We didn't participate in pro-Morsi protests: Nour Party spokesman

Ahram Online, Saturday 22 Jun 2013

Largest Salafist party asks other Islamist parties not to speak on their behalf and claim his party supports pro-Morsi demonstration, despite some Nour members' attendance

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Al-Nour Salafist party spokesman Nader Bakar (Photo: AL-Ahram)

Spokesman of Egypt's second-largest Islamist political party and the Salafists' political arm, Nour Party, denounces claims that they had taken part in Friday's Islamist rallies in support of the Brotherhood-fielded President Mohamed Morsi.

"The Nour Party denounces the false claim by some that the party's youth had taken part in [Friday's] protests in Rabaa Square," Spokesman Nader Bakkar tweeted on Friday evening.

Gamaa Islamiya leading figure Assem Abdel-Maged told the crowd that the Salafist Nour Party, too, had a presence at the rally, despite the fact that the party had stated they would not participate.

Abdel-Maged's announcement came when leading Nour Party figure Mohamed Emara announced his presence at Friday's rally "to support the president's legitimacy" and call for national unity.

"The attendance of one of our members at the rally Friday is a personal action that does not represent the party in any way," Bakkar said in comment over Emara's participation.

Furthermore Bakkar requested that the Freedom and Justice Party and the Gamaa Islamiya's Building and Development party "not to speak in the party's name."

The Nour Party renounced the Friday pro-Morsi rallies as "only fostering the current crisis, which harms the country and its economy."

"[Friday's] demonstration and the statement made by its participants have only added to the existing tension in the [political] scene instead of seeking a sensible solution for pacification," Bakkar reiterated.

The Nour Party had announced an initiative earlier in June in coordination with an umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, to end the current state of national political polarisation.

The initiative was referred by the president to the national dialogue meetings called for by the presidency and ongoing for several weeks.

Friday's demonstration, whose participants numbered in the hundreds of thousands – was meant to bolster support for embattled President Morsi ahead of planned demonstrations on 30 June to demand his ouster.

The opposition's 30 June rallies are being spearheaded by the anti-Morsi Rebel signature drive to demand early elections. Many expect that the protests will be the largest since those seen on the second anniversary of the 25 January 2011 uprising. 

The Nour Party is the largest Salafist group in Egypt but has fallen out with the Muslim Brotherhood over political differences. Although they did not officially participate in the pro-Morsi demonstrations, the Nour Party still rejects calls for early presidential elections.

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