Head of Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party, Younis Makhioun, said he expects his party to win the same percentage of parliamentary seats it did in 2012 -- nearly 24% of the total.
In an interview with Aswat Masriya, Makhioun recognised that the Muslim Brotherhood had, according to him, harmed parties with a religious affiliation yet remained confident that his party would garner the same support in the coming parliamentary elections.
The Nour Party’s electoral coalition had gained the highest number of seats (24 percent) following the Brotherhood’s (47 percent) in the 2011-12 parliamentary elections.
Makhioun condemned the new draft parliamentary elections law, adding that his party will join other political parties in pressuring for its amendment. He explained that he objected to the closed party lists because they force the choice of a woman candidate only based on her gender, and a Christian candidate only based on his religion, which he described as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Several non-Islamist political parties had also objected to the new parliamentary elections law but argued instead that it diminishes the role of political parties.
The Constitution Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Karama Party, the Popular Current and the Free Egypt Party had objected to the new draft parliamentary law in a statement describing it as "a disaster for democratic transition".
While the parties had requested former president Adly Mansour to ensure that the new law be entirely based on open party lists -- which they argued would offer more representational justice than in the 2011-2012 polls -- the new draft law dictates that 80 percent of seats will instead be chosen through the individual candidacy system, in which a single candidate runs alone and not as part of a list. This, the parties complained, is very costly, wastes the votes of those who did not select the winner, and reduces the role of political parties.
The date for Egypt’s parliamentary elections has not yet been set. However, the new constitution, passed on 18 January, stipulates that preparations for Egypt's parliamentary polls must begin within six months of its ratification, or before 18 July.