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Salafist Nour, Strong Egypt challenge national reconciliation efforts

Egypt's Salafist Nour Party lays down a list of conditions to join government-sponsored reconciliation initiative; centrist Strong Egypt Party will not take part

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Jul 2013
Galal Morra
Nour Party's Secretary General Galal Morra (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's government-sponsored national reconciliation initiative faces challenges from two opposition parties, the Salafist Nour Party and the centrist Strong Egypt Party.

Nour Party's secretary-general Galal Morra laid down conditions for its participation in Egypt's national reconciliation efforts as the interim President Adly Mansour opens the first session on Wednesday.

The reconciliation initiative was launched by the presidency after former president Mohamed Morsi's popularly-backed deposition by the military on 3 July. The Muslim Brotherhood, where Morsi hails from, rejected the invitation to participate in the talks.

Morsi supporters continue to protest daily demanding for his reinstatement. The rallies have turned violent on several occasions as opponents and supporters of the deposed president engaged in clashes, leaving dozens dead from both sides.

The steps for a "real" national reconciliation include a media ethics code to be set against "inciting" rhetoric and allowing closed Islamist-run channels back on the air, Morra said in a statement on Wednesday.

Several Islamist channels supporting the ousted president were taken off the air after Morsi's deposition.

Morra demanded the "behavioural revision" of security forces. He said security forces were only protecting rallies in support of the current transitional government and not pro-Morsi demonstrations.

He also demanded safeguarding the current constitution from calls for scrapping it and revising the "position of forces that provoke the public by attacking the Islamic identity and asking for banning parties defending it."

The demands also included making Egypt's Islamic institution Al-Azhar – instead of the presidency – the main sponsor of the reconciliation to make it effective.

Morra claimed the military had agreed to those conditions when setting forth a transitional roadmap before Morsi was ousted.

Strong Egypt Party declined the invitation to the dialogue because it did not answer the party's questions regarding the agenda and parties involved.

In a statement issued earlier on Wednesday, the party said that it was not contacted by the presidency regarding the national reconciliation efforts despite what the presidency promised in the meeting on 6 July attended by the party's leader Abdel Moneim Abou El-Fotouh and interim president Adly Mansour.

After learning that the presidency did not invite "important political parties and powers" in the country and considering the army and police are not part of the reconciliation, the national reconciliation initiative seemed to be useless, the party concluded.

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