Egypt will hold presidential elections before parliamentary polls, interim President Adly Mansour announced on Sunday, in a move changing the transitional plan laid down after the Army overthrew president Mohamed Morsy last year.
In a brief television address, Mr. Mansour — installed as interim President after Mr. Morsy’s ouster in July — said that nominations would open in the coming days, and that he would issue amended electoral laws to underpin the change.
The amended constitution approved in a referendum earlier this month left it up to Mr. Mansour to decide whether presidential or parliamentary elections would be held first.
Though the transitional plan, outlined in July, envisioned parliamentary elections as the first step after a new constitution was approved, many politicians have argued that presidential polls are the first priority.
Mr. Mansour did not indicate a date for the polls.
There is widespread speculation that Army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, seen as the architect of Mr. Morsy’s ouster, will run for president.
Separately, Mr. Mansour condemned recent bomb attacks on security force bases.
“These terrorist attacks aim at breaking the will of the Egyptian people ... I affirm to you that the will of the Egyptian people will not be broken,” he said.
The interim President also said that he had asked the prosecutor general to ensure that investigations against detainees, especially students, be carried out speedily “to ensure the early release of all those who have not committed any crime punishable by law.” Security forces have detained thousands of protesters and suspected Islamists since Mr. Morsy was removed from office last year. Many were arrested during the recent wave of protests by mainly Islamist university students.