Despite doubts, Nour Party comes out in support of constitution
Nour Party's Younis Makhyoun

The conservative Salafi Nour Party will participate in the upcoming constitutional referendum and mobilize for a yes vote, party spokesperson Nader Bakkar tweeted on Thursday.

Party head Younis Makhyoun said the draft constitution was the first step on the path to stability that all Egyptians are aspiring for, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA).

“[It] will prevent us from falling into the vortex of chaos. [Egyptians should] enjoy the results of their struggle against injustice instead of facing chaos,” Makhyoun added.

The hardline Islamist party plans to hold a press conference on Friday to list the reasons behind the decision.

In early September, the Nour Party said in a press conference that its main drive behind participating in the constitution drafting process was to ensure the inclusion of Article 219, as it was articulated in the suspended 2012 Constitution.

The article stipulates a strict implementation of Sharia. Party officials said that protecting Sharia was their main goal.

But the 50-member constitutional committee removed Article 219, replacing it with a softer explanation of the principles of Sharia in relation to a verdict by the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The committee did preserve Article 2, which states that principles of Sharia are the main source of legislation. The Nour Party has consistently declared this article is not enough to guarantee the proper implementation of Sharia.

Critics have expressed their concern over the Nour Party’s endorsement of the draft constitution, which banned forming political parties on religious bases, although the party itself is based on a religious ideology.

In addition, the constitution’s preamble states that Egypt is a country with a civil government. The Nour Party opposed the use of the word “civil,” which they argued referred to a secular nature of the state.

Putting Sharia at the core of its ideology, the Nour Party has been consistently slammed for using an inciting religious discourse and misusing religion for political purposes.  


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