Salafists ideas are dated: Egyptian Bloc leader

Ahram Online, Mostafa Ali, Monday 12 Dec 2011

Mohamed Abul-Ghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and member of the Egyptian Bloc, responds to Islamist attacks on secular forces and predicts confrontation in new parliament

Mohamed Abu El-Ghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (Photo: Ahram)

The head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), Mohamed Abul-Ghar, opened fire on Salafists two days ahead of the parliamentary elections’ second round.

In an interview with CBC TV Sunday, Abul-Ghar accused the Salafists of collaborating with now-dismantled State Security Intelligence during the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. He also charged that the Salafists’ world outlook is “incompatible with the 21st century.”

Abul-Ghar, speaking to the popular TV presenter Kheiry Ramadan, refuted widely circulating Salafist allegations that Coptic Egyptians control the agenda of the Egyptian Bloc, an electoral alliance spearheaded by liberal Christian businessman Naguib Suweiris and of which ESDP is a member.

Abul-Ghar predicted that his liberal coalition, which finished a distant third behind the Islamists in the first round of the elections, would most likely clash with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists in a new parliament, but added that urgent national priorities might also sometimes force all sides to work together in order to find solutions to issues.

Egypt will be ruled by a civilian president, and the political role of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is destined to come to an end, Abul-Ghar told Ramadan.

Meanwhile, in televised one-minute election commercials that have started to air in recent days on satellite TV stations such as the Suweiris-owned ONTV, Abul-Ghar attempted to inform the public that 90 per cent of the candidates that the Egyptian Bloc is fielding in the parliamentary contest are actually Muslims.

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