Divisions may erupt among the Islamist factions in Egypt, and a split vote among supporters of Islamist presidential hopefuls running in the upcoming presidential elections is expected, said Nageh Ibrahim, a member of Jama'a al-Islamiya’s Shura Council.
In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday Ibrahim said, "There will be a split of votes and a mild division within all Islamist movements."
Ibrahim said the first signs of dissent emerged in the Salafi ranks after Hazem Salah Abu Ismail turned in his candidacy papers, especially since large numbers of Salafis declared their support for him and the Salafi Dawah organization in Alexandria lost control over its members.
"Signs of a division became clear after the Nour Party and Salafi Dawah in Alexandria declared their support for Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat al-Shater in the presidential election, while Cairo Salafis declared their support for Abu Ismail, which will lead trouble and problems, and maybe divisions within the Nour Party," he said.
“The same mild division will happen within the Muslim Brotherhood if Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh establishes a political party, which will include a number of liberals and many young Muslim Brotherhood members who bet on the success of his project," said Ibrahim.
He warned of the implications of a split vote, and went on to declare his support for Mohamed Selim al-Awa, despite his apparently weak popularity compared to the other Islamist candidates.
He pointed out that the Salafi Dawah has two choices: either a split occurs within its new party, or it supports Abu Ismail and goes back on its promise to support the Brotherhood's candidate.
“The Muslim Brotherhood has the right to nominate one of its members in the presidential election, particularly as it has struggled much and it enjoys the majority in Parliament,” said Ibrahim. “We excuse them for going back on their decision not to nominate a presidential candidate, or to support an Islamist candidate."
Ibrahim predicted that Shater will pursue deals with Islamist parties and groups with a broad following such as the Salafis and the Jama'a al-Islamiya to make up for his last minute announcement to run.
He said he expected Shater to win the presidential election after run-offs with Amr Moussa, after which a coalition government will be formed.