CAIRO - A law passed by Egypt's interim president will set the stage for parliamentary elections this year but political parties fear it will return the country to a system similar to one under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

One of the most significant changes in the election law is a return to a system where individual candidates take the majority of seats in parliament, rather than party lists of candidates.

Of the 540 parliament members to be elected, 420 will be drawn from individual candidate lists while 120 will be from absolute closed lists.

Such an arrangement would weaken the position of political parties in the country where they already have little influence on the ground, politicians say.


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