Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has created a coalition of 17 parties, including liberal and secular groups, to form a common platform ahead of legislative elections, Egyprian state media said Wednesday.
The new political alliance, including the Brotherood's Freedom and Justice Party, the liberal Wafd party, the left-leaning Tagammu, and the newly formed Salafi (Muslim Fundamentalist) Noor party, say they joined forces to "channel their efforts... into building a state of law based on citizenship, equality and sovereignty of the people."
In a statement, the parties outlined their common principles including "freedom of belief and worship", freedom of expression and a free media, the independence of the judiciary, and "an economic system based on social justice."
The members also reportedly discussed the idea of a unified list in the coming legislative polls, but disparate sectarian goals and worldviews between the party's may render such a move unrealistic.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Egypt's interim junta which took power following president Hosni Mubarak's ouster on February 11, has scheduled parliamentary elections for September.
A September election is expected to boost Islamic factions, particularly the highly organized Muslim Brotherhood which was banned by Mubarak, but gained broad support through decades of charity work and community projects.
Some groups have called to delay elections so a constitution be drafted beforehand, while others are pushing for early polls to see the army out of power as soon as possible. Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has hinted at a possible election delay, saying it would give new parties more time to organize.
Early elections are also thought to favor the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood whose senior leaders have said they will impose Sharia Law in Egypt if they come to power - a task that could become complicated depending on what Egypt's proposed constitution were to say.
Egypt's interim-junta, however, says parliamentary poll will be held on schedule in September, followed by a new constitution and then a presidential vote.
Israel regards the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in Egypt as undesirable.
Shortly after Mubarak's ouster A Muslim Brotherhood leader told an Arab language newspaper that Egyptians “should prepare for war against Israel."