Sufis may boycott elections, says Liberation Party rep

Some Sufi Orders fear that upcoming parliamentary elections may be rigged to favor the Muslim Brotherhood, claimed Essam Mohie, Liberation Party secretary general.

The Sufi-dominated Liberation Party has received several offers to ally with opposition parties in the forthcoming elections but has declined them all, Mohie told Al-Masry Al-Youm, adding that the Sufi Orders are strongly inclined to boycott the vote altogether in protest against the failures of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s Cabinet and Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah.

The party has declined an invitation to join the National Salvation Front in an electoral alliance, because it does not agree with the position the NSF has taken in the course of recent political events, Mohie alleged.

The party official accused those who would run in the elections for the House of Representatives of only seeking to make personal gains, but added that even if they boycotted the elections, the Sufis would not abandon politics altogether.

Members of the Sufi orders have formed several political parties in the wake of former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster two years ago, but they have so far failed to make an impact on the political landscape.

Observers attribute their weak performance to the fact that the Sufis had not engaged in politics prior to the 25 January revolution.

Official reports say that there are 10 million followers of 70 different Sufi Orders.

As security conditions have continued to decline since 2011, some Sufi shrines have been repeatedly attacked. Salafis have been accused of desecrating the shrines, as this hardline Islamic group considers such shrines to be in violation of the tenants of Islam.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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