Former IAEA chief ElBaradei willing to challenge Mubarak for Egyptian presidency

Posted By: Staff
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London, Feb. 24 (ANI): Former IAEA chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, has revealed his plans to challenge Egypt's current president of 29 years in next year's elections.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner arrived home last week to a raucous reception after 30 years of living overseas and 12 years as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

ElBaradei was forced to use an alternative exit from the airport terminal after hundreds of supporters gathered there to welcome him home.

Since then, ElBaradei has given a series of interviews strongly criticising conditions in Egypt.

On Tuesday, he went a step further by saying that he would be willing to run against President Mubarak, 81, The Times reports.

However, ElBaradei has insisted that he will only run if an unlikely set of conditions are met.

Among his demands are written guarantees that the elections will be free and fair, supervision of the vote by international monitors, and a constitutional amendment to remove obstacles to an independent candidacy.

A 2005 constitutional amendment that established multi-candidate presidential elections also came with rules designed to ensure that no independent candidates could easily enter the race.

ElBaradei's one-man campaign has already gained massive popularity.

While most Egyptians know little about ElBaradei, they are not enthusiastic about Mubarak's plans to transfer power to his son, Gamal.

The head of the opposition Democratic Front party, Osama El-Ghazali Harb, hailed ElBaradei for helping to breathe new life into Egyptian political scene.

"Politics has returned to Egyptian public life. Citizens are engaging in politics voluntarily, not forced by Government institutions or the ruling party," Harb wrote in a paper. (ANI)

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