In Act Of Protest, Nobel Laureate Won't Seek Egyptian Presidency
According to Al Jazeera, ElBaradei released a statement saying that despite the fall of Hosni Mubarak, who is now on trial for the killing of hundreds of demonstrators in early 2011, there had been little real political change in the country.
Consequently, the Nobel laureate's conscience "does not allow me to run for the presidency or any other official position unless there is real democracy."
From Saturday's report:
He praised the revolutionary youths who led massive popular uprisings that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year but said "the former regime did not fall."
ElBaradei compared the revolution to a boat and charged that "the captains of the vessel ... are still treading old waters, as if the revolution did not take place."
He said corruption was still rife in post-Mubarak Egypt, which has been ruled by a military council since the veteran president was removed from power in February following an 18-day popular revolt.
"We all feel that the former regime did not fall," ElBaradei said in the statement.
He denounced the "repressive" policies of Egypt's new rulers, whom he said were putting "revolutionaries on trial in military court instead of protecting them and punishing those who killed their friends."
Reporting from Cairo, Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros called the decision "a blow to the liberal movement as a whole, just after Islamists swept the vote [for the lower house of parliament]. What they've lost is someone who has a vision and a plan for Egypt's future."
The sentiment expressed in ElBaradei's statement is not uncommon; Egyptians have become increasingly frustrated with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that has taken over for Mubarak. The SCAF said it would hand over authority to civilian rule once a president is elected in June, but many question the sincerity of that promise.
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