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Backing Islamist candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections is a religious obligation because those candidates seek to apply Sharia (Islamic law), a Salafi leader said on Wednesday during a political conference in Alexandria.
Salafi Nour Party member Abdel Moneim al-Shahat voiced his hope that Islamists would have a good showing in the 28 November elections.
"Egypt is approaching its most critical parliament ever, which will shape its political identity for decades to come," Shahat said during a conference to support candidates from the party.
"Unlike what our rivals say about us, we clearly announce that we seek to apply God's law. Voters should support Islamist candidates who want to apply the laws of God, it is a religious obligation," he said.
Shahat added that political candidates and elected officials should respect the nation's principles, religion and legislation.
Salafi movements have expanded their political presence since the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak. They have accused the Mubarak regime of persecuting them for decades, though many Salafis preached that it was religiously prohibited to disobey rulers.
The Nour Party was founded in the coastal city of Alexandria, northwest of Cairo, and won official recognition on 12 June.
Observers fear that Salafi parties might team up with the Muslim Brotherhood during the elections to create a powerful Islamist coalition that would potentially control parliament and the drafting of the country's new constitution.
Translated from the Arabic Edition