by Shaimaa Behery
CAIRO, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The launch of a new Egyptian opposition group, National Conscience Front (NCF), triggered a debate among analysts as some see the newborn front as adding to the opposition's diversity while others predict it to be snubbed by the well-established opposition National Salvation Front (NSF).
Founders of the National Conscience Front are 30 prominent figures including some affiliated to Islamic entities. Mohamed al- Beltagy, a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) which President Mohamed Morsi hails from, was at the inauguration of the new front on Saturday.
Also present at the ceremony were Islamic leaders of the Building and Development Party and the Wassat Party as well as Ayman Nour, head of Ghad al-Thawra Party.
"We are all motivated by shared willingness to defend the lofty values of the Egyptian revolution, especially at this time of mounting violence," said the founders in a statement, stressing that the movement is dedicated to the promotion of national reconciliation.
Political expert with al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies Saed Lawendy said in an interview with Xinhua that the NCF founders intended to ease the acrimony of the opposition represented by the NSF, who refused invitation to a dialogue with the president.
"The new front made use of the decline in the NSF's popularity to establish itself," said Lawendy, pointing out that the Egyptian people have become increasingly disenchanted with the NSF for its role in stirring up instability in the country and rejecting the president's dialogue call.
He further said that "All the founders of the new front accepted the dialogue invitation, which means that this new group have fewer extremists than the NSF."
While some analysts considered the NCF represents "fake" opposition as most of its members are Islamists, Lawendy argued in the new group's defense.
"It is a big mistake that we consider all Islamists support the current regime that is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Salafists' Nour Party has differences with the MB's Freedom and Justice Party and the Wassat Party criticizes the current regime in many aspects," Lawendy said, advising the new front to include civilian and liberal figures in order to win support from the protesters in the streets.
Meanwhile, Fakhry al-Tahatwi, a political science professor with Cairo University, said the main drive behind the NCF's launch is to truly represent the Muslims and to "challenge" the NSF.
"Obviously, the NCF's founders put the word "front" in the group's name so as to pose the group as a rival to the NSF," Tahtawi said, while ruling out any "valuable" presence the new front could have in Egypt's politics.
"I believe the new front won't have any popularity in the streets and won't have any essence in the political life because it only represents the Islamic faction," said Tahtawi.
That said, Lawendy thinks the NCF could do a better job than the Muslim Brotherhood in bringing the Islamic forces in harmony with the liberals.