Dec 20 (Reuters) - Egyptian police and soldiers fought protesters on Tuesday in the fifth day of security operations to clear Cairo’s central Tahrir Square of opponents of army rule.
The violence broke out just after the second stage of the six-week election for Egypt’s new parliament which is set to give Islamists the biggest share of seats.
After the election, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will retain power even after the lower house vote is completed in January 2012, but the generals have pledged to hand over to an elected president by July.
The parliamentary election is split into three stages according to region. Two-thirds of the 498 elected lower house seats go to party lists and the rest to individuals. Each stage consists of a two-day poll and a two-day run-off, so that the 50 million eligible voters have time to cast their ballots.
Following are voting dates and other details:
LOWER HOUSE (PEOPLE‘S ASSEMBLY) VOTE
* Nov. 28-29 - The first stage of the parliamentary election was held in nine provinces including Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Assiyut. Run-off votes for individual seats where no candidate won an absolute majority followed on Dec. 5-6.
* Dec. 14-15 - Second-round voting took place in nine other provinces, including Beni Suef, Ismailia, Suez, Sohag and Giza, part of greater Cairo. Run-off votes will be held on Dec. 21-22.
The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties repressed during deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule have emerged as strong front-runners.
The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) said it had won about 40 percent of votes cast for party lists in the second round, slightly more than in the first round. The strict Salafi al-Nour Party said its list received about 35 percent.
The FJP also secured most of the individual seats up for grabs in the first round.
* Jan. 3-4, 2012 - The third and final stage of the vote for the lower house takes place in the last nine provinces, including al-Gharbiya in the Nile Delta, North and South Sinai, and other areas. The run-off vote will be held on Jan. 10-11.
* The election committee has said the polls will be re-run in some areas, such as one Cairo district, where courts declared first-round results inadmissible because of irregularities.
* Jan. 13 - Deadline the committee has set for announcing final election results.
* Jan. 29-30 - The first stage of the vote for the upper house kicks off in the same provinces as in the first round for the lower house. The run-off votes will be held on Feb. 5-6.
* Feb. 14-15 - Second-stage of the vote, with run-offs on Feb. 21-22.
* March 4-5 - Third and final stage of the vote, with run-offs on March 11-12.
* March 14 - Deadline for announcing final results. (Reporting by Dina Zayed; Additional writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; editing by Alistair Lyon) (Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)