Nobel laureate and former head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency, Mohammed El Baradei (photo, from aljazeera.net) said he will run for president in Egypt, urging for a new real democratic system.
“When the door of presidential nominations opens, I intend to nominate myself,” Mr El Baradei said on ONTV channel on Wednesday.
Describing himself as a social democrat, he said “democracy is my program”.
Calling the suggested constitutional amendments to move Egypt toward democracy “superficial”, Mr El Baradei appealed to the military rulers to scrap them or delay a scheduled March 19 referendum on them.
“We are at a decisive period in Egypt’s history, We shouldn’t rush. Everything should be on a solid basis”, he said.
The military rulers have said they will hand over power six months after Hosni Mubarak left the presidency. The proposed amendments suggest that presidential and parliamentary elections would take place during those six months.
The constitutional amendments limit a president to two four-year terms and allow independent and opposition members to run, which was impossible when Hosni Mubarak was president.
But Mr El Baradei said that because there is no proposed change in the laws that regulate forming political parties, the new parliament can end up being controlled by remnants of Mubarak’s party and the well organised Muslim Brotherhood.
Mohammed El Baradei came back to Egypt at the end of 2010. His return gave energy to a youth movement which looked at him as a leader in their calls for reform. To them Mr El Baradei is independent, untainted by state corruption and represents international success.