20 Feb 2012

Egypt delays announcing election date

10:08 am on 20 February 2012

The Egyptian authorities have failed to agree on a date for the first presidential election of the post-Mubarak era.

The election had been expected to mark the transfer of power from military to civilian rule some time in the next four months.

At an election commission news conference called to announce the voting timetable, the chairman did not actually name the date of the poll, saying only that he hoped the process could be completed by the end of May.

The chairman told local TV the problem lay in organising the expatriate vote.

A BBC correspondent in Cairo says the delay suggests there may be a behind-the-scenes battle over the timing of returning to civilian rule.

Former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down on 11 February last year after 18 days of street protests in which hundreds were killed.