New Egyptian party set to split Islamist vote further

By REUTERS
January 1, 2013 19:18




CAIRO - Leading members of Egypt's hardline Islamist movement unveiled a new political party on Tuesday, pointing to new rivalries that could split the Islamist vote in an impending parliamentary election.

The creation of the al-Watan ('Homeland') Party is part of a political landscape that was dominated by a variety of Islamist parties in the last election a year ago, but is still evolving.

The polls, due to begin in about two months, will be defined by competition between the Islamists, many of them from the Muslim Brotherhood that propelled Mohamed Morsi to the presidency, and secular-minded critics who have closed ranks in opposition to him.

Al-Watan's founders include the former leader of the Nour Party, a hardline Salafi Islamist group that came second to the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in the last election.

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