Egypt Independent

Salafi party rejected Democratic Alliance over secular members

Salafi Nour Party refused to join the Muslim Brotherhood-led Democratic Alliance, after the latter joined liberal and secularist groups whose platforms are at odds with its own, a senior leader of the party said on Sunday.

The Democratic Alliance constitutes 11 parties, whose members pledge coordination during parliamentary elections scheduled for 28 November.

At a popular conference at the coastal province of Alexandria on Saturday, Nour Party politburo member and parliamentary candidate Ashraf Thabet said his party rejects non-Islamist alliances.

"We cannot support a liberal or secularist slate,” he said. He revealed that the Nour Party has begun to coordinate with other Salafi parties – such as Asala and Jama’a al-Islamiya's political arm, the Construction and Development Party – in preparation for upcoming elections. Thabet denied claims that his party had included members from the formerly ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) on its lists.

Thabet added, "Competing with the Brotherhood's party does not mean that Islamist votes have been split, and that will be proven by election results." He added that his party will declare the name of the presidential candidate it will support as soon as the final list of presidential nominees is announced.

Salafi movements have expanded their political presence in Egypt since the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak early this year. They accuse Mubarak of persecuting them for decades, though many Salafis preached that Islam prohibited them from disobeying him.

The Nour Party was founded in the coastal city of Alexandria, northwest of Cairo, and won official recognition on 12 June. A coalition joining the three Salafi parties (Nour, Asala, and Construction and Development) together is expected to seize nearly 30 percent of parliamentary seats.

Translated from the Arabic Edition