Cabinet officially bans pro-Morsi alliance

Egypt’s Cabinet officially banned the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated National Alliance to Support Legitimacy on Thursday. 

The court upheld a decision by the Urgent Affairs Court in September, stipulating that the alliance and its political arm Al-Istiqlal (the Independence Party) were backing ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, Reuters reported.

The activities of the Brotherhood were banned and the group deemed a terrorist organization in 2013 by the same court. 

The previous head of the State Security Court, Amr Abdel Razek, who filed the lawsuit to ban the alliance’s activity, said in an earlier statement, published by the independently owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, that the alliance and the Independence Party are both political arms of the Brotherhood, and that both depend on “racist principles that violate Egyptian laws, threatening national peace and inciting violence.”

The coalition is an umbrella group, formed by the Brotherhood following Morsi’s deposition, and was led by various Islamist parties to oppose the military-backed government, including the banned Freedom and Justice Party, Al-Watan, Al-Wasat, Al-Fadila, Al-Asala and Al-Amal.

Head of the Independence Party’s organizational committee, Diaa al-Sawy, said on his official Facebook page that the party had already filed a judicial appeal against the court verdict, scheduled for early November.

“Jihad for the sake of Allah and the struggle to liberate the county do not need an official permit. Our party gets its legitimacy from the people, not from governments and regimes,” Sawy said.

“We will continue until the end of the military coup, the victory for the revolution, and the country’s independence,” he added.

He told Masr al-Arabiya website that the party’s newspaper was shut down and their activities frozen during the presidencies of Sadat and Mubarak, and by the military council in 2011, which did not allow the party to resume its activities. “We were pushed to form the party from the beginning and collect signatures. So we really do not care about the decision, it happened to us over time,” he explained.

The party’s founder Magdy Qorqor was arrested in February.

The banned group has led most of the Brotherhood’s protest activities since Morsi’s ouster. Both Al-Watan and Al-Wasat parties withdrew from the alliance recently.

Although their withdrawal was deemed to indicate a possible deal between the two Islamist parties and the government in order to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, both parties denied such allegations.

Al-Wasat said in a previous statement, late August, that it would work under its own “national umbrella” to achieve the goals of the January 25 revolution.

The statement added that, despite the party’s reservations about those in power over the last three and a half years, it feels change could have been brought about through more democratic means and not a “coup,” as they perceive Morsi’s deposition on July 3 last year.

“The party stated its position clearly since the first day after the July 3 coup, and its support of the will of the people, whoever they are, through democratic procedures and in a neutral political atmosphere,” the statement continued.

The Watan Party spokesperson Yousry Hammad, refuted reports that the party walked out of the National Alliance Supporting Legitimacy in order to take part in parliamentary elections and re-align itself with the current government.

“We would love to participate, but on what grounds? There are no signs that the regime is serious about democracy and accountability, while blood continues to be spilled in the streets,” Hammad asserted in a previous interview with Mada Masr.

The party made a statement after withdrawing from the alliance, explaining that it is still committed to the coalition’s core values.

Hammad also decried media reports of a possible reconciliation as state-authored fabrications.

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