February 19, 2013 - 10:03 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - An ultraconservative Islamist adviser to Egypt's president resigned Monday, February 18 in solidarity with a fellow aide who was fired amid allegations of abuse of office, AP said.
The resignation of Bassam Zarka, who is a member of the Salafi Al-Nour party, is the latest sign of tension between President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist ally ahead of parliamentary elections expected in the months ahead.
The public disagreement comes as the country's Supreme Constitutional court rejected an election law presented to it by the Islamist-dominated parliament, and asked for a number of articles to be amended, a move that could delay the vote and prolong an already tense political atmosphere.
No date has been set for the elections yet. Morsi and the Brotherhood see the vote as a way to restore stability as the country reels under growing economic problems and increasingly volatile social discontent.
Al-Nour, which emerged from obscurity to win the second largest bloc of votes in Egypt's parliamentary elections in 2011 — just behind the Brotherhood-led bloc — has joined voices critical of Morsi and the Brotherhood for what it describes as their attempt to monopolize power.
Some of its members have accused Morsi, in office for over seven months, of failing to reach a compromise with the vocal liberal and secular opposition, heightening tensions that manifested themselves in violent street protests and a heavy-handed crackdown on dissent.
Al-Nour has denied the charges against Khaled Alam Eldin, adviser to the president for environmental affairs. When a presidential aide refused to issue an apology, Bassam Zarka, another presidential adviser and member of the Salafi party resigned in protest.