The association of the Sufi Orders of Alexandria has announced that it will officially field nine of its followers, including one woman, to run for individual seats in different constituencies in March's parliamentary elections, the Ahram Arabic website has reported.
“We encourage and support the members of the Sufi orders to run for the individual seats in the parliamentary elections for the first time in the history of the Sufi Orders of Alexandria” Sheikh Gaber Kassam, the secretary-general of the Sufi Orders of Alexandria, said in the statement.
Sheikh Abdel Hady El-Kasaby, the head of the Supreme Council of Sufi Orders, announced earlier in February that he had joined the "For the Love of Egypt" electoral list for the parliamentary elections.
Followers of Sufi orders have run in previous parliamentary elections as individual candidates and as members of different parties, but not yet as followers of Sufi orders.
Followers of the Sufi orders in Egypt are estimated to number several millions.
In the run-up to the 2011 parliamentary election, the Egyptian Liberation Party became Egypt's first political party to represent the interests of Sufi orders.
During the presidential elections of June 2012, Sufi orders overwhelmingly supported former Mubarak prime minister Ahmed Shafik against Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood, their traditional opponents.