Egyptian Bloc stirring anger toward Islamists, says Nour Party rep

Nader Bakkar, spokesperson for the Salafi Nour Party, has described the withdrawal of the Egyptian Bloc from the Constituent Assembly as “an attempt to obstruct the formation of the assembly and waste more time.”

He said that there are attempts to stir public anger against Islamists and make them appear unable to coexist with the rest of society.  

Bakkar’s comments are in response to the parties making up the Egyptian Bloc — the Social Democratic, Socialist Popular Alliance and Tagammu parties — announcement Monday that they would give up their six seats in the Constituent Assembly to groups who are not adequately represented, such as “artists and writers, Copts, Nubians, and women.”

He said in a statement posted on the Nour Party’s official Facebook page Monday evening: “The Islamist bloc had agreed to a proposal by the Social Democratic Party that Islamists be represented by 50 percent of members in the Constituent Assembly, with secularists making up the other half. In spite of this being unjust to Islamists, we accepted to support the principle of consensus. This was agreed upon during the meeting with the military council.”

According to Bakkar, despite the concessions the Islamist parties have made, such as Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Construction and Development Party giving up their two seats for the sake of the 50/50 split, the Egyptian Bloc has been intransigent.

“The Egyptian Bloc has suggested names of people who we have huge differences with, and who were against the revolution from the beginning. However, we chose to remain silent when this happened to keep from provoking a crisis,” he added.  

Bakkar speculated that there are attempts to turn people against Islamists before the presidential runoff between the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsy and Ahmed Shafiq, former President Mubarak’s last prime minister.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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