Free Egyptians Party warns against presidential campaigning in mosques

The liberal Free Egyptians Party has warned against what it described as the “dire consequences” of using mosques to campaign for presidential candidates.

“The election will be held in a corrupt atmosphere,” the party said in a statement on its website. “Its transparency and reputation will be questionable and challengeable, should sectarian charging and adoption of religious slogans in campaigning resume.”

The statement added that preachers in mosques have been blatantly calling on people to elect a candidate who would apply Islamic law.

The party held the Religious Endowments Ministry responsible for ensuring mosques’ commitments to earlier directives by the ministry, Al-Azhar and Dar al-Ifta that ban political manipulation in places of worship.

The Free Egyptians Party also urged the government and the Presidential Elections Commission to apply all legal measures to counter campaign activities in thousands of mosques that it said are occupied by preachers linked to Islamist political trends represented by three of the presidential candidates.

Egypt’s first presidential poll since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak is slated for 23 and 24 May.

The final list of 13 candidates includes three Islamists: Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy, former Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Islamic thinker Mohamed Selim al-Awa.

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