Nour Party names Younis Makhyoun new chief

After losing some of its most prominent members to a new political party, the Salafi-oriented Nour Party chose Younis Makhyoun as its new president Wednesday.

Other party members vying for the position vacated by Emad Abdel Ghafour, who left to form the Watan Party, stepped aside in favor of Makhyoun, who is a member of the Salafi Dawah and also served on the Constituent Assembly that drafted Egypt's new constitution.

When the party announced the result at a press conference broadcast on Al-Jazeera, the audience chanted, "Whatever you may do, Quran is our constitution."

Makhyoun said the party will work to reach power and described the next parliament as “the most critical and important” in the nation's history. He said the party would work to eradicate any existing laws that violate Islamic Sharia.

Elections for the lower house of Parliament are expected within the next few months. The Nour Party won the second-highest number of seats after the Muslim Brotherhood in the last elections, but divisions recently cost the party some of its leaders. Former party chief Ghafour had resigned, along with other key leaders, to form the Watan Party and join an electoral alliance with controversial Salafi preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. 

“We are not seeking rule for the sake of rule, for we are not hungry for power. We only entered the [political] realm to introduce reform,” Makhyoun said Wednesday, adding that no single faction can carry the responsibility of leadership alone.

“We do not want to monopolize power and we are extending our hands to everyone and call on political powers to engage in dialogue for the sake of Egypt,” he said.

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