The Al-Nour Party is determined to continue in the Constituent Assembly should there be a national consensus, said party chairman Younis Makhioun in an interview on CBC’s Behedoo’ talk show.
Makhioun added that the former representative of the party in the assembly, Bassam Al-Zarqa, encountered exclusion and negligence of his opinions in the meetings of the political regime sub-committee, which led him to withdraw the meeting in protest.
Al-Zarqa was replaced with Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour as per presidential decree number 570 for the year 2013 on Thursday. Ihab Badawi, presidential spokesman, stated then that “Al-Nour party requested the replacement.”
Makhioun condemned what he described as “injustice and exclusion against the party” by reserving only one seat for the party in the assembly, while the presidential decree forming the assembly reserved two seats for Islamist parties. “Al-Nour was the only Islamist party to apply for the assembly’s membership; the party should have gotten two seats,” Makhioun added.
The Islamist party chairman insisted that his party will not nominate a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections “to prevent polarisation in the society”
Makhioun talked about 30 June and the rule of former president Mohamed Morsi, saying that his party informed the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi about the Egyptian people’s rage against their regime “but they would never listen”, Makhioun said.
He also said that Al-Nour’s initiative to solve the political dispute before 30 June was close to the initiative presented by the armed forces a week before 30 June, but Morsi refused both of them, until his last speech where he submitted Al-Nour’s initiative “but it was too late”. He added that Morsi promised him to submit Al-Nour’s initiative three months earlier.
Makhioun revealed that the Brotherhood’s guidance bureau estimated the number of protestors in 30 June to be ranging from 5,000 to 15,000, and the number of signatures the Tamarod (Rebellion) campaign gathered was 150,000. He added that he was surprised with the number of protestors.
However, Makhioun refused to describe what happened on 30 June as a revolution or a coup; describing it as “a revolutionary wave or a popular movement.” He affirmed that the party refused to participate in pro- or anti-Morsi protests “to prevent bloodshed or inciting clashes between both crowds leading to civil war.”
He added that the party met with General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi on 1 July and asked him for a last chance so Morsi could announce the roadmap and call for early presidential elections himself, to which Al-Sisi had replied: “It was no use; many chances were given.” Makhioun added that his party was against toppling presidents through protests, saying “if a president is chosen by elections, he should be removed by elections”
Makhioun revealed that he refused an offer to be deputy prime minister under Hazem Al-Beblawi, saying that his party wants to participate in an elected government.
Makhioun denied the accusations, saying that his party is “politically opportunistic”, by saying that the party “tries to please God and to side with the Egyptian people when taking any decisions”, he concluded by saying “the political rivalries should never be dubbed as religious.”
During the interview, Makhioun refused to describe Al-Nour Party as “Salafi”, saying that the party was founded by members of Salafi Da’wa, but the two entities are totally separated.