Mohamed ElBaradei Returns to Egypt To “Be With the People”
As the protests in Egypt turn more and more serious, the former head of International Atomic Energy Agency, Nobel Prize Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, decided to return home on Thursday to “be with his people” and to participate in the major demonstration planned to happen on Friday.
ElBaradei said he had to make this decision in a time like this even though he had received many death threats over the last few weeks, when, according to his statement, an edict had been issued against him, saying his life was dispensable because he was defying the authorities of Egypt.
He added that no protection would be assigned to him while in Egypt and that he wanted to come to be with his people, so that he would not be accused that he took a safe distance from the troubles in the country while still encouraging change.
The protests got simmering intense during the last few days, when people were beaten up in the streets, and at least four were reported dead in the clashes with police.
All the while, ElBaradei expressed his opinion on the matter on the social network Twitter, one of the most useful tools in the coordination of protests all over Arab world.
On Wednesday night, he wrote that “we shall continue to exercise our right to peaceful demonstration and restore
freedom and dignity.”
CNN reports that a user asked him where was he when the people were beaten and arrested.
Mohamed ElBaradei does not have a party to back him up, but supporters’ groups are formed on Facebook, where some 200,000 people already back his candidacy.
CNN already asks whether ElBaradei would be the leader to take over an interim presidency in case the incumbent president Hosni Mubarak is no longer president of Egypt, at the end of these protests.
Former head of IAEA made it clear that he had no intention of running for president as long as the elections are rigged, and promised to commit himself to modernizing the country and turn it into a democracy.
However, he warned he did not fancy the idea of doing the whole work, saying that Egyptians must learn to work together in stead of expecting a “Pharaoh” to do everything.
ElBaradei was in charge of investigating Iran’s nuclear file, and drew criticism from the U.S. authorities when he questioned the decision of G. Bush to invade Iraq on the assumption that he had weapons of mass destruction.
Quoting the slogan of Barack Obama, ElBaradei told the people in his country “Yes, we can!” referring to the capacity of changing what he called an “ossified regime.”11