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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Parliamentary Elections set for April-June

See also Syria Live Coverage: At Least 53 Killed by Bombs in Damascus
Thursday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests Continue in Port Said

1526 GMT:Iraq. Thousands of protesters have continued to demonstrations in Ramadi against the Government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Rallies after Friday Prayers, with the theme "Iraq or Maliki" also took place in the capital city of Baghdad, the northern city of Mosul, and the central city of Fallujah.

Protests, largely made up of Sunnis, have been ongoing for weeks, with demands for the release of prisoners, an end to Government anti-terrorism policies, and a halt to the marginalising of minorities.

The rallies were sparked by the raid on 20 December 20 of the home and offices of Sunni Minister of Finance Rafi al-Issawi.

1356 GMT:Egypt. An image from today's anti-Government protests in front of the High Court in Cairo:

1216 GMT:Tunisia. Minister of Interior Ali Larayedh has been announced as the official candidate of the ruling Ennahda Movement to replace Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.

Larayedh will meet with President Moncef Marzouki and party leader Rached Ghannouchi and then be given 15 days to form a new government, which will be submitted to parliament for approval.

A long-time opponent of the Ben Ali regime, Larayedh is considered a moderate within Ennahda, which has promised to build a broadly based government.

0958 GMT:Yemen. According to the Aden Tribune, at least 9 people were killed, with dozens wounded, in clashes between security forces and secessionist demonstrators as they attempted to storm areas known to be used by supporters of unity in the Khormaksar and Crater districts of Aden yesterday.

The Yemeni President, Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi, in an allusion the alleged support given to the secessionists by Iran, urged the protestors to eschew violent measures, which he said could harm their pursuit of the “fair issue” of southern secession from the country.

The Tribune’s report also carries a number of graphic photographs of wounded and bloodied protestors and military checkpoints around Aden.

0759 GMT: Oman. Human Rights Watchs has called on Omani authorities to release and expunge the convictions of a group of reform activists, whom HRW claims have been imprisoned solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association.

Twenty-four members of the group have been on hunger strike since 9 February.

Last year, authorities convicted and sentenced 35 activists to between six months and 18 months in prison in 2012 for “defaming the Sultan,” “illegal gathering", and "cyber-crimes" in their Facebook posts and Twitter comments.

Several of the 35 were convicted in absentia, having gone into hiding or fled Oman, and two others remain free pending appeal.

The hunger strikers include the well-known activists Sa`id al-Hashemi, Basma al-Kayoumi, Mukhtar al-Hana’i, and Basima al-Rajhi. Local media have reported that al-Hashemi, who suffers from chronic injuries after a 2011 kidnapping and torture, was briefly hospitalized and that several others are in declining health.

Malek al-Abri, a member of Oman's elected Shura Council, said that the Supreme Court will hear the appeals of the activists and issue its judgment on 4 March, although there has been no official announcement from the court.

0744 GMT: Bahrain. Mahmood AlJazeeri, 20, died last night, a week after he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired by security forces in Nabil Saleh.

The video, originally posted on EA amid the protests on 14 February, the second anniversary of the start of the mass demonstrations against the regime:

0730 GMT: Egypt. A Presidential decree has announced Parliamentary elections in four stages, beginning 27-28 April.

Subsequent rounds of voting, prompted because of the shortage of monitors for a single-stage ballot, will follow on 15-16 May, 2-3 June, and 19-20 June.

Earlier in the day, the Shura Council, the upper house of Parliament, adopted an electoral law as amended by the Constitutional Court, clearing the way for the vote for the lower house.

Meanwhile, protests continued in Port Said on Thursday and may be seen across the country today, as Morsi's opponents continue to press for political change, the dismissal of the Minister of the Interior, and amendment of the Constitution.

Al Masry Al Youm claims that it has obtained documents confirming that the Ministry of Interior has imported 140,000 riot control smoke bombs.

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