Hammad discussed the party, formed Tuesday, during an interview with the London newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. He left the Salafist Party Nour to join al-Watan, which also includes former Salafist Party Nour leader Emad Abdel-Ghafour.
Besides encouraging women to seek public office, Hammad said the al-Watan Party would welcome Coptic Christians.
The Nour Party had a strong stand against women's participation in elections. The ultraconservative Islamist party was forced to add women to its electoral rolls during Egypt's last parliamentary elections to fulfill a quota, Ahram Online reported.
In response to the formation of al-Watan Party, the Salafist Calling -- considered the most influential Salafist movement -- said the Nour Party was its political arm.
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