Tuesday, April 28
Latest News
  1. Kerry: US defense commitment to Japan 'ironclad', includes Senkakus
  2. Kerry unveils $10 mln in Nepal quake aid
  3. Government: Nepal quake death toll passes 4,000
  4. Bahrain again extends top rights activist's detention
  5. Kerry to meet Iran FM Zarif on Monday
  6. Dozens of Iraqi police killed during fierce clashes in Ramadi
  7. First Saudi National Guards reach Yemen border zone
  8. Israel charges soldiers over looting during Gaza war
  9. Israel invites bids for 77 East Jerusalem settler homes
  10. Deutsche Bank Q1 profits fall 50% over $2.5 bn rate fixing fine
  11. Witnesses: 2 protestors shot dead in Burundi capital
  12. Small groups of protestors, police clash in Burundi capital
  13. Clashes rage in Yemen as calls for peace talks grow
  14. EU AgenPolice arrest 26 across Europe in horsemeat scandal
  15. US: Russia failing to fully implement Ukraine ceasefire
  16. Kerry urges Yemen rebels and their allies to enter talks
  17. Ex-Yemen leader urges rebel allies to heed UN, pull back
  18. Iraq lacks DNA results to test body of 'Saddam deputy'
  19. Family: Syria's sacked political spy chief dead
  20. Officials: 14 Somali, Afghan immigrants killed by train in Macedonia

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.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015