Egypt changes election system in favour of party lists

Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:15pm GMT

By Sami Aboudi

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's military rulers have agreed to amend election rules, state-run media said on Saturday, but some politicians say the changes still leave too much scope for supporters of ousted President Hosni Mubarak to seek parliamentary seats.

Political parties have been pressuring the army council to base the vote exclusively on the party-based proportional list system, saying allowing individuals to seek election would enable remnants of the ousted regime to use money and tribalism to win in polls due to start in November.

An Egyptian court in April ordered the dissolution of Mubarak's National Democratic Party, meeting a demand of the pro-democracy movement whose protests ended his 30-year authoritarian rule.

Al-Ahram newspaper said the military council has approved raising the proportion of seats contested using party lists to two thirds, up from 50 percent now, leaving the rest open to individual candidates.

State news agency MENA said the military council has sent back the election law to the cabinet to reconsider it and approve the changes.

A government spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

"The logic behind the new election system is to reduce the number of individual seats and so the chances of those belonging to the former political regime expected to contest the elections as individuals," it quoted Omar al-Sharif, legislative assistant to the justice minister as saying.

But Margret Azer, a member of the Wafd Party's higher committee, said the move does not meet Egyptians' demands.   Continued...

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