Nour Party to endorse presidential candidate within days

The Salafi Nour Party said on Thursday it will make its final decision on which candidate it will back in the presidential election within two days. The poll is set to be held on 23 and 24 May.

Party head Emad Abdel Ghafour said an important meeting will be held on Friday, gathering the party’s MPs and provincial representatives to discuss choosing between the three Islamist nominees available: former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, the Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsy, and Islamic thinker Mohamed Selim al-Awa.

Ultraorthodox Islamist movements and political groups have been undecided on the nominee they would back for presidency.

An internal poll of Jama’a al-Islamiya’s General Assembly showed 44 percent of votes going to Abouel Fotouh, while 28.5 percent voted for Morsy.

The Salafi Front — which had been voicing support for Salafi preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail until he was excluded from the race by the Presidential Elections Commission — has said in a statement that Salafi votes should not be split and should go to one Islamist candidate, noting that Morsy and Abouel Fotouh have better chances.

Earlier this week, Saad al-Husseini, a Brotherhood Guidance Bureau member and Freedom and Justice Party MP, announced that the Brotherhood will not back any candidate but Morsy, further complicating efforts by Islamist groups to achieve consensus over a presidential candidate.

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