|ElBaradei said that he would vote against constitutional amendments in the upcoming referendum [Reuters]|
Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate and former head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency, has said on a privately owned TV channel that he intends to run for president in Egypt’s 2011 presidential election.
“When the door of presidential nominations opens, I intend to nominate myself,” ElBaradei said on ONTV channel on Wednesday.
ElBaradei also said that suggested constitutional amendments to move Egypt toward democracy are ‘superficial.’ He appealed to the military rulers to scrap them or delay a scheduled March 19 referendum on them.
“We are at a decisive period in Egypt’s history, We shouldn’t rush. Everything should be on a solid basis.” he said.
The constitutional amendments limit a president to two four-year terms. They also allow independent and opposition members to run, impossible under the regime of deposed president Hosni Mubarak.
The military rulers have said they want to hand over power six months after the ouster of Mubarak.
The proposed amendments suggest that elections, both presidential and parliamentary, would take place during that period.
However, there is no proposed change in the laws that regulate forming political parties. This, ElBaradei said, would allow remnants of Mubarak’s party and the well organised Muslim Brotherhood to control the new parliament.
He also expressed concern that the current lack of security would hamper ability of authorities to secure the elections or protect people going to vote.
“After all this, how can the parliament be representative, I can’t rule Egypt for one day under this constitution,” he said.
Since his return to Egypt last year, ElBaradei has reinvigorated a youth movement that reached out to him as a leader in their calls for reform, seeing him as independent, untainted by state corruption and as a figure who represents international success.
ElBaradei described himself as a social democrat, and said, “democracy is my program.”