Mubarak says ElBaradei can run in 2011

March 5, 2010 at 10:02 AM

BERLIN, March 5 (UPI) -- Former U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei can run for president, though Egypt has no need for another national hero, Egypt's president said.

ElBaradei returned to Cairo in February to a hero's welcome. The return of the Egyptian Nobel Peace Prize recipient raised speculation he would challenge President Hosni Mubarak in a 2011 presidential contest.

Mubarak said during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel there were no restrictions to ElBaradei seeking the presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood's English-language news Web site Ikhwanweb reports.

"If he wants to join any political party as a citizen, he can do so," the 81-year-old president said. "We do not have any restrictions on this. If he wants to run as an independent, he is also welcome."

Mubarak, who was elected president first in 1981, has not indicated whether he would seek another term. It is widely alleged his is grooming his son Gamal for the position.

ElBaradei said he would consider running for president if certain constitutional reforms were enacted. He would need the backing of 250 representatives of the ruling National Democratic Party to run as an independent.

Mubarak is scheduled Friday to undergo medical tests for complications related to gall bladder pains, the report from the Muslim Brotherhood said.

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