CAIRO (AP) — President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt has called parliamentary elections for April in an effort to settle down mounting frustration over continued turmoil on the streets.
A decree that Morsi issued late Thursday set the start of a staggered, four-stage voting process for April 27, with the last round to be held in June. The decree says the newly elected parliament would then convene for its first session on July 6.
Since the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising that was part of the Arab Spring revolts, Egyptians have gone through a series of referendums, presidential and parliamentary elections. The first elected parliament was disbanded by a court order last June and Morsi, the nation's first freely elected president, assumed his post in July.
Morsi and his highly organized Muslim Brotherhood emerged from the uprising and the various elections as the country's dominant political group with the largest grass root support. But the divisions in Egypt have only grown, pitting the Brotherhood and their fundamentalist Islamists allies on one side and the mostly secular, liberal political parties and youth groups on the other.