Will secular parties ally with Nour Party during parliamentary elections?
Talaat Marzouk with Younes Makhion, Chairperson of Nour party - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The mounting role assumed by the Nour Party in Egypt’s political scene has raised questions over the role that the Islamists will perform during the upcoming period.

Many politicians believe that the secular parties should form electoral coalitions during the upcoming parliamentary elections, while others expected that the Nour Party could join coalitions with non-Islamist parties.

Leading member of the Nour Party Talaat Marzouk said that the party will run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, adding that they have candidates in the difference constituencies all over the country, but the matter depends on the new law organizing the parliamentary elections.

Contestations over the upcoming still exist, with proponents backing the single-candidate system, while others believe that this system favors only members of the now-defunct National Democratic Party, as such opting to remain with the previous mixed electoral list and single-candidate system.

Marzouk added, in an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, that it is not the right time to discuss electoral coalitions. However, he said he expects that the party will dominate 20 percent of the parliamentary seats during the coming elections.

The Nour Party managed to gain 15 percent of the parliamentary seats during the last parliamentary elections in 2012. Many experts said that the party could gain a large number of seats if it joined electoral coalitions with secular parties, especially as a number of secular parties collaborated on the electoral lists of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists during the past elections.

Deputy Chairperson of the Free Egyptians Party Ibrahim Naguib ruled out that his party will form an electoral coalition with the Salafist Nour Party during the coming parliamentary elections. He pointed to the differences in ideology between the two parties, stressing that they strongly reject the use of religion to achieve political gains.

According to Youm7, Naguib said that the religious nature of the Nour Party contradicts with the new constitution that bans religious parties. He added, “They should work to achieve the social reform and move away from politics.”

According to Article 74 of Egypt’s Constitution, no political activity may be practiced and no political parties may be formed on the basis of religion or discrimination based on sex or origin, or on sectarian basis or geographic location.

The Chairperson of Egyptian Social Democratic Party submitted a proposal to form a coalition with both the Wafd Party and the Free Egyptians Party, clarifying that Wafd Party approved the idea, while the Free Egyptians Party has not yet decided whether to join the coalition or not. He noted that the party will not join any coalitions with other parties that adopt different ideologies.

Regarding the Nour Party’s position, he said in a statement to Al-Ahram that the position adopted by the Salafist party aims to increase their influence, saying that they adopted the same approach during the former regimes, including those of Mubarak, the military council and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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