Following a meeting of its political bureau, the Salafi Nour Party announced Saturday night that it would back former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for president.
The Salafi Dawah announced on Saturday that it would support Sisi’s presidency as well.
Nader Bakkar, the party’s vice president for media, said in a phone interview on CBC Saturday night that a vote by the party’s general assembly revealed that 93 percent were in favor of endorsing of Sisi’s presidency.
He explained the party’s reasoning, saying that Sisi “has the support of institutions which will help him reach stability in society and face internal and external security threats,” adding that the field marshal is “far from ideological polarization and has no inclination to a certain political current.”
The Nour Party held a meeting with Sisi and another with his competitor, Hamdeen Sabbahi, in April before announcing its decision.
The party became a significant political player after securing a surprising 20 percent of parliamentary seats in the 2011/2012 elections. Despite initially collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nour Party took part in the June 30 protests which led to the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi from power last year.
The party supported Muslim Brotherhood defect Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh in the 2012 presidential elections. With the Muslim Brotherhood outside of the electoral race, the Nour Party’s influence is expected to increase as it is now main representative of Islamist powers.
In an interview with talk show host Amr Adeeb, two weeks prior to the party’s announcement, Bakkar said that he considers Sisi to be an Islamic candidate.
Bakkar said that a research paper that Sisi wrote while studying in Washington proves that his ideology “corresponds with the conservative Islamic view, which cannot be limited to the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis, but is the Islamic view held by the Egyptian people.”
Bakkar added that Sisi’s “words are rational, he talks about the democracy that corresponds to the Egyptian people and acknowledges that we cannot take the democracy of the West as it is.”