Cairo, 22 Rabiul Akhir 1434/4 March 2013 (MINA) –  US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Egyptian opposition leaders are apparently not backtracking on their decision to boycott parliamentary elections slated to start on 22 April, according to Egypt Independent report monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) Sunday (3/3).

         Kerry, who arrived on Saturday for a two-day visit to Cairo met with President Muhammad Mursi  and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He aslo met Egyptian officials and opposition leaders the current stalemate over the upcoming elections.

        Egyptian opposition, National Salvation Font (NSF) announced it would boycott the election in April, in which the election is divided into four stages.

        Mursi issued parliamentary elections will be held April 22, in which the previously scheduled to begin April 27. However, as Coptic Christians who stated  the date contradict with their Easter day, government finally moved it forward.

        According to Ahram report, parliamentary elections will be divided into four stages. The first phase, lasting 22 and 23 April will take place in Cairo, Beheira, El-Minya, Port Said and North Sinai.

        The second phase, will be held 11 and 12 May in Giza, Alexandria, Sohag, Beni Suef, Aswan, Suez, Red Sea and New Valley.

        The third stage, on 28 and 29 May will take place Daqahliyah, Qaluibiya, Menufiya, Qena, Damietta, Luxor, Matrouh and South Sinai.

         The final round is scheduled to take place on 15 and 16 June in Sharqiya, Gharbiya, Assiut, Kafr El-Sheikh, Fayoum and Ismailia.

         Besides the boycott, NSF refused to attend Mursi’s invitation to dialogue last week. The refusal is the umpteenth time.

         In statements in Cairo on Saturday, published by the US State Department, Kerry was asked whether his communications with the opposition members had showed any signs of backtracking on the boycott.

        “No, I heard very passionate people who are deeply committed to Egypt and to their version of the democracy that they fought for in their revolution. And I completely understand that. I wanted to hear from them. I explored their strategy and thoughts,” he replied.

         For the sustainability of the election, Mursi invited all opposition parties to talks on Monday (25/2), related to the statement that opposition parties to boycott the election.(T/P03/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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