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Islamist parties begin drawing coalition lines - Daily News Egypt

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Islamist parties begin drawing coalition lines

Al-Nour Party states intentions to run independently, FJP ‘open’ to creating multiparty coalition

Influential Salafi party Al-Nour will run independently in upcoming parliamentary elections, said Younis Makhyoun, the new head of the party.

Makhyoun told state-owned Al-Ahram on Saturday that his party would continue having a prominent role in the future of politics after it had lost members in a past rift. He added that Al-Nour Party was in the process of putting together a distinct programme that it would present while campaigning for elections for the new House of Representatives.

Al-Nour Party was the second-most successful party in the previous People’s Assembly elections as part of the Islamist Bloc, a coalition consisting of conservative Salafi groups.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), announced it “leaves the door open for coordination and coalition possibilities.”

Mohamed Soudan, an Alexandria spokesman for the FJP, said: “We are completely open to any coalition with other parties.” Soudan did not rule out cooperating with non-Islamist parties, pointing out that the FJP had participated in a coalition with Hamdeen Sabahy’s Dignity Party, in the last parliamentary elections as part of the Democratic Alliance.

“It looks like other groups are still in the process of determining whether they want to be in coalitions,” he added.

Many senior leaders of Al-Nour Party resigned last month to form Al-Watan Party, which then formed a coalition with former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail’s People’s Party.

The time frame for elections for the House of Representatives, the lower legislative house of the Egyptian government per the new constitution, must be announced by next month. Elections for a new Shura Council will take place following those for the House of Representatives.

The prominent opposition bloc the National Salvation Front has stated its intention to run on a single list in upcoming parliamentary elections to counter the FJP and other Islamist groups that have yielded superior election results in Egypt’s post-revolutionary polls.

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