Nour Party remains our only political arm: Salafist Calling
Ahram Online , Monday 31 Dec 2012
Salafist Calling confirms it only backs Nour Party, distancing itself from new Al-Watan Party led by former chairman Emad Abdel-Ghafour

Despite mass resignations, the Salafist Calling confirmed in a statement released Monday that the Salafist Nour Party remains its only political arm.

"A movement cannot support more than one political party at the same time…the Nour Party is the Salafist Calling's only political arm," the statement read.

The movement has called on all of its members to join and support the party, which has been mired in internal disputes.

The Salafist Calling is Egypt's largest and most influential Salafist movement and includes a number of the country's most prominent preachers.

The statement comes after former head of the Nour Party Emadeddin Abdel-Gafour officially resigned his post as party chairman last week and announced his plans to launch a new political party, Al-Watan (Homeland).

Other members including former spokesperson Yosri Hamad also resigned and announced they were set to join the new party.

The conflict within the party is reportedly between Abdel-Ghafour's front and followers of influential cleric Yasser El-Borhami, one of the founders of the Salafist Calling, a movement that spawned the Nour Party in 2011.

The supreme committee of the Nour Party, which espouses an ultra-conservative brand of Islam, withdrew confidence from Abdel-Ghafour earlier in October.

Abdel-Ghafour, however, refused to step down.

The Salafist Calling, led by El-Borhami, stood by members of the party’s supreme committee against party chairman.

Abdel-Ghafour and his supporters – known within the party as the 'Reformist Front' – retaliated by calling for the dismissal of the supreme committee via the party's official Twitter account.

The Nour Party is the most influential Salafist party in Egypt. It led a coalition of Islamist political parties that won 127 seats in the now dissolved lower house of parliament.