Egypt's Salafist Nour Party endorses Abul-Fotouh presidential bid
Ahram Online, Sunday 29 Apr 2012
The Nour Party and the Salafist Scholar Shura Council decided Saturday to support Abul-Fotouh in Egypt's looming presidential race

The Nour Party and the Salafist Scholar Shura Council decided on Saturday to endorse the presidential bid of Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, following a meeting with Islamist presidential contenders.

The decision was unveiled after members of the Salafist party and council voted for the former Muslim Brotherhood leader. "The party members have chosen Abul-Fotouh," Youness Makioun, a Nour Party MP, told CBC TV.

Earlier on Saturday, the Salafist Scholar Shura Council met with the Brotherhood's presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, and independent contender, candidatecandidateMohmed Selim El-Awa, to discuss their repective platforms.

Abul-Fotouh, however, did not attend the meeting as a representative of his campaign attended on his behalf.

The prominent Islamist activist, Abul-Fotouh, was expelled from the Brotherhood shortly after announcing his intention to run for president in June 2011, thereby going against the group's decision at the time not to field a presidential candidate.

The Brotherhood later backtracked on their decision and announced Khairat El-Shater as their candidate – the man who is widely believed to be responsible for Abul-Fotouh's expulsion from the Brotherhood.

The Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC), however, concluded that El-Shater is ineligible to run for president due to legal problems. The Brotherhood, subsequently, fielded Morsi, the head of their political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), in the presidential contest.

The first round of Egypt's presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff-voting round, if needed, on 16 and 17 June.