Mohamed ElBaradei, leader of the pro-reform National Association for Change and possible presidential candidate, has launched a fierce attack against the Egyptian regime describing it as “vicious” and asserting that he will not participate in a debate with it or be subjected to its regulations.
During his meeting Monday evening with some 200 Egyptian-Americans in Boston, ElBaradei rejected the parliamentary electoral process in Egypt, saying that the current laws were implemented just to serve leaders.
ElBaradei said that the current political mobilization in Egypt and people’s enthusiasm for change have shaken Egyptian society. He added that he still has a year and a half to push for change before the presidential elections.
The 67-year-old former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency also asserted that he doesn’t have any ambition to be president and only wants to help Egyptians achieve democracy so that Egypt will be well regarded internationally. He also said he wants a public movement in which many categories of the people can partipate, not a one-man movement.
ElBaradei had previously stated that he would consider running for president if elections are free and fair. He repeated Monday that he will not run on behalf of any existing parties because they are dominated by the government. He added that he cannot establish his own party, as this would require the regime’s acceptance, which he said is out of the question.
The would-be-candidate for presidency has also attacked the governmental statistics of poverty levels, unemployment, average incomes describing it with “inaccurate and false.”
Regarding the US administration’s stance on democracy and human rights in Egypt, ElBaradei said, “The US administration has no excuse to talk about violations against human rights in the world except what happens in Cairo.” He called on Egyptian-Americans in the US to help Egyptians with their experience and knowledge.
Concerning the rights of Egyptian-Americans to vote in the upcoming presidential elections, ElBaradei said it is a legal battle and all Egyptians, wherever they are, have the right to vote, as well as the right to run for presidency. He attributed the government’s refusal to let expatriate Egyptians take part in voting to the fact that overseas voting would not be supervised by the government.
A coalition of Egyptian-American organizations will protest in front of the Egyptian embassy in Washington on Saturday, demanding the right for Egyptian-Americans to vote and calling for electoral reforms. A conference will be held in New York by the midddle of May titled “The future of Egypt and the constitutional democracy.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition.