Egypt's Nour Party proposes alternative 'roadmap,' slams interim president

MENA, Monday 8 Jul 2013

Country's leading Salafist party withdraws from transitional 'roadmap,' tables fresh initiative aimed at ending bloodshed

The Salafist Nour Party proposed an initiative on Monday as an alternative to the army-imposed "roadmap" for Egypt's political transition, which was unveiled last week by Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The initiative, the party said, should involve all political currents, along with the armed forces. It should also include the formation of a committee tasked with fostering "national reconciliation."

The committee, the party added, should "tackle the problem from the very beginning, when Mohamed Morsi came in conflict with opposition forces, and should include credible figures under Al-Azhar's supervision."

The initiative came in response to statements made by Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, who had initially endorsed the military-imposed roadmap, in which El-Tayeb called for alternative proposals for the country's post-Morsi transitional phase.

The Nour Party said that it had only approved of the initial roadmap so as to prevent bloodshed after "the armed forces took control of the country and put the president under house arrest."

The move, however, failed to prevent bloodshed, the party added, but rather "increased it, through the use of oppressive tactics such as the illegal closure of Islamic television channels, storming homes while filming the arrest of political figures, and a media campaign attacking Islamists."

The Nour Party also slammed interim president Adly Mansour, who it accused of acting "with authoritarianism and bias towards a particular political current that does not enjoy the support of the Egyptian people."

The party went on to condemn the recent dissolution of the democratically-elected Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament) "contrary to what had been agreed upon."

The statement further rejected a draft constitutional declaration, saying that the document conflicted with what had originally been agreed upon, especially articles pertaining to Egypt's Islamic identity.

The Nour Party statement specifically condemned the article regulating the formation of a committee tasked with amending the constitution, saying that the article gave Egypt's interim president full powers.

The Salafist party also criticised recent statements by the armed forces, in which the latter claimed to have been acting in "self defence"during Monday morning's violence outside Presidential Guard headquarters in Cairo.

The party pointed to film footage explicitly showing gross violations by the military against peaceful pro-Morsi protesters.

"All crises can be tolerated except those that pit the people against the army," the party stated.

The Nour Party had announced earlier on Monday that it would "withdraw from the political process" following Monday's clashes between the army and pro-Morsi protesters that left at least 51 people dead.

"We will not be silent regarding the massacre that took place today in front of the Republican Guard headquarters," Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakar declared via Facebook.

"We wanted to avoid bloodshed, but now blood has been spilled,"he asserted. "So now we will end all negotiations with the new authorities."

The Nour Party had been one of the signatories of the army-imposed "roadmap"for Egypt's political transition unveiled last week following Morsi's ouster.

Pro-Morsi protesters have been camped outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo's Nasr City district for several days to demand the ousted president's reinstatement. 

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