El-Nour Party chairman resigns, set to found 'Al-Watan Party'
Ahram Online, Saturday 29 Dec 2012
A press conference will take place next week to reveal details of a new party resigning El-Nour Party chairman Abdel Gafour will establish; El-Nour yet to comment officially


Emad El-Din Abdel Gafour has officially resigned as El-Nour Party chairman Saturday and is poised to launch a new political party named Al-Watan (homeland), as announced on his Facebook page.

"He is now on his way to establish Al-Watan Party, [which will be] the largest Egyptian Party and include under its umbrella all spectrums of Islamist and national forces," reads the statement.

The announcement was made after recent contradictory reports about Abdel Gafour's fate amid growing rifts within the party, which is considered the largest Salafist political arm.

Yosri Hamad, a former spokesperson of El-Nour who is set to join the new party, confirmed to Ahram Online the news, saying a press conference will be held Thursday to reveal more details about Al-Watan Party.

On his Twitter account, Hamad said the founders of Al-Watan Party met Friday and agreed to appoint Abdel Gafour as representative of the founders.

"A number of figures from the Salafist current were met with the past few days to inform them of the goal behind establishing Al-Watan Party," he said.

The current wave of resignations from the Salafist El-Nour Party already comes after several months of truce between what is known as Emad Abdel-Ghafour’s front and Yasser El-Borhamy’s coalition.

In September, El-Nour Party's Supreme Committee — backed by El-Borhamy — announced it had withdrawn confidence from Abdel Ghafour, replacing him with El-Sayid Mostafa Hussein Khalifa.

Abdel Ghafour, for his part, retaliated by calling for the dismissal of Supreme Committee members.

A truce was found between the two fronts, saving the party from a spilt when the Shura Council of the Salafist Call interfered.

This month, El-Nour Party saw some 150 members publicly resign.

El-Nour Party has been considered the second largest Islamist party behind the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party with strong representation in the former parliament.

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