Egypts Salafi party says no alliance with Brotherhood next elections

Published: Updated:
Egypt’s newly elected Salafi Nour Party chairman said that an electoral alliance between his party and the Muslim Brotherhood’s ruling Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is not possible during the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections, a local newspaper reported.

Chairman Younes Makhyoun said that the Nour party and the FJP are in disagreement and that it would be for each party’s good sake to run the elections on its own, he told the state-owned daily Al Ahram.

"There is a tense relationship with the Brotherhood and our programs and views on managing the state are different," said Makhyoun, as quoted by Ahram Online.

"It would be too hard to share one [electoral] list. It is in both sides' best interests to take part in the parliamentary elections on its own," he added.

Makhyoun, a 58-year-old cleric and trained dentist, was selected last Wednesday in a consensus vote to lead the Salafi Nour party, one of several religion-based parties to take root after the 2011 Egyptian uprising.

Nour Party made a surprisingly strong showing in the country’s first parliamentary elections last year, capturing 25 percent of the seats and trailing only the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s best-organized political force, according to the Associated Press.

A Nour Party spokesperson told Al Ahram that the party is considering an electoral alliance with other Islamist forces, including the Watan (homeland) Party, which was established recently and includes former Nour Party members.

The country’s upcoming parliamentary elections date is to be announced by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi. The president’s spokesman, Yasser Ali, told reporters last Wednesday that preparations for the vote would start on Feb. 25.

Makhyoun has been quoted earlier by the Associated Press describing the next parliament as “the most dangerous and the most important” in Egypt’s history, saying that its mission will be “to purify all laws from whatever violates Shariah,” or Islamic law.