The alliance between Hizb al-Nur and the new regime surprised many observers. The transitional government is dominated by liberal and left-wing forces. For decades, Egypt's military, which is pulling the strings in the background, has been the main opponent of the country's Islamists.
The Egyptian political researcher Adel Ramadan sees two main reasons for the Islamist party's course of action. First, its survival is at stake. The party wants to avoid the Brotherhood's fate, in which thousands of the members of the group were arrested. Second, Hizb al-Nur had a falling out with the Brotherhood some time ago.
"The Brotherhood has done a good job marginalizing everyone, including the Salafists," said Ramadan. "It seems they were kind of out for revenge." After the ousting of the long-standing dictator Hosni Mubarak three years ago, the radical Salafists and the pragmatic Brotherhood first worked together. However, the Brotherhood quickly showed its domineering side, usurping all of the key government posts and pushing the Salafists aside.