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Court delays elections in Egypt; strife remains polarizing

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 7:18 p.m.

CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Wednesday ordered the suspension of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin in April, opening a legal battle likely to delay the vote and deepening the political crisis between the Islamist president and his opponents that has polarized the nation for months.

The new confusion surrounding the election underlined the paralysis gripping Egypt, between political deadlock, infighting among state institutions, a faltering economy and a wave of protests, strikes and clashes against Mohamed Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood that has spiraled for months around the country.

In the Suez Canal city of Port Said, scene of heavy clashes between protesters and police that have left six dead since Sunday, the violence entered a fourth day, dragging in the military. Protesters hurled stones at police firing tear gas, as army troops struggled to keep the two sides apart.

Morsy's Islamist supporters and some in the public exhausted by the turmoil have viewed the parliamentary elections as a step toward bringing some stability, accusing the opposition of stirring up unrest to derail the voting.

But the mainly liberal and secular opposition had called a boycott of the vote, saying Morsy must first find some political consensus and ease the wave of popular anger.

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