Cairo: Egypt's parliamentary elections will be held in the second half of November, two months later than originally scheduled, Chief of the Higher Election Commission Abdul Moaez Ebrahim said on Saturday.

He added that the elections of both houses of the parliament will be held at the same time and fully supervised by judges. "Whether Egyptian expatriates will be able to vote or not needs a political decision," Ebrahim told reporters in Cairo.

The commission was created last week by a military council, in control of Egypt since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak in February. The

Earlier in the day, Hussain Tantawi, the head of the council, promised free parliamentary and presidential elections. In a televised address, Tantawi vowed to set up a democratic civil state in Egypt.

Under a parliament law endorsed by the military rulers last week, the parliamentary elections will be held on the basis of a mixed system combining closed party lists and individual candidacy.

Several opposition groups have criticised the law, saying allowing individual candidacy will allow loyalists to Mubarak to run in the elections.