Egypt opposition leader aims to break Islamist dominance

January 23, 2013 - 5:26:22 am


CAIRO: A coalition of Egyptian opposition groups is forging a common electoral platform as it seeks to capitalise on setbacks for Islamists who have dominated the country’s politics since an Arab Spring uprising. 

Hamdeen Sabahy, a firebrand politician who ran for president last year, said the opposition National Salvation Front coalition could win a parliamentary majority in April if it rises above differences that split its ranks in past elections. 

The well-organised Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists could take most seats in the vote but liberals and other opponents look likely to pose a much bigger challenge this time.

They could be aided by growing frustration at the failure of President Mohammed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood allies to steady an economy hammered by two years of turmoil since autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak was ousted almost two years ago.

“The Front will set aside its differences now in favour of the national goal it is heading for,” Sabahy said in an interview.