CAIRO: Coordinator of the Secular Copts group Kamal Zakher resigned from Al-Wafd Party on Monday in objection to what he described as connections between the party and the Muslim Brotherhood.
He accused Al-Wafd of “giving up the party’s secular-based pillars that call for the principles of national unity.”
In an email sent to Mounir Fakkry Abdel-Nour, the party’s secretary-general, Zakher gave three reasons for his resignation.
The first was the visit of the party’s President Al-Sayed Al-Badawy to the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters last July, describing it as “illegitimate and conflicting with the party’s basic principles.”
The second reason were comments made by Al-Azhar professor Dr. Soad Saleh’s, who recently joined the party. In an interview on satellite TV station ON TV, Saleh said that a Christian cannot be a president. Zakher objected to the fact that the party did not investigate the matter, which thwarts its principles of promoting national unity.
The third reason referred to Al-Badawy’s speech on Aug. 5, in which he reportedly said that the party is not secular.
Abdel-Nour described the resignation as “sad”, saying it was better for Zakher to stay with the party and continue holding on to the party’s fundamentals.
“There is a huge difference in ideology between Al-Wafd and the Brotherhood,” he said. “But we are at a stage where we have to communicate with all political actors including the politically influential Muslim Brotherhood.”
Zakher, however, saw this as courting “fundamentalist” groups at the expense of the party’s secular principles.
“I joined Al-Wafd 15 years ago because it is a secular liberal party and the only one calling for national unity,” he said. “I was shocked to see these recent changes.”
Zakher also described the reasons he mentioned in his resignation as “extremely dangerous” and “reflect the possibility of converting the party from a liberal, secular one to one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s tributaries.”
Zakher to hold the party responsible.
“The members must safeguard the principles of the party,” he said.