Nour Party spokesman declines Egypt's Supreme Press Council post

Zeinab El Gundy , Wednesday 5 Sep 2012

Salafist party figure Nader Bakkar thanks Shura Council for appointing him to press council, rejects position following public criticism at his appointment, Wednesday

Nadar Bakkar
Nader Bakkar, Official spokesman of Salafist Nour Party (Photo: Reuters)

Salafist Nour Party spokesperson Nader Bakkar announced that he has turned down membership of Egypt's Supreme Press Council, in a statement on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts, Wednesday.

Bakkar, who had been appointed by the Shura Council (Egypt's upper house of parliament) on Tuesday, thanked the council for having "trust" in him, adding "I completely understand why they nominated me for this position as a prominent figure in society but I think there are other prominent figures that deserve this position more."

Bakkar is the third member of the ultraconservative group to be appointed to the Supreme Press Council by the Islamist dominated Shura Council.

Following the revolution, the Salafist party spokesman began writing a blog and became a columnist for independent daily Youm 7. 

The news of Bakkar's membership sparked controversy as activists slammed him for not being a professional journalist and for not working in the media before the revolution.

Critics joked on Twitter that Bakkar is a member of every official council in Egypt including the Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution.

In response to the mounting criticism, Bakkar denied, via the social media website, that he was a member of parliament or a member of the National Council of Human Rights.

"I was elected by the parliament as a member of the Constituent Assembly only," he asserted.

Despite the social media quips, Bakkar's decision to decline the position has been applauded by some politicians and activists online.

Ahmed Kheiry, the spokesperson of the liberal Free Egyptians Party stated on his Twitter account late Tuesday that what Bakkar had done was a "respectable lesson that shows how the person's value does not come from his position but rather from his stances."

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