Mahmoud Maatouq, a Nour Party candidate who failed to garner enough votes in the parliamentary elections in Qena and subsequently decided to resign from the party, has accused Yasser Borhamy and other Salafi Dawah leaders of being behind the Nour Party's failure, due to their strange fatwas.
Maatouq added in an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm that the party is no longer popular among Egyptians.
Q: Why have you resigned from the Nour Party?
A: After I decided to run in the elections, I discovered that the Nour Party has no popularity, as its leaders claim. It also lacks an efficient staff. Many citizens hate the Nour Party. At first, party leaders convinced me that they had a genuine intention to reform the country and that they had many visions and ideas that would contribute to alleviating the suffering of people. But I discovered the opposite and found out how much people hated the party.
Q: What are the main reasons behind the party's failure?
A: The main reason is that Nour Party leaders are detached from the people. I asked them many times to get closer to the people, but they wanted to limit the party to people with beards and niqabs only.
Q: Do you agree that the campaign against the Nour Party in the media and by the Muslim Brotherhood caused the failure of the party?
A: No, those are pretexts given by Nour Party leaders because they refuse to face the truth. I believe that Yasser Borhamy's and other Salafi Dawah leaders' fatwas have been the main contributors to the failure of the party.
Q: Hasn't the party exerted enough effort in the first round of the parliamentary elections?
A: The party made great efforts in the first round and provided many services to people.
Q: Have you contacted Nour Party leaders over your resignation?
A: No, I didn't. I only care to apologize to my family, friends and neighbors who advised me not to join the Nour Party, but I didn't listen to them.
Q: Has joining the Nour Party harmed you?
A: Yes. I garnered 12,000 votes in the 2012 elections and I was close to running in the runoff election. This time I garnered only 4,000 votes because many refused to vote for me as a Nour Party candidate. My rival, who garnered 12,000 votes, will run in the runoff election. I regret joining the Nour Party.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm