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ElBaradei rules out presidential bid

  |   Jan. 25, 2010 at 1:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Mohammad ElBaradei ruled out a bid to become the president of Egypt, saying the country lacks the framework needed to hold free and fair elections.

Longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is not expected to run for office during presidential elections in 2011. Officials in Cairo are under fire for strict control over the political system, forcing many candidates to seek extraordinary measures to challenge the ruling powers.

ElBaradei, an Egyptian and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told news magazine Foreign Policy that Egypt lacks the measures needed to hold a fair election.

"What I've said is that I would not even consider running for president unless there is the proper framework for a free and fair election -- and that is still the major question mark in Egypt," he said. "I don't believe the conditions are in place for free and fair elections."

Instead, the former IAEA chief said, he would pursue democratic reforms in Egypt instead of seeking political office.

"I don't want to be president of Egypt." he said. "I have a lot of plans other than being president of Egypt."

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