Egyptian opposition to form united party after defeats

By REUTERS
December 23, 2012 15:35
1 minute read.

CAIRO - Egypt's opposition coalition said on Sunday it was moving towards forming a single political party to challenge Islamists, whose more disciplined ranks have dominated the ballot box since last year's revolution.

Members of the opposition National Salvation Front, whose differences have split the non-Islamist vote, pledged to keep up the pressure on Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, including through peaceful protests.

Liberals, socialists and other factions that united under the banner of the Front campaigned unsuccessfully for a "no" vote in a referendum on a new constitution which, according to an unofficial tally by Morsi's Islamist backers on Sunday, secured 64 percent approval on turnout of about a third of the 51 million eligible voters.

"The Front is very cohesive and the Front is in agreement that it will lead all battles together," Mohamed Abul Ghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and a leading member of the Front, told a news conference after the referendum.

"Not only that, but the parties inside the Front have taken advanced steps to form a big party inside the Front," he said.

A statement from the Front said it had learned "useful lessons" during the referendum. But it will have little time to organize, as a parliamentary election is due to be held in about two months.


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