Cairo: Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has announced the first post-constitution parliamentary elections to be held from April in an attempt to douse anti-government protests, but the opposition warned that the polls amidst severe societal polarization would be a "recipe for disaster".

Mursi, in a decree on Friday night, announced that the vote will take place in four stages due to a shortage of election supervisors. The new Parliament will convene on July 6.

The election process will take place in four stages, April 27-28, May 15-16 and June 2-3 and 19-20, according to the official decree released by the president's spokesman, Yassir Ali. Runoffs will be held one week after each stage.

Mohamed ElBaradei, who leads the main opposition National Salvation Front, warned that the parliamentary election may only inflame tensions unless there are serious political talks first.

ElBaradei wrote on his Twitter account that Mursi's "decision to go for parliamentary elections amidst severe societal polarization and eroding state authority is a recipe for disaster."

The opposition accuses Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood of monopolizing power and going back on campaign promises to set up an inclusive government and introduce far-reaching reforms.

In the past year, violent clashes in the coastal province along the Suez Canal have highlighted the longstanding resentment residents there feel towards Cairo. Both Port Said and Cairo are included in the first round of voting.

Mursi and Brotherhood movement hope the election will put an end to increasingly vocal opposition and street protests, experts said.

The Islamist-dominated parliament was dissolved last June after judges ruled election laws were unconstitutional.


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