Emad Abdel Ghaffour, head of the Islamist Salafi Nour (Light) Party (Photo: Reuters)
Emad Abdel-Ghafour has resigned from his post as head of the prominent Salafist Nour Party after growing increasingly frustrated with interference in his job from the Salafist Call, the party’s spokesman Yousry Hammad said on Tuesday.
“Abdel-Ghafour’s front within the party will hold a meeting on Tuesday to announce the withdrawal of the party’s leaders and explain the reasons for that decision,” Hammad was quoted as saying on Ahram’s Arabic-language news website.
The decision came despite the fact that the party's general assembly had earlier declared that there would be no withdrawals until the coming parliamentary elections.
“A new party will be formed. The names being considered for the new party include El-Sahwa (the Awakening) or El-Watan (the Motherland),” Hammad added.
The conflict within the party is reportedly between Abdel-Ghafour's front and followers of influential Sheikh Yasser El-Borhami, one of the founders of the Salafist Call, a movement that spawned Nour Party in 2011.
The supreme committee of the Nour Party, which espouses an ultra-conservative brand of Islam, withdrew confidence from Abdel-Ghafour in October but he eventually stayed put.
The Salafist Call, led by El-Borhami, stood by members of the party’s supreme committee in the conflict that divided the party between two fronts, the supporters of El-Borhami and those of 'reformist' Abdel Ghafour.
Abdel-Ghafour and his supporters – known as the 'Reformist Front' within the party – retaliated by calling for the dismissal of the supreme committee via the party's official Twitter account.
Nour is the most influential Salafist party in Egypt. It led a coalition of Islamist political parties that won 127 seats in the lower house of parliament early this year.
The parliament was eventually dissolved by a court order.