Brotherhood in talks to form electoral alliance with Salafis, leader says

The Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi-oriented Nour Party are holding talks over forming an Islamist alliance for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held after a new constitution is in place, London-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported Monday.

A Muslim Brotherhood leader, whose name the paper did not mention, said the FJP offered to coordinate action and consult with the Nour Party in the coming stage in preparation for forming an electoral alliance, and that Salafis are examining the issue.

The same Brotherhood leader said more meetings would be held over the coming few days.

According to the paper, efforts by liberal and leftist powers to coordinate action for the election has led them to work toward the formation an alliance to guarantee an Islamist majority in Parliament. But the same Brotherhood leader expressed fears that the Islamist alliance would be splintered when candidates’ quotas are distributed, as with what happened in the previous election. Attempts by the Brotherhood and the Salafis to join forces for the 2011 parliamentary polls failed. 

The Brotherhood leader said the FJP has offered some revolutionary powers to join its electoral alliance, adding that a committee was formed to coordinate between the parties before the election. The Brotherhood leader also did not rule out the possibility that the party’s electoral list would include prominent political figures who allied with Morsy before he was elected, adding that the FJP plans to contest all of Parliament’s seats, in order to form a government in cooperation with its allies with a comfortable majority.

The paper said the Islamist alliance would be an important one, particularly since Islamists and Salafis scooped up 70 percent of the now-dissolved Parliament’s seats — a challenge to liberal and leftist powers that might push them to form a counter alliance.

The paper also referred to the proposed Powerful Egypt party, a party being formed by former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh to bring together groups in support of the goals of the 25 January revolution.

The Powerful Egypt party and the proposed Brotherhood-Salafi alliance are not the only attempts being made by political parties to unite. Al-Hayat referred to an announcement made by the Constitution Party, led by Mohamed ElBaradei, that it would form an alliance named the Third Current. Representatives of the proposed alliance will meet with the Popular Current Party, led by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, Saturday to discuss the new alliance.  

Additionally, former diplomat Amr Moussa is leading negotiations with the Wafd Party to form an electoral alliance known as the Egyptian Nation, and leftists are also meeting on the potential formation of a group called the Revolutionary Democratic Alliance.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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