Salafist parties form coalition to contest Egypt parliamentary election
Ahram Online, Thursday 28 Feb 2013
Four Salafist parties form electoral coalition to challenge Nour and Muslim Brotherhood dominance in upcoming parliamentary election

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party has formed a coalition with three other Salafist parties to contest upcoming parliamentary elections.

Safwat Abdel-Ghani, Shura Council member and head of the party's political office, told Reuters the alliance would include the Asala Party; the Watan Party, formed by ex-Nour Party members, and Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail's Raya Party.

Abdel-Ghani predicted the coalition would win 30 percent of seats in the lower house of parliament to become the second-largest bloc after the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

The Salafist Nour Party was the second-largest bloc in the lower house of parliament before the legislative body was dissolved by a court order for being "unconstitutional."

Nour won't win the same number of seats this time around, Abdel-Ghani said.

Egypt's largest opposition grouping, the National Salvation Front (NSF), which includes the Constitution Party led by Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian Popular Current led by Nasserist former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, and other liberal and leftist groups, will boycott the election.

NSF's decision to boycott the election was unanimous and followed objections to the new "unfair" elections law. The law was drafted by the Shura Council which is dominated by Islamist parties.