One of the well-known positions of the Salafi movement is political quietism - avoiding participation in politics, with some even holding that elections and democracy are prohibited in Islam. Yet in the 2011-2012 Egyptian elections, the al-Nour party contested the election on the Salafi platform, and finished in the second place with 27.8% popular vote, indicating high level of voter approval.
How did this party and their supporters legitimize (using the Salafi understanding of Islamic law) their participation, in light of the general Salafi position of avoiding politics? How mainstream is it in the Salafi movement globally to allow (1) participation in elections and (2) forming a political party?
Note that I'm not asking the for the general ruling for participating in politics and elections, such rulings can be easily found in other sources. But I'm particularly interested in the Salafi understanding of the Islamic law given their unique position in this regard.