's first democratically elected president on Sunday, June 24. In a nationally televised speech, the longtime member of the Muslim Brotherhood promised to represent all Egyptians.
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The election process will take place in four stages: April 27-28, May 15-16 and June 2-3 and 19-20, according to the official decree released by the president's spokesman, Yassir Ali. Runoffs will be held one week after each stage.
The House of Representatives, the lower house in Egypt's bicameral system, will hold its first session July 6, the decree said.
Previous elections have had three stages, not four. More stages raises the possibility of more politically charged violence, particularly in the province of Port Said.
In the past year, violent clashes in the coastal province along the Suez Canal have highlighted the longstanding resentment residents there feel toward Cairo.
Both Port Said and Cairo are included in the first round of voting.
Several stages of elections also means the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that backs Morsy, has more time to rebuild its waning support.
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