Egypt's military said on Thursday that the country will hold its first parliamentary election since Hosni Mubarak's overthrow as scheduled in September and then prepare a constitution before a presidential poll.
General Mahmduh Shahin, a member of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said the parliamentary election will be held "no later than September 30," the official MENA news agency reported.
"After the parliamentary election, a new constitution will be drafted, and then presidential elections will be conducted," the agency quoted him as saying.
Shahin was speaking at the announcement of an amended law on political participation that stipulated that judges will monitor the vote, which will take place over two or three rounds.
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The amendments did not specify whether Egyptians abroad will be able to vote and Shahin said there were logistical problems that have to be considered when it came to absentee ballots.
Mohammed ElBaradei, a prominent dissident and possible presidential nominee, wrote on Twitter that the amended law "bars millions of Egyptians abroad from their right to choose their representatives."
The law, as it stands, allows all adult Egyptians, except criminals, to vote without specifying if that extends to citizens who live abroad.
The September election will be the first since the National Democratic Party of ex-president Hosni Mubarak was dissolved after his ouster from power on February 11 by a popular uprising.
Secular groups that led the revolt want the election postponed while they form parties able to compete with the much better organised Muslim Brotherhood, which will contest roughly 50 percent of the 508 elected seats.