Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi has issued a presidential decree calling for staggered parliamentary elections, starting April 27 and ending in June.

The decree, announced late Thursday, says the vote will take place in four stages and the new parliament will convene on July 6.

Since the ouster of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in 2011, Egyptians have gone through a series of referendums, presidential and parliamentary elections. The first elected parliament was disbanded by a court order last June.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the country's dominant political group.

The call for the balloting comes as Egypt is in deep turmoil, bitterly divided between the fundamentalist Brotherhood and their backers on one side, and secular liberal political parties and youth groups on the other.