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Opposition warming to ElBaradei

April 5, 2010 at 12:49 PM

CAIRO, April 5 (UPI) -- The banned Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood stands by Mohammed ElBaradei and his reforms, though the movement is capable of working alone, its leader said.

Mahmoud Hussein, the secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood, said his movement would coordinate with political reforms envisioned by Egyptian diplomat ElBaradei, who served as the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog from 1997 to 2009.

ElBaradei returned to Cairo in February, lending to speculation he may challenge Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 elections.

Hussein told al-Jazeera that his organization had always supported opposition trends in the Egyptian political climate. His movement won 20 percent of the seats in the Egyptian Parliament by running as independent candidates in 2005.

He said he favored ElBaradei as part of a united stance against ruling authorities in Cairo, but stressed the Muslim Brotherhood was capable of working alone, the group's news portal Ikhwanweb reports.

Hussein added, however, that the Muslim Brotherhood would join forces with ElBaradei in his proposals for change in the political climate in Cairo.

ElBaradei said he would challenge Mubarak in 2011 if the elections were deemed free and fair. However, political supporters suggested ElBaradei wouldn't run without certain constitutional amendments.

The Muslim Brotherhood leader added that his movement had no plans to put forward a candidate to challenge Mubarak.

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