Egypt court ruling threatens election timetable

CAIRO - Egypt's constitutional court ruled on Sunday that parts of the law organising parliamentary elections starting March 21 violate the charter, in a decision that may force a delay.

The administrative court, which rules on state related matters, will now decide whether to formally rule on delaying the election.

The constitutional court said sections of the law dividing the electoral districts were unconstitutional.

Lawyers who appealed against the law had said it failed to divide districts in a way that would adequately represent the electorate.

One of the lawyers told AFP that the ruling meant the election will be delayed and the process will start from scratch.

"The election will be delayed and the process will have to start from the beginning," said Mohamed Abdel Wahhab.

Former constitutional court judge Tahany al-Gebaly told AFP it was not immediately clear whether the poll would be pushed back or for how long.

The law may be amended in time for the election to start on schedule, but if candidates have to register again it would be delayed, she said.