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Political forces scrap in Matruh

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A meeting between political groups in Matruh on Sunday came to blows

Political gathering in Marsa Matrouh (File photo by Mohamed Farag)

Political gathering in Marsa Matrouh
(File photo by Mohamed Farag)

Ahmed Helmy Fathi Al-Hatimi, Matruh’s new governor, hosted the meeting to resolve a dispute over who would be selected for a highly-anticipated meeting between President Mohammed Morsy and members of the Matruh community.

Thirty people were to meet with the president, but two lists of those chosen for the Matruh delegation ended up being created. The basic difference was that one list included members from the United Revolutionary Movement of Matruh (Takwa), and the other did not, according to April 6 and Takwa local groups.

“We went to the meeting with the governor to decide who is actually going to go talk to Morsy,” said 6 April representative, Ahmed Zakaria. “They only wanted to send people from Salafiya [a Salafi political party in Matruh], Muslim Brotherhood people, and some Bedouins. None of the Takwa Union, none of us, were to be sent.”

This is despite the fact that the Takwa Union was under the impression they were responsible for presenting nine of the topics to be discussed with the president. Zakaria himself was preparing to discuss healthcare.

Because of this confusion, the meeting became heated and yelling began. According to Zakaria and Khaled Al-Seminy, the spokesperson for the Takwa Union, was at the microphone addressing the governor when former Al-Nour Party MP, Mansour Kawiya, tried to take the microphone from him. Then Kawiya’s brother, punched Al-Seminy in the face.

This is part of an ongoing rivalry between leftists and Islamists in Matruh. The governorate lies to the far west, along the Libyan border.

Zakaria said, “it is a big issue, they don’t represent us, they don’t represent the rest of the governorate,” referring to the Islamist political parties. “We represent the moderate and liberal people, so we are not represented on the list. They are not concerned about the issues to be discussed; they do it just to make an appearance. They don’t want to help people; they just want their own glory.”

“This is not a fight,” said Khaled Al-Seminy, the Takwa Union member who was punched in the face. “It is a war, between Salafiya and Takwa.”

The Takwa Union plans to protest on Tuesday outside the presidential palace during the meeting with the delegation from Matruh.

 


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