Tantawi speeds up preparations for presidential vote

Candidates can register to run in presidential elections beginning on 10 March, Counselor Abdel Moaz Ibrahim, high elections commission chief, has said.

“The military council asked Monday to open the door for candidacy for the presidential elections as soon as possible. There wasn’t any suitable date except 10 March, after the completion of Shura Council elections,” Ibrahim told state owned Al-Ahram after a meeting with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Egypt’s military ruler.

Earlier on Monday, Egypt’s state news agency reported that Tantawi urged that preparations for the country's presidential election be completed quickly, a sign that the transition to civilian rule could be accelerated.

Tantawi’s remarks came during his meeting with some of Egypt’s senior judges, including thehead of the Constitutional Court, the vice president of the State Council and the vice president of the Court of Cassation, along with Ibrahim, who heads of the Court of Appeal

Ibrahim added that high elections commission members will meet on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss preparations for the presidential vote.

The move was an attempt to ease the country’s political crisis, which escalated after last week’s violence, in which 74 people were killed following a football match in Port Said.

Protesters have demanded that the military council speed up the transfer of power to civilians and accuse them of mismanaging the country's transition period.

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