Mohammed ElBaradei, the former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Cairo in February and became a critic of the ruling National Democratic Party and key opposition figure.
He called for a boycott of Egypt's parliamentary elections in early December, telling Egyptian daily newspaper al-Masry al-Youm that he never took the system seriously.
"If you want to put on a masquerade of democracy, at least get 60, 70 or 80 opposition (parliamentarians)," he said. "At least make it look for the uninitiated like a country on its way forward."
Opposition figures in Egypt took less than 5 percent of the seats on the Egyptian Parliament and the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition force, took none of the seats after securing 20 percent during 2005 elections.
ElBaradei said it had become obvious that change from within can't happen in Egypt.
"You need to get outside the system and understand that this is not a political system," he said. "This is a system that has failed. Egypt has become one of the 60 failed states."
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