Salafist party to run with ex-NDP candidates, SPAP suspends participation in elections

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Egypt’s ultra conservative Salafist Nour party said it will run for parliament on an electoral list that includes former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP), as long as the candidates were not involved in corruption, the party’s leader Younis Makioun stated.

The NDP, Egypt’s former ruling party, was dissolved by a court ruling in April 2011 following a popular revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak in January.

Makioun stressed his party is seeking full-on participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for March.

He added that his party “wouldn’t mind” forming an alliance with any bloc as long as it is not involved in violence.

The Nour party was a strong ally of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and his outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organisation, however, it participated in the political road map that was imposed after Morsi’s ouster by a popular revolution in 2013.

The Salafist party occupied the second-highest number of seats after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party in the 2012 parliament under Morsi.

The parliament was later dissolved by a constitutional court in July 2012.

The Muslim Brotherhood was designated as terrorist organisation in December 2013, while its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, was dissolved by a court ruling in 2014.

Meanwhile, members of the Tamarod youth group announced that they will be running for seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections as independent candidates, a spokesman said.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected the group’s founding of a political party in a final ruling.

The ruling, however, granted the establishment of the Arabism Egypt Party established by former military chief-of-staff Sami Anan.

Last December, Egypt’s Political Parties Committee (PPC) rejected Tamarod Youth Movement’s request to establish a political party and referred it to the Supreme Administrative Court.

Tamarod Youth Movement first rose to the political stage during the incumbency of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The movement also took part in planning and organising mass rallies which toppled Morsi during the 30 June revolution in 2013.

Following the ouster of Morsi, the Tamarod movement divided into two major groups, one of which strongly supports the current political regime.

The other group is loyal to its current leader, socialist figure Hamdeen Sabahi, who lost the 2014 presidential election to former army chief Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi by a wide margin.

Meanwhile, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) decided to suspend participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections until five “urgent” demands are met, the party said in statement following a meeting with its political bureau.

The demands include a call for the dismissal of the current Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim along with a restructuring of the Ministry of Interior.

The party also demanded that the state provide guarantees on the integrity of the elections.

The SPAP’s decision came after Shaimaa Al-Sabagh, one of its members, was killed during a protest last Saturday in downtown Cairo, one day ahead of the fourth anniversary of the January 2011 revolution.

The party has accused the Ministry of Interior of killing her.

The office of the Prosecutor-General ordered an investigation into Al-Sabagh’s death, summoning security personnel who were involved in the incident. The Ministry of Interior ensured its cooperation and commitment to the results of the investigation.