Egypt President Morsi calls parliament elections in April

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has announced the first post-constitution parliamentary elections to be held from April in an attempt to douse the mounting anti-government protests and continued political impasse.

Morsi, in a decree Thursday night, announced that the vote will take place in four stages due to a shortage of election supervisors. The new parliament will convene on July 6. The election process will take place in four stages — April 27-28, May 15-16 and June 2-3 and 19-20 — according to the official decree released by the president's spokesman Yassir Ali. Run-offs will be held one week after each stage.

More stages raise the possibility of more politically-charged violence, particularly in the province of Port Said, the CNN reported.

In the past year, violent clashes in the coastal province along the Suez Canal have highlighted the longstanding resentment residents there feel towards Cairo. Both Port Said and Cairo are included in the first round of voting.

Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement hope the election will put an end to increasingly vocal opposition and street protests, experts said. The Islamist-dominated parliament was dissolved last June after judges ruled election laws were unconstitutional.

Earlier, the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, agreed to amend the elections law based on changes proposed by the High Constitution Court.

The election call comes at time of deep political crisis which has divided the country into two groups, one supporting political Islamists and another opposing it.

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