• November 24, 2009

Can Elbaradei get elected as President in Egypt?

Can Elbaradei get elected as President in Egypt?

At November’s end, Mohammed Elbaradei will be stepping down as the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He will be replaced by Japan’s Yukiya Amano, who won the vote after a deadlock of a month”s time.

There has been talk about Elbaradei vis-à-vis the Egyptian presidency. However, in what must have been quite embarrassing to the current administration, Elbaradei stated that he might consider running if:

‘There would have to be built-in guarantees hat the election be run properly’ and adding: ‘I will only consider it if there is a free and fair election and that remains a question mark in Egypt’, Elbaradei said on an interview with CNN.

Though President Mubarak’s opposition is very supportive of such a candidacy, there are those who doubt very much whether Elbaradei can break the stranglehold of the National Democratic Party. One of these men is Osama El-Ghazali Harb, chairman of the liberal-oriented United Front Party.  He told Egypt’s Al-Ahram that although Mr. Elbaradei had received very wide international recognition for his work at the IAEA, that ‘he main opposition parties are controlled by old-guard officials who will oppose the nomination of outsiders such as El-Baradei’.

Others officials of the leftist opposition party Tagammu as well as a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood have declared that they cannot see a breakthrough as long as Mubarak heads the NDP Party. In 2005, when he ran for re-election, Mubarak has his only serious opponent thrown in jail. Though some inside the party have offered that his son Gamal was being groomed for the job, other contenders include Chief of Intelligence Omar  Suleiman (who has been negotiating on and off with for peace with Israel), Secretary- General of the Arab League Amr Moussa, and chemistry Nobel Prize winner Ahmed Zuweil.

After nearly three decades of Hosni Mubarak at the helm,  governing Egypt with an iron fist, Mubarak’s minister of state for legal and parliamentary affairs had this to say about Elbaradei:

It is not enough to be a prominent academic or someone who has commanded international recognition to be president of Egypt