Polls expose rift in Egypt's Al-Nour party

Internal polls held despite chairman's call for postponement due to "irregularities" after ruling by supreme committee.

by
    Polls expose rift in Egypt's Al-Nour party
    Emad Abdel Ghafour, Al-Nour's chairman, had wanted to postpone voting until after upcoming legislative elections

    ElSayed Khalifa, the deputy chief of Al-Nour, Egypt's second largest party, has confirmed reports of a rift within the party's leadership over local internal leadership elections held on Saturday.

    Speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Khalifa said Emad Abdel Ghafour, Al-Nour's chairman, had wanted to postpone voting until after upcoming legislative elections, after receiving complaints about electoral irregularities in the run-up to the polls.

    However, Al-Nour's supreme committee, the party's highest body, ruled that the elections should go ahead in 19 of the country's 28 provinces.

    Reformists within the party say the decision to hold the elections despite the complaints is another step in an ongoing campaign to undermine their position within the party involving interference in the selection of local candidiates.

    The rift is the clearest sign of tensions within the party, established in May 2001, between its reformist and conservative wings. 

    To contain the dispute, Al Dawah Al Salafiah, the main Salafi religious group behind the party, has assigned one of its deputy chairmen, Sheikh Said Abdel Azzim, to hold negotiations between the disputing camps to avoid further rifts and to search for a solution.

    Abdel Azzim told Al Jazeera "there are mistakes and they need a remedy".

    Al-Nour came second in the first parliamentary elections held in Egypt after the January 25 uprising against Hosni Mubarak, the former president, with about one fifth of the vote.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.