Sunday, Feb. 14
Latest News
  1. Palestinian teen killed after alleged stabbing attempt near Bethlehem
  2. Israeli troops detain nine in West Bank overnight raids
  3. Hebron woman killed by Israeli forces died due to lack of treatment
  4. Rafah crossing opens for second day as Gaza calls for extension
  5. Israeli forces kill two Palestinians teens near Jenin
  6. Hundreds rush to southern Gaza Strip after Egypt opens Rafah crossing
  7. Palestinian National Initiative holds Gaza sit-in for al-Qiq
  8. Quartet: Significant steps needed to avoid deterioration on the ground
  9. Israeli army threatens village after residents protest settler road
  10. Palestinian, 18, shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier in Hebron

New Egyptian party set to split Islamist vote further

Jan. 1, 2013 7:27 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 2, 2013 6:44 P.M.)
By: Tamim Elyan
CAIRO (Reuters) -- Leading members of Egypt's hardline Islamist movement unveiled a new political party on Tuesday, pointing to new rivalries that could split the Islamist vote in an impending parliamentary election.

The creation of the al-Watan ('Homeland') Party is part of a political landscape that was dominated by a variety of Islamist parties in the last election a year ago, but is still evolving.

The polls, due to begin in about two months, will be defined by competition between the Islamists, many of them from the Muslim Brotherhood that propelled Muhammed Mursi to the presidency, and secular-minded critics who have closed ranks in opposition to him.

Al-Watan's founders include the former leader of the Nour Party, a hardline Salafi Islamist group that came second to the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party in the last election.

The last parliament, in which the FJP and the Nour Party together won some 70 percent of the seats, was dissolved in June by a court ruling that found the election law had been flawed.

One of al-Watan's founders, Emad Abdel Ghaffour, was Nour Party leader until he quit last week following internal disputes over the role of clerics in decision-making and bickering over internal elections.

He unveiled the new party on Tuesday at a news conference alongside Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a popular Salafi preacher who said an Islamist party that he plans to set up would enter an electoral alliance with al-Watan.

Abu Ismail was a front-runner for the presidency until he was disqualified on the grounds that his mother had held US citizenship.

Salafi Islamists had kept out of politics until the uprising that overthrew Mubarak, but have emerged as a potent force since his political demise. Their stated aim is the application of Islamic law, or sharia.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2016