Cracks appear within Egypt's Nour Party over elections disagreement

Ahram Online, Saturday 15 Sep 2012

The head of the Salafist Nour Party orders the postponement of internal elections; party's Supreme Committee cancels his decision

Nader Bakar
Nader Bakar (Photo: TV)

A fierce disagreement over Al-Nour Party internal elections seems to have taken a toll on the unity of Egypt's largest Salafist party in the past few days, with leading members calling for the resumption of the internal poll despite an earlier decision by the party's head to postpone the process until after yet-to-be-scheduled parliamentary elections.

Al-Nour Party Chairman Emadeddin Abdel-Ghafour halted nationwide elections for several key posts within the party, including secretary-general, after the beginning of the first round held across 19 governorates.

His decision was reportedly made after the party received a large number of complaints from different governorates concerning the elections. Party spokesman Yossri Hamad later said the decision is "final and irreversible."

Abdel-Ghafour initially scheduled Nour Party elections after the upcoming parliamentary polls, expected to take place late this year following the promulgation of a new constitution. However, the party's Supreme Committee ordered polling to resume.

Party spokesman Nader Bakar stated that the resumption of the poll was legitimate, refuting reports claiming the opposite. "It is the Supreme Committee that decides on the fate of the internal elections, not the president of the party," he told Ahram Online.

"The committee agreed with his decision to look into the complaints, but the elections will go on as scheduled," he added.

When asked about possible disagreements, Nader said the party's regulations do not give the party's head the right to halt internal elections. "We respect our leaders, but we have internal regulations and we act accordingly," he said.

Galal Morra, secretary-general of Al-Nour Party, echoed similar sentiments, saying: "The decision is 100 per cent legal because it was made pursuant to a meeting of the party's Supreme Committee, which is the body that called for the polls."

Morra spoke to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news portal.

The Salafist Nour Party was founded shortly after the 2011 uprising that led to the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, whose regime for decades persecuted Islamists and denied them official political representation.

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