ElBaradei willing “to run against anyone”

"I’m willing to run against anyone in upcoming presidential elections if the public wants me to," former International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohamed ElBaradei said on Sunday during an interview on a popular television talk show.

"I’m no savior, but you can help me transform the authoritarian system–by which we’ve been ruled for 7000 years–into a democratic system," he said. "I would wager that about 99 percent of the people are desirous of this change."

"We must change from a people who are told what to do into a people who can present their political, social and economic demands in an appropriate manner," he said.

ElBaradei went on to thank President Hosni Mubarak for ordering the opening of the Cairo International Airport’s VIP arrival hall for his reception last Friday.

"Upon my arrival, my wife and brother told me I should greet the people who came out to welcome me at the airport," he said. "I also thanked all the young men and women who expressed their support for me on Facebook."

Criticizing constitutional articles that bar independent candidates from running in national elections, ElBaradei said: "This is a catastrophe. How can our constitution deprive 99 percent of the people of the right to run in elections?"

"I have no army or government behind me, but I have independent thought," he said. "If this scares the regime, then we’re in more trouble than we think."

He added: "I can’t promise the poor prosperity, but I’ll try to achieve acceptable living conditions and a better future. If I succeed, it will be because of you; if I fail, I will step aside for someone else to take my place."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.


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