26 February 2013

Egypt: Christians Ask Govt to Reconsider Election Date

Photo: Amru Salahuddien/Xinhua
Voters wait to vote at a polling station in Qaliobeya (file photo).

Cairo — Coptic Catholics in Egypt have protested at the decision taken by President Morsi to hold parliamentary elections on a date which would coincide with Coptic Easter celebrations.

The President's decision may be reconsidered following protests by Egyptian Christians. The same views were expressed by the Coptic Catholic, Auxiliary Bishop of Alexandria, Bishop Botros Fahim Awad Hanna.

Commenting on the same issue another Coptic Bishop called for a postponement of the elections.

"A possible postponement could be explained with the subterfuge that the second round of elections would coincide with the national holiday of Sham al-Nasseem, a festivity of pharaonic origin which celebrates Spring and falls on Easter Monday," said Bishop Anba Fahim Hanna.

The first date of political elections has been set for April 27, the Saturday before Palm Sunday and the second round on May 5, the Sunday on which this year Coptic Christians celebrate Easter.

"Our political leaders chose the dates because they never take the calendar of Christian festivities into consideration because no one around them is in a position to advise when a date is inopportune," the Coptic Catholic Bishop complained.

He further added that, "In these matters they are completely in the dark. This is why we saw an explosion of protests on the social network".

However, certain prominent Christians were able to make their voices reach the Presidential offices, in order to warn those responsible that the inconvenient choice of election dates could cause fresh social tensions and revolts.

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