Egyptian interim President announces early presidential elections

Egypt\’s interim president, Adly Mansour has announced that Egypt will hold a presidential election before parliamentary polls, changing a political "road map" laid down after the army overthrew Mohamed Morsi last summer.
Interim President Adly Mansour announced the road map change during a televised address Sunday. He said a recent rise in terrorist attacks against the security forces would not derail the transition to democracy.
The president did not announce a date for the vote, a job that falls to the High Elections Commission. It must be held no less than 90 days after the constitution was adopted, which will require a ballot before mid-April.
Mansour also said he would increase the number of courts dealing with terrorism charges, to “bring perpetrators to justice swiftly.” Security in Egypt has deteriorated since Morsi’s removal, with bombings now a regular occurrence in Cairo and other major cities.
The long-expected change could pave the way for the swift election of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the popular defence minister who many expect will run for the presidency. The "road map" had called for parliamentary elections first, but many of Egypt’s political parties said they would not be ready for a legislative vote this spring.
Authorities said at least 49 people died in clashes Saturday on the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, Morsi\’s predecessor as president.
Anti-government supporters of Morsi fought security forces and government loyalists in Cairo and elsewhere. Supporters of the interim government and General el-Sissi gathered in Cairo\’s Tahrir Square for government-sanctioned celebrations marking the anniversary of the uprising.
Long-time leader Mubarak stepped down under pressure three years ago and Morsi became Egypt\’s first democratically elected president the following year.
Source: Agencies
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