Islamists make preparations for parliamentary elections

Islamist parties continue to make various preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled to begin in November.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party announced it would nominate 105 of the same candidates who had previously run in the 2000 and 2005 parliamentary elections.

Ahmed Abu Baraka, the legal advisor for the Freedom and Justice Party, said he is currently preparing a candidate list to submit to the Democratic Coalition for Egypt, an umbrella political organization consisting of over 30 parties of which it is part, for approval.

Baraka said the coalition has set criteria for candidates, including that they should have no ties to the now-dismantled National Democratic Party (NDP).

Jama'a al-Islamiya's Construction and Development Party announced it would not nominate any of its members who have been previously involved in violent acts, or members of the group's military wing.

Nasr Abdel Salam, the chairman of the party, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the party will also not nominate members of the group's leadership council or other executive leaders.

Abdel Salam stressed that their candidates will be surprises, adding that 65 percent of them will be from Upper Egypt.

The party wants to nominate figures who can gain the trust of the public, he said, noting that the party made its nomination decisions partly due to fear of legal obstacles.

The Construction and Development Party seeks to develop a vision for coordinating with other Islamic political parties, he said, stressing that his organization has close contact with Nour Party, a Salafi group, and the Freedom and Justice Party so that they can agree on the districts where they should each push their own candidates.

The party has decided to nominate 65 percent of its candidates in Upper Egypt because the group has a great popularity there, Abdel Salam explained.

He added the party will also coordinate with Salafis and Brotherhood members in Alexandria, Cairo and Giza.

The Salafi Front, though, announced it will not be contesting the parliamentary elections, saying it will only support the Salafi and Brotherhood candidates.

The group is supporting presidential hopeful Hazem Salah because he has thus far provided the best platform, said Khaled Saeed, the Salafi Front spokesperson.

Saeed said the group will organize eight conferences for Salah in different governorates after Eid.

Saeed went on to criticize the Egyptian Liberation Party, founded by Sheikh Alaa Eddin Abouel Azayem, saying it does not represent Sufi moderates, but rather a Shiite trend. He asserted that the Salafi Front will not support the group in the upcoming elections.

Saeed also denied that Islamist movements used Eid to campaign for their elections.

Eid is an Islamic occasion by nature, he said, adding that Islamists held celebrations and not election campaigns.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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