ElBaradei calls for election boycott

Sept. 7, 2010 at 12:14 PM
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CAIRO, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Anyone participating in Egyptian parliamentary elections scheduled for November is opposing the will of the people, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said.

ElBaradei emerged as an opposition force in Cairo when he returned to Egypt in February after serving as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Egyptian diplomat said he would call for a period of civil disobedience and a general boycott of November elections if the government didn't agree to certain political reforms.

"A parliament vote is near and the regime has not responded to our demands," he was quoted by al-Jazeera as saying. "Anyone who participates in the vote, either as a candidate or as a voter, goes against the national will."

A general boycott would require the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is divided over the issue. The outlawed political organization, however, is backing a petition drive launched by ElBaradei to push Cairo to reform the government.

ElBaradei is mentioned as a possible challenger to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 elections. He said he wouldn't run unless he could challenge Mubarak as an independent candidate.

Certain constitutional roadblocks inhibit independents from seeking the presidency.

ElBaradei added that a boycott of the elections would spell the end to the Mubarak regime.

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