In a move Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has called an effort to maintain control of the ruling party over the nation, local elections in Egypt have been postponed for a period of two years. Polls for local council members were due this year as the council terms expired Tuesday, requiring elections within 60 days.
The delay means that the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group to the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), would no longer be able to field a candidate despite having won enough seats in last year's parliamentary elections to do so, according to Reuters.
Consequently, the NDP would be the only party able to field a candidate under Egypt's current make-up of elected bodies were Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down from his post or pass away.
Deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Habib, said: "The NDP wanted to delay the elections to gather themselves. The make-up of the local councils in the current situation... makes the candidate of the NDP the only player in presidential elections."
Currently, Shura Council elections are due to be held in Egypt in 2007, while parliamentary elections are set for 2010.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )