Islamist political parties form electoral alliance

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Mar 2013

Seven Islamist political parties collaborate to 'protect people's rights' and demand a timeframe for parliamentary elections

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Islamist party leaders, including disqualified presidential candidate Hazem Abu Ismail (extreme right), at the press conference. (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

Seven Islamist political parties have launched the Umma Alliance (Nation Alliance) announcing their collaboration to protect the "achievements of the January 25 Revolution" and stand against those who interrupt the "constitutional path that allows people to choose their ruler."

The parties say in a press conference Saturday that what prompted them to form the alliance is the recent political crises in Egypt and the "clear dangers" triggered by the "police [labour] strike… in what seems like a forced summoning of the army" to take power.

News has circulated in Egyptian media recently on the possibility of the army taking over power again amid the security and political crisis. About 2,000 people staged a march to Nasr City in Cairo calling on the army to intervene. The army has been playing a role in mainting security in cities like Port Said, where clashes have broken out, however, the army's Chief of Staff General Sedki Sobhi said last month that the army will avoid politics.

The alliance includes the Salafist Raya Party, headed by disqualified presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the Reform Party, Asala (Authenticity) Party, People's Party, Islamic Party, Fadila (Virtue) Party and New Labour Party.

The parties demand a timetable for the procedures of the next parliamentary elections. They reject the idea of postponing elections without one.

Egypt's administrative court suspended parliamentary elections on Wednesday and referred the electoral law back to the High Constitutional Court (HCC) to rule on its constitutionality.

The administrative court said in their ruling that the Shura Council did not take into account all of the HCC's points of criticism on the law when it reviewed it the first time.

The Islamist-dominated council, which in the absence of the dissolved lower house is acting as the legislative body, also had not referred the law back to the HCC before voting and passing it.

In their conclusion, the Umma Alliance "invites all parties and entities… to join [the alliance] to protect the rights of the people."

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