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Egyptian military hints presidential elections may be held earlier than planned

Cairo, Tue, 07 Feb 2012 ANI

Cairo, Feb 7 (ANI): Egyptian military rulers have suggested that presidential elections may be held earlier than planned in an apparent effort to stem the country's ongoing political turmoil.


The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has been reviled by activists for months and is under growing pressure to step down and hand power to a civilian administration.


The presidential poll had been planned for June, but the army-backed government said that the start of nominations would be moved up a month to March, suggesting the election could take place in May or sooner, The Los Angeles Times reports.


The military, which has often offered concessions only after violent protests, announced the possibility of an early election as clashes between demonstrators and police have turned the heart of the capital into a battle zone.


According to the paper, a political advisory panel appointed by the army has recommended that the presidential election be set for May 16.


The panel said the ruling generals, who want to ensure the military's authority is not pared down in the new constitution, would then step aside in early June.


It is, however, unclear whether the prospect of an early election will appease protesters who want the military to cede power immediately.


Meanwhile, the newly elected parliament, dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, has criticized the military, and the Brotherhood has been negotiating with the army on the writing of a constitution and the transition to democracy. (ANI)


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