Confrontation escalates between Brotherhood and Salafis

Confrontations between Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood have escalated following the division of Islamist groups between two major coalitions, namely the Democratic Alliance, of which the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is a member, and a recently formed coalition of Salafi parties, which includes the Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Building and Development Party.

The Salafis, who are ultraconservatist Islamists, left the Democratic Alliance recently to form a coalition of their own. The Brotherhood has dominated the Democratic Alliance for months.

“There are six million Salafis in Egypt,” said Adel Afify, president of the Salafi Asala Party. “This makes them the largest single political force if all of them cast their votes.”

But Ashraf Badr Eddin, a member of the Freedom and Justice Party’s executive committee, said Afify was exaggerating. “This is his way of campaigning for his party,” he said, contending that there are no statistics regarding the number of Salafis or Muslim Brothers in Egypt.

In related news, the number of member parties of the Democratic Alliance was reduced from 30 to 12 due to some of them deciding to run independently in the elections. “We will submit our final candidacy lists in a few days,” said Wahid Abdel Meguid, chairman of the coalition’s elections committee.

Also, the number of Egyptian Bloc parties decreased from 21 to 14. The bloc is expected to submit its lists on Tuesday.

“We’ll field 49 candidates independently if we do not approve of the bloc’s list,” said Bassel Adel of the Free Egyptians Party.

The Ryada Party has joined the Wasat Coalition after it was promised 7 percent of the candidacy lists, while the Egyptian Trend Party has joined the Revolution Youth Coalition lists.

Mohamed al-Omda, a member of the Wafd Party’s executive committee, has resigned from the party and decided to run independently. He blames the party for nominating the chairman of the party’s Aswan branch instead of him.

The Wafd Party has already submitted its candidacy lists, which include two former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the High Elections Committee decided to increase campaign spending limits to LE500,000 for each individual candidate, provided that candidates do not employ government institutions, places of worship, schools and universities or religious slogans in aiding their campaigns.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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