Moderate Islamist Al-Wasat Party withdrew from the Anti Coup Alliance (ACA) on 28 August, amid mixed reactions from other alliance members.
The party emphasised the need to work outside the alliance’s framework to “establish an inclusive alliance”. This would act as an umbrella to resist the current “tyrannical rule” and to achieve the goals of 25 January Revolution.
The alliance would depend on national cooperation between popular and revolutionary currents to go beyond all ideological and political differences, the party said.
The withdrawal of the party raised concerns over the possible withdrawal of other Islamist parties affiliated with the ACA to establish an electoral alliance.
Dr Youssry Hamad, deputy head of the Al-Watan Party denied the party’s withdrawal from the ACA.
Hamad added that withdrawing from the alliance was discussed by the party but no decision was taken.
“However in the case of withdrawal, the ideology or perceptions of the party will not be affected,” he added. “The party believes that what happened in the 30 June is a coup. What we are witnessing is return of the Mubarak regime.”
Hamad denied that the party would participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“According to the law, the elections should take place after the constitution is amended. In reality this is not the case,” he said. “The current system is exclusionary and supported by a media machine that is biased and aims to demonise all opposition.”
However, Nabil Naeem, former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad militant group, described the party’s withdrawal as an “opportunistic move, which illustrates that the party will participate in the parliamentary elections”.
“It is expected that a number of Islamist parties, including Al-Wasat, Al-Watan, and The Building and Development, will withdraw from the MB alliance and cooperate with the Al-Nour party in a new electoral alliance,” Naeem said.
The Al-Wasat Party was unavailable for comment.
The Muslim Brotherhood-led Anti Coup Alliance said in a statement Friday that “the alliance respects the decision of the Al-Wasat Party and appreciates its efforts to resist the oppressive military coup”.
However, former Brotherhood member Amr Emara said the party’s withdrawal is considered a manoeuvre to attract movements and parties opposing the current regime into an alliance. The movement would be used to “confront the regime” in the upcoming 25 January anniversary, he added.
Any party that withdraws from the ACA, he said, would not participate in any elections as the majority of opinions are against the leading figures of the government.
“These parties do not believe in the legitimacy of the regime,” he said. “Almost all the entities siding with the MB do not approve the concept of reconciliation.”