February 22, 2013 - 17:57 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Egypt's president called multi-stage parliamentary elections beginning in April but a key opposition leader warned Friday, Feb 22, that the vote may only inflame tensions unless there are serious political talks first, The Associated Press reports.
President Mohammed Morsi set the start of a staggered, four-stage voting process for April 27 ending in June. The newly elected parliament would convene on July 6, a decree issued late Thursday night said.
Mohamed ElBaradei, who leads the main opposition National Salvation Front, wrote on his Twitter account Friday that Morsi's "decision to go for parliamentary elections amidst severe societal polarization and eroding state authority is a recipe for disaster."
Abdullah Shehata, an economy expert with the Brotherhood, said the elections will help the country's ailing economy.
"The elections will be positive because it will be the final institution to fall into place after the presidency and the constitution," he said. "The coming parliament will be elected by the people and will help build confidence in Egypt again."
ElBaradei's group, though, has warned it would boycott the vote unless there are talks with the president aimed at forming a national unity government with more participation by the various political groups. A national dialogue by Morsi failed so far failed to bridge differences or build confidence. The opposition has also said it will boycott if election laws written by the Islamist-led interim parliament favor the Brotherhood's party.