27 Feb 2013

Opposition parties to boycott Egyptian elections

5:36 am on 27 February 2013

An alliance of opposition parties in Egypt is to boycott forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The National Salvation Front, which comprises liberal and leftist groups, made the decision at a meeting in Cairo.

Spokesman Sameh Ashour said the decision was taken because of concerns the polls would not be free and fair.

Judges dissolved the previous assembly, saying the polls were unconstitutional.

The first round of voting in Cairo and four other provinces is due to be held on 22 April. Three other stages will follow.

Islamist parties won a majority in the last elections in January 2012. The BBC reports Egypt has since been deeply divided.