Mubarak: Egypt needs no national hero and ElBaradei is free to seek presidency

Mubarak: Egypt needs no national hero and ElBaradei is free to seek presidency

Mubarak, who has ruled for almost three decades, made the comments on a visit to Germany, during which he will undergo medical tests, the official sources reported.


ElBaradei, one of Egypt’s best-known international figures after leading the International Atomic Energy Agency, arrived home last month to an exuberant reception from his supporters who want him to run for president in 2011


 Mubarak told a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin “If he wants to join any political party as a citizen, he can do so. We do not have any restrictions on this. If he wants to run as an independent, he is also welcome,”

“We do not have any restrictions in this field, according to the constitution,” Mubarak added


Analysts however, say election rules make it almost impossible for any candidate to stage a realistic challenge against the one nominated by Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party NDP


We do not need a national hero, here or there,” Mubarak said, bristling in response to a question about ElBaradei’s welcome from supporters at Cairo airport


Mubarak, 81, has not said whether he will run, but many Egyptians believe he will seek to hand the presidency to his son Gamal, 46, if he does not. Both Mubarak denies this


President Hosni Mubarak will be heading on Friday afternoon to the German city of Heidelberg to undergo some medical tests, this is to follow up on a recurrent complaint from gall bladder pains,” it said


ElBaradei has stirred Egypt’s calcified politics, saying he would consider running for president but wants constitutional changes with checks on power and guarantees of a fair vote. Analysts say such changes are unlikely to be implemented


ElBaradei has so far refused to run for an established party, one route to nomination, and to run as an independent he would need the backing of 250 elected representatives across parliament and local councils – all dominated by the NDP