AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Patriarch Tawadros: Christians who present themselves as candidates in the Salafist lists are not credible

Cairo - Christians who present themselves as candidates in the Islamist Salafist lists "lack credibility" because "no one can live following two opposite thoughts". This is the peremptory judgment that Coptic Orthodox Patriarch expressed on the choice of Christians who agreed to stand in the forthcoming elections in the lists of the Salafist al-Nour Party. This is what Pope Tawadros said during his televised speech, and expresses a thought shared by Bishops and leaders of other Churches and Christian communities in Egypt. "Many Salafist members" refers Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh to Agenzia Fides "speak of Christians as infidels and polytheists. It is clear that the choice of some Christians to stand in the Salafist lists meets the criteria of personal interest: they do this because it is the only way they have to participate in elections. Political careerism prevails. On the other hand, their choice allowed the Salafi Party to meet the conditions that had been placed to the formation of the lists, and therefore to participate in the elections".
The presence of Coptic Christians in the lists of the Salafi al-Nour Party is a "necessary act" to which the leaders of Islamist formation are required by the electoral law, and is within the pre-constitutional requirements that the political parties must fulfill in order to be admitted to the upcoming parliamentary elections. The current rules stipulate that in the next parliamentary assembly at least 24 seats will be reserved to Christians, while 56 seats will go to women. There are also young people, disabled people, workers and peasants who are among the social groups to which the Constitution reserves shares of parliamentary seats