Islamist party unveils strategy to support new Egypt constitution

Al-Noor Party said it will not use religious propaganda to support win voters’ support for the charter

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Egypt’s Islamist Salafi Nour Party said on Saturday that it had formed a committee to mobilize voters in favor of the newly drafted constitution.

Shaaban Abdul Aleem, a member of the ultra-conservative party, told Al Arabiya News Channel that the party endorsed the draft constitution because it “preserves the Islamic identity of Egypt.”

Abdul-Aleem stressed said “religious propaganda” will not be part of its strategy to amass support for the new charter.

“We will not use religious propaganda or attempt to influence voters religiously through our campaign, as we are not a religious based party, although we refer to Islam and Shari’a as a higher reference, which is constitutional,” he said.

“The mobilization will focus on convincing our supporters and sympathizers that the constitution preserves the Islamic identity of Egypt,” Abdul-Aleem added.

The party said it is considering several options to gather support including holding town hall meetings to explain the new clauses of the constitution. It is also hoping to work with other political parties, using their respective networks to reach people in remote areas to guarantee a high turnout at the polls.

According to Abdul-Aleem, al-Noor will prepare leaflets that explain the four interpretations of the now altered second clause and to distribute them to the party’s supporters and Salafi sympathizers.

Additionally, younger members of the party will start a social media campaign to mobilize supporters.

The party is relying on the support of the Salafi movement leaders in the governorates and its deputy Sheikh Yasser Borhami, who is already gathering support in the governorates and meeting with local leaders to gain their support.

The mobilization campaign will pave the way for what is anticipated to be larger scale mobilization in the upcoming legislative elections.

Responding to interim president Adli Mansour’s attempt to amend the preamble of the constitution, Abdul-Aleem said: “The president doesn’t have this right, especially because the new constitution is written by the committee of 50 and they approved it and presented the final draft to the president.”

“As for some terminology changes, such as the civil government or civil cabinet, these issues were answered and there has been no manipulation or change in the text before it was submitted to the interim president,” he added.