‘No to religious parties’ campaign collects 2 m signatures
Former jihadist Nabil Naim - YOUM7

CAIRO: The “no to religious parties” popular campaign, which strives to pressure the Egyptian authorities to dissolve all religious parties, announced Wednesday it had collected 2 million signatures of support so far, Youm7 reported.

“The campaign has embarked on forming operation rooms nationwide to monitor and document violations highly expected to be committed by candidates of the Salafist Al-Nour Party during the parliamentary elections,” member of the campaign’s advisory board Nabil Naim told Youm7.

Naim, who was a also a leader of the Islamic Jihadist movement in Egypt, said the operation rooms will submit daily reports with documents and evidences of the party’s violations to the High Elections Committee (HEC.)

Egypt’s 2014 constitution bans the formation of political parties. “It is illegal to form political parties on religious bases, or discrimination based on sex, or origin, or on a sectarian basis or due to geographic location,” according to Article 74.

A number of Egyptian political parties, particularly Al-Nour Party, have religious-based ideologies aims at forming an Islamic religious state. The party was criticized and described as “pragmatic” by its supporters after allowing Coptic candidates to join its lists running for the upcoming parliament elections.

According to the parliamentary elections law no. 46 for the year 2014, each list of the party-based candidates must include three Copts.

The party’s head, Younes Makhyoun was highly criticized when he was quoted by Youm7 as saying, “Without the law no. 64, the party would have never included Copts on its list.”

In the first phase of the elections scheduled to kick off Sunday, 286 seats are available, the High Elections Committee (HEC) spokesperson Omar Marwan announced in a press conference earlier this month. He pointed out that 2,573 independent candidates, including 112 women, will be competing for 226 seats while six party lists will be competing for 60 seats.


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