Salafist Nour Party meets presidential hopeful Sabahi

Ahram Online, Saturday 26 Apr 2014

Salafist leaders meet presidential candidate Sabahi ahead of decision by the current on who to back in May's presidential poll

From left to right: Head of Salafist Al-Nour party Younes Makhion, party's leading member Ashraf Thabet and presidential hopeful Nasserist Hamdeen Sabahi (Photo courtesy of Sabahi's official campaign)

Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi discussed with members of the Salafist Nour Party his electoral platform during a meeting Friday.

The meeting, which took place at the headquarters of Sabahi's campaign, was attended by Nour Party chairman Younes Makhion in addition to influential party members Ashraf Thabet and Galal Morra. Members of Sabahi's campaign were also present during the meeting.

Sabahi underlined that he is keen on building a strong Egyptian army that would be provided with all the means to help its development, including establishing its distance from politics.

He also expressed during the meeting his refusal of the "fanatical speech" that the Muslim Brotherhood is employing, saying that this can never help build the country.

Al-Azhar is the only entity that has the power to advocate and give Iftaa — religious edicts — and it should be backed by all forces, added Sabahi.

The leftist candidate went on to say that the first thing he would do if elected Egypt's president was to create a new office against discrimination between Egyptians and to emphasise citizenship.

Egypt's presidential poll, the first to be held after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, is scheduled to take place 26-27 May.

Sabahi and former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who is widely seen as Egypt's new nationalist icon, are the only candidates.

Until now, Sabahi has been backed by two parties: the liberal Constitution Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance.

During an interview with the privately owned MBC channel Friday, leading Salafist preacher and father-figure to the Nour Party, Yasser Borhami, said that in his personal opinion El-Sisi is the most capable candidate to manage the country.

He then added that Salafist leaders would meet next week to choose the candidate they would back in the upcoming presidential elections.

The Salafist party, a one time ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, backed Morsi's ouster by endorsing a transitional roadmap that included amending the constitution and holding parliamentary and presidential polls by mid-2014.

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