Egypt Salafi Leader Splits From Nour Party to Form New Group

The former head of Egypt’s Salafi Nour Party is forming a new political group before parliamentary elections due to be announced in the next two months, the state-run Ahram Online reported.

Emad Abdel-Ghafour, who was appointed as an adviser to President Mohamed Mursi, said he would set up the Watan, or homeland, party with a platform of dignity and social justice, the website reported today. “We want the Islamic Sharia to be a reality we can live in” and not just rhetoric, Abdel-Ghafour, who resigned as the Nour Party’s head last week, was quoted as saying.

Hazem Abu Ismail, another prominent Salafi cleric who had sought to run in the presidential race, also announced he was setting up a political party that would work in tandem with the Watan Party in the elections.

The Nour Party headed a Salafi bloc that finished second behind the group backed by Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood in parliamentary elections a year ago, the first held after the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.