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Morsi Faces Challenge From Islamist, Salafist Parties

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi will face challenges from Islamist, including Salafist, parties in the upcoming elections, which secular parties plan to boycott writes Jahd Khalil from Cairo.
Supporters of Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a Salafist leader and presidential candidate, carry his posters before his arrival to present recommendation documents to the Higher Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) headquarters in Cairo March 30, 2012. The presidential election will be held on May 23 and 24.     REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR304AE

Ahead of parliamentary elections, Egyptian political Islam is in a state of flux. As the strongest alliance between President Mohammed Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party and its ultraconservative enabler, the Nour Party, wears thin, new parties headed by a firebrand cleric and a politically-savvy Salafist have entered the fray. Meanwhile, the brand of political Islam has lost its allure in the eyes of many Egyptians, but they are left with little alternative as secular parties have decided to sit out the elections.

At a news conference last month, the Environmental Affairs Minister gave a tearful goodbye as he resigned from the government. “Now I’m very happy,” Khaled Alam Eddin said, “not with these words, but because I’ve left this situation.”

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