Gamaa Islamiya Considers Exiting Pro-Morsi Bloc

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Egypt’s ultraconservative group Gamaa Islamiya says it is considering withdrawing from the pro-Morsi Islamist bloc, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), Ahram Massai (Al-Ahram’s evening edition) reported.

Several parties have recently left NASL, led by the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Awad Hattab, ex-head of the group in the Nile Delta town of Damietta, told Ahram Massai that group leaders are holding meetings to discuss withdrawing from NASL.

Egyptian media outlets also quoted other Gamaa Islamiya figures as reporting the same news.

According to Hattab, leaders are considering withdrawal after pressure from a reform wing within the party.

Recently other parties exited the pro-Morsi alliance, including the Al-Wasat Party and the Salafist Al-Watan Party.

Gamaa Islamiya was responsible for the assassination of President Anwar El-Sadat in 1981. It is also held responsible for the murder of 58 tourists and four Egyptians in an attack in Luxor in 1997.

The group formed a political party under the name “Building and Development” after the 2011 revolution and won 13 seats in the Shura Council election of 2011-12.

It has played a key role in NASL, which was established in the wake of last year’s ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, protesting the removal of the elected president and calling for his reinstatement.

Egyptian authorities have mounted a sustained crackdown on NASL since Morsi’s ouster.

Security forces forcibly dispersed two large sit-ins in August 2013, killing hundreds. Thousands of Islamist loyalists, including top leaders, have been detained on charges of violence, inciting murder and unauthorised protest.

Source : Ahram online

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