24 Feb 2013

Egypt's president changes election date

4:02 pm on 24 February 2013

Egypt's president Mohammed Morsi has brought forward the start of the country's parliamentary elections, just days after announcing the original date.

The BBC reports the first round of voting in Cairo and four other provinces will now be held on 22 April, five days earlier than planned.

The president's spokesperson says the move was in response to complaints from Coptic Christians, who had complained the original date clashed with Easter.

Earlier, leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei called for a boycott of the elections.

" called for parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat my call, will not be part of an act of deception,'' he wrote on Twitter.

However, some within Mr ElBaradei's opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF), criticised his decision, saying it was too hasty.