Tags: ElBaradei | Egypt | Mubarak | election

ElBaradei Ready to Run Against Mubarak

Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 11:28 AM


CAIRO - Former UN atomic watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei has said he is prepared to run for president of Egypt even against veteran incumbent Hosni Mubarak, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

ElBaradei said he was "prepared to run for president, if the people ask me to, no matter who will run against me in elections," he told Dream TV, in excerpts of an interview carried by independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

He said Mubarak, head of state since 1981, would not necessarily win a free election and went on to criticise corruption and poverty in Egypt, saying all Egyptians should have access to medical services and a good education.

ElBaradei, who returned to Cairo on Friday to a rapturous welcome from hundreds of supporters, has repeatedly called for democratic change in Egypt since stepping down as International Atomic Energy Agency head at the end of last year.

The constitution as it stands bars an ElBaradei candidacy. It requires candidates to have been a leading member of a party for at least one year and for the party to have existed for at least five years.

As an independent, he would have to secure the backing of at least 250 elected officials from parliament's upper and lower houses and from municipal councils, all bodies dominated by Mubarak's National Democratic Party.

"For someone like myself to be unable to run for president, this is a disaster. How can a constitution bar 99 percent of the people from running?" he said on Dream television.

State-owned dailies and NDP members have lashed out at ElBaradei, accusing him of being out of touch.

"Stability is good and what we know is better than what we don't know," Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted senior NDP member Mustafa al-Fekki as saying, echoing the regime's position that any change in direction could destabilise Egypt.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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2010-28-23
Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 11:28 AM
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