Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Mohamed ElBaradei urges Egypt to boycott election

Former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, has urged Egyptians to boycott November's parliamentary election, saying it is certain to be rigged by the government. ElBaradei explained that taking part in the election would go against "the national will" to transform Egypt into a democracy.

ElBaradei has not yet said whether he will run for president in 2011. And it is still unclear who will succeed President Mubarak, nor whether Mubarak will seek re-election, but speculation has been mounting and many believe that he will try to install his son, Gamal, in the role if he decides to retire.

Shorty after his return to Egypt, in February, ElBaradei's National Coalition for Change launched a petition calling for constitutional changes and guarantees of free elections. The petition lists seven demands including allowing independents to run for president, and the lifting of the emergency laws that have been in place since 1981.

"We have gathered nearly a million signatures in six months and we can reach up to two to three million more by the end of this year," said ElBaradei on Monday.

In talking about the government ElBaradei said that the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) has failed Egypt, and is responsible for rising poverty and illiteracy, and the disregard of human rights.

"When I look at the temple they built, I see a decaying temple, nearly collapsing. It will fall sooner rather than later. I will never enter this temple. What we call for is to bring down this temple in a peaceful civilised manner. If the whole population boycotts the elections totally, it will be in my view the end of the regime," concluded ElBaradei.

Source: BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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