Egypt army, MPs defer defining president's role

By REUTERS
May 22, 2012 20:40

 
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CAIRO - Egypt's army and mainly Islamist politicians have deferred talks on what powers the new president will have until after this week's presidential vote, which is unlikely to produce an outright winner, political sources said on Tuesday.

Egyptians go to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday and if no candidate gains more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two contenders will fight a run-off in June.

The military council that took over after Hosni Mubarak was toppled last year has promised to hand over to a newly elected president by July 1, but no one knows what constitutional authority the next head of state will have.

An assembly that was to have written a new constitution was suspended in April amid acrimony between Islamists and their more secular-minded rivals.

Political parties and the military had then hoped to agree on interim constitutional changes to regulate the powers of the president, government and parliament before the presidential election, but informal talks have failed to produce a deal.

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