Egypt's Salafist Nour Party to refrain from taking part in 28, 30 June rallies

Ahram Online , Tuesday 25 Jun 2013

Country's most prominent Salafist party says it will participate in neither upcoming pro-govt demonstrations on Friday, nor next Sunday's opposition anti-govt rallies

Younis Makhioun
Nour party leader Younis Makhioun (Photo: AO)

Egypt's Salafist Nour Party will neither participate in 28 June pro-government protests by Islamist forces or 30 June anti-government protests by opposition forces, party leader Younis Makhioun announced Tuesday.

"We want to avoid clashes that could lead to the country's total collapse," Makhioun said.

At a Tuesday press conference, leading Nour Party figure Ashraf Thabet asserted that the party did not support opposition demands for snap presidential elections – a demand, he said, which lacks a constitutional basis – but does support the idea of holding a national referendum on whether or not early presidential polls should be held.

"The Nour Party supports the notion of conducting a referendum to ask the public whether they want to have early presidential elections or not, according to constitutional Article 150," said Thabet.

In a statement, the Nour Party called for parliamentary polls as soon as possible in order to elect a House of Representatives (the lower house of Egypt's parliament) endowed with full legislative and supervisory powers, along with a prime minister to represent the parliamentary majority.

"We need a different government to supervise parliamentary elections," Thabet said at Tuesday's press conference, calling for a technocrat government representative of all political powers.

The party also called on the presidency to reconsider its recent raft of controversial gubernatorial appointments.

The Nour Party also rejected calls for the appointment of a new constituent assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution. "The constitution should merely be amended through democratic mechanisms," he said.

The party also called for an end to the ongoing standoff between Egypt's presidency and judiciary with a view to resolving the longstanding impasse over the country's prosecutor-general.

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