CAIRO: Egyptian parliamentary elections will begin on April 27 and will be held over four stages, according to a presidential decree issued yesterday. Voting will take place over three months with the new People’s Assembly invited to convene on July 6, according to the decree. Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers hope the election will mark an end to a turbulent political transition punctuated by spasms of violence that have thwarted his efforts to revive an economy in deep crisis. Earlier in the day, the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, adopted an electoral law as amended by the Constitutional Court, clearing the way for Mursi to set a date for the lower house election. A presidential source had earlier told Reuters that Mursi would call the election starting in April. The vote would be held in phases in different regions because of a shortage of poll supervisors.
New death from Sars-like virus in Saudi
GENEVA: Another person suffering from a Sars-like virus has died in Saudi Arabia, the World Health Organisation said yesterday, bringing the worldwide number of fatalities from the mystery illness to seven. The Saudi health ministry had informed the UN’s health body that the patient had been hospitalised on January 29 and had died on February 10, WHO said. A laboratory had confirmed on February 18 that the person had died from the so-called novel coronavirus, or NCoV, it added. This brings to 13 the number of cases of the virus that have so far been reported to the WHO, with six previous fatalities — three in Saudi Arabia, two in Jordan and one in Britain.
Jebali apologises to Tunisian people
Tunis: Tunisia’s outgoing prime minister Hamadi Jebali apologised yesterday to the Tunisian people and urged them to unite to pull the country out of its political crisis. Jebali, head of government for 14 months, has refused to lead the next administration and his Islamist Ennahda party says it will soon name a replacement. “I apologise to the people of Tunisia because I failed and disappointed them,” Jabali said in a televised speech to the nation. Full report on page 4