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Women in 'hot pants' to be barred from Egypt polls: official

Electoral adviser says Egypt has 'nothing to fear' from observers monitoring next week's long-awaited parliamentary elections
An Egyptian woman casts her vote during the 2014 presidential elections (AFP)

Women wearing clothes deemed too revealing will be prevented from entering ballot boxes in Egypt during the long-awaited parliamentary elections next week, an official has said.

Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday Major General Rifaat Qamsan, who advises ministers on electoral affairs, said that any women wearing what he called “hot pants” would be prevented from entering any of over 11,000 ballot boxes to be set up across the country.

“We must respect the laws and traditions,” said Qamsan, who moved to the elections committee after working as assistant to Habib al-Adly, the longest-serving interior minister of ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Qamsan also told reporters that Egypt has “nothing to fear” from international election observers, stressing that Cairo has invited “a large number” of international bodies to monitor the vote.

More than 60 foreign embassies have been permitted to monitor the poll, the High Elections Committee said last week.

The countries represented include the United States, Germany and Japan as well as the European Union.

Eight delegates from the European Union arrived at Cairo Airport on Tuesday to being monitoring the vote, local media reported.

The European Union said in January that it would not send a full mission to monitor the elections, complaining of human rights violations that it said were “undermining the prospects for long-term stability in Egypt”.

The parliamentary elections are one of the key steps set out in a July 2013 roadmap to democratic transition after the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi in a popular-backed coup.

The vote was originally scheduled to take place this March, but was indefinitely postponed after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that several of the laws governing elections were unconstitutional.

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