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NDP supports me, ElBaradei says

Mohamaed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), attends a joint press conference with the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi on October 4, 2009 in Tehran. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
Mohamaed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), attends a joint press conference with the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi on October 4, 2009 in Tehran. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

CAIRO, July 2 (UPI) -- Members of the ruling National Democratic Party in Cairo expressed their support for Egyptian diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, the former IAEA chief said.

ElBaradei said in an interview on national television that members of the NDP contacted him to say they "agree with everything" he was doing." The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said, however, he discredited the messages as "treasonous," Egyptian daily newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reports.

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ElBaradei returned to Cairo in February, adding fuel to rumors he would challenge 82-year-old Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 elections.

The Egyptian diplomat said he did not speak directly with NDP officials, adding in the interview that he assumed he was under constant supervision.

"It's likely that my phone, e-mail and house are under surveillance," he said.

ElBaradei said his top priority was to usher in political reforms in Egypt. Certain constitutional provisions in place since the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat prohibit some political activity.

The Nobel Peace Prize recipient said, however, that he would consider a presidential bid if there was enough popular sentiment. In a June interview with the Muslim Brotherhood's Ikhwanweb news service, ElBaradei said, "If the people really want me to be a candidate, I shan't let them down."

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