World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's Salafist Watan Party has indefinitely suspended its membership in the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, ousted president Mohamed Morsi's main support bloc, both groups have confirmed.
"The decision is aimed at reevaluating the [political] situation independent of the [pro-Morsi] alliance," Mohamed Abdel-Mawgoud, a senior Watan Party figure, told Anadolu Agency.
He denied reports that the move was due to mismanagement within the pro-Morsi alliance.
"The decision stems from the current lack of prospects for political activity in Egypt due to [government] restrictions on party-affiliated work within a pluralist environment," Abdel-Mawgoud said.
For his part, alliance spokesman Khaled Said told AA that the bloc had accepted the party's request to suspend its membership.
"The Watan Party has not changed its position regarding the [July 3, 2013] military coup [that unseated Morsi]," he asserted.
A source within Watan said that the party had informed the alliance some six months ago of its desire to pull out, but that alliance leaders had asked the party to postpone the decision until after May presidential polls.
Watan is the second member party of the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy to leave the group within less than a month.
In late August, the Wasat Party also announced its withdrawal from the alliance, citing plans to establish "an umbrella [group] that welcomes political forces across the spectrum without exclusion," according to an official party statement.
The alliance, which consists of several Islamist parties, was established in the wake of last year's army ouster of Morsi – a Muslim Brotherhood leader who in 2012 won Egypt's first free presidential poll.
Since Morsi's ouster, Egypt's military-backed government has waged a relentless crackdown on political dissent – largely targeting Morsi supporters – which has seen hundreds killed and tens of thousands detained.
The Watan Party, which classifies itself as a Salafist party, was established in January of last year after leader and former Morsi aide Emad Abdel-Ghafour left the Salafist Nour Party, which later supported Morsi's ouster.Last Mod: 17 Eylül 2014, 15:20