Egypt approves laws for presidential election

The Egyptian government has approved laws for a presidential election, paving the way for an official announcement on the election date and its terms.

Egyptian state television on Thursday announced that the cabinet had approved laws for a poll, likely to be held as soon as spring after the army-backed interim government resigned unexpectedly last week.

Adly Mansour, the interim president, was tipped to approve the election laws by the end of this week by the latest.

Egypt’s army chief, Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is expected to announce a tilt at the presidency following the passing of the official legislation.

Sisi, who removed the former president, Mohamed Morsi, in July, had announced on his Facebook page on Tuesday that he was not prepared to “ignore the desire” of so many of the Egyptian people.

The army chief, who has emerged as Egypt’s most popular political figure, looks almost certain to win.

Meanwhile, also on Thursday an Egyptian court suspended Morsi’s murder trial after his lawyers requested new judges.

It was the third such case against the deposed president to be put on hold.

Morsi stands accused of inciting the killing of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

Defence lawyers requested that two of the three judges presiding over the murder trial be replaced, alleging one of them spoke about the case in a media interview.

An appeals court will examine the recusal request and decide whether to appoint a new panel of judges. It is unclear when the appeals court will look into the request.