United We Stand
As the political storm hits Egypt, El-Baradei takes on the opposition mustering them to achieve unity and stand strong against the corruption of the NDP.
While President Mubarak hailed his nation’s elections as a milestone for democracy, hundreds of Egyptian opposition activists protested outside the Supreme Court in downtown Cairo over what they said were bogus elections producing an illegitimate parliament. Despite acknowledging the violence and vote buying that had taken place during the elections, Mubarak still described the results as lawful and expects the new parliament to advance democracy. Mubarak says his NDP succeeded in the polls because of their superior organization and preparation, observing that the opposition should learn their lesson well.
Activists at home and abroad, along with the opposition, have condemned the widespread rigging that took place during the elections, calling for the results to be annulled. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Wafd party pulled out after the first round. However, protesters at the rally challenged the legitimacy of parliament and a number of opposition candidates that lost in the elections announced they would form a parallel parliament. Many believe the time has come for the public to move; the feeling in the country is that the people just can not take it anymore.
Mubarak insists on taking part in the political arena at the age of 82 despite his deteriorating health, while his son Gamal remains in the sidelines ready to succeed him when the time comes, regardless of widespread opposition.
Mohamed El-Baradei, along with the Muslim Brotherhood, is leading the call for true democracy, saying that the divided opposition groups do not currently pose a serious enough challenge to Mubarak’s ruling party, even though the blatant vote rigging has angered the people and deprived the regime of any legitimacy. El-Baradei openly blames the regime for blocking all channels of peaceful change, and hopes to build enough numbers for pro-reform protests that are generally only attended by a handful of activists and are easily controlled by massive numbers of riot police. El-Baradei said the failure to work together has deprived the opposition of the ability to stage large protests. Calling for civil disobedience in Egypt, El-Baradei sees that this is far from materializing because of the divided opposition along with a population that remains fearful after years of repression under Mubarak’s autocratic rule.
Calling for unity, the Muslim Brotherhood and El-Baradei are now working hand in hand, while their supporters hope El-Baradei might run for president next year. However, he will only run if there are sweeping constitutional reforms that are necessary to make the elections more fair and transparent.
Speaking to his supporters, El-Baradei said: "I will succeed in as much as I can unify these disparate groups. If I can’t, there will be no fast change."