December 31, 2015 / 12:08 PM / 3 years ago

Egyptian parliament to convene on January 10 after three-year gap

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks to the media after the signing ceremony for a deal to build Egypt's first nuclear power plant between Egypt and Russia at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO (Reuters) - President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called for Egypt’s new parliament to convene on Jan. 10, state television said on Thursday, more than three years after the old Islamist-dominated chamber was dissolved.

Egyptians held the second phase of parliamentary elections in November but critics said voting was undermined by a heavy security crackdown on Islamist and other opposition groups.

The new parliament, which will be dominated by an alliance loyal to Sisi, has 568 elected members plus another 28 appointed by the president himself.

Egypt’s last parliament was elected in 2011-12 in its first free election, following a popular uprising that ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year presidency.

Voting at that time was marked by long queues and youthful excitement. The Muslim Brotherhood, long the main opposition movement, won about half the seats while the Islamist Nour bloc was the second biggest group.

A court dissolved that parliament in mid-2012. A year later, Sisi, then military chief, removed President Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood from power after mass protests against his rule.

The Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, was subsequently banned, declared a terrorist organisation and thousands of its members were jailed.

Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Asma Alsharif; Editing by Alsion Williams, Ulf Laessing and David Stamp

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