Official name: National Alliance to Support Legitimacy
Arabic: التحالف الوطني لدعم الشرعية
Organization type: Political coalition
Established: June 27, 2013
Key members: Freedom and Justice Party, Al-Wasat Party, Al-Watan, Gamaa Islamiyya
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy was established June 27, 2013 as a political coalition to defend then-president Mohamed Morsi against calls for him to step down. The alliance meant to counter rising public discontent by foregrounding how Morsi’s democratic election granted him executive legitimacy, hence the alliance’s name.
The announcement was made one day before planned open-ended mass rallies at Rabaa al-Adaweya Square in support of Morsi, and just one week after hundreds of thousands gathered for the first time in that square to back the president. The pro-Morsi rallies and alliance were directly responding to anticipated nationwide protests that would call for the resignation of Morsi and new presidential elections on June 30, a date which, after Mori’s ouster on July 3, would come to mark another significant transition in Egypt’s political and revolutionary history.
The alliance’s earliest formation included over 40 political Islamist parties, tribal coalitions from the Sinai, Upper Egypt and Marsa Matrouh, and the Professional Syndicates Union, which represents 24 labor syndicates. Primarily an alliance of political Islamist parties, NASL was led by the Freedom and Justice Party (Morsi’s party, and the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood), yet it includes voices from centrists such as Al-Wasat Party, from Salafis such as Al-Watan, but also from the ultra-conservative militant movement Gamaa Islamiyya.
Since the violent dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in on Aug. 14, 2013, the NASL, which also became known as the Anti-Coup Alliance, continues to organize public demonstrations to show support for the ousted president or advocate for his return. The alliance has contracted and grown depending on parties’ stances towards issues such as the 2014 constitution, initiatives for reconciliation between the Armed Forces and the Brotherhood, or the 2014 elections.