The Al-Wasat Islamist Party and Al-Hadara Party announced on Wednesday that they had merged into a new party named Al-Tayar Al-Wasaty (The Moderate Current), in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for 22 April.
A press conference was held to announce and explain the decision. Aboul Ella Mady, president of the Al-Wasat Party, his deputy Essam Sultan, and Hatem Azzam, vice-president of the Al-Hadara Party, spoke at the conference.
“We, Al-Wasat and Al-Hadara Parties, announce merging together to continue our patriotic struggle which started a long time ago,” read the founding statement of the party, which was read by Sultan. The statement added that the new party will run for parliamentary elections, hoping for a balanced parliament that would favour the national interest over any partisan interests.
The statement mentioned that the new party rejects the current polarised political climate and seeks to end it through moderate and pragmatic policies.
Sultan said both Al-Wasat and Al-Hadara are civil parties with an Islamic point of reference, explaining that they are not religious parties. He added that the new party will adopt the same ideology. “Our ideas are moderate, civil, and based on the Islamic religion,” he said.
Sultan claimed that all Egyptians have are Islamically oriented, adding that all presidential candidates declared their Islamic point of reference during the elections period.
Azzam also tackled the issue, saying that politics always reflects the cultural components of society. “Parties with religious point of reference, such as the Christian Democratic Party of Germany, constitute one third of the European Parliament. This is normal because politics always reflects cultural components of society. Our cultural components are Islamic.”
Azzam added that the new party will be seeking to maintain what he described as the moderate Islamic culture of the Egyptian people.
Both parties attended the state-sponsored dialogue sessions called for by President Mohamed Morsi after his constitutional declaration of November 2012.
Leading figures at both parties are also members of the newly-established Conscience Front, which includes several Freedom and Justice Party and Islamist figures.