ElBaradei proposes national unity government in Egypt

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, February 10, 2011 19:13 EDT
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WASHINGTON — Leading Egyptian dissident Mohamed ElBaradei proposed Thursday that a three-person national unity government succeed President Hosni Mubarak and his deputy, and steer Egypt to democracy.

In an interview with Foreign Policy Magazine, ElBaradei said the US-backed transition process led by Vice President Omar Suleiman will fail to take the country to democracy unless “we keep kicking their behinds.”

He added: “I think the whole process is a faulty process. You don’t get the fox to be in charge of the chicken coop.”

ElBaradei was interviewed in his Cairo home before Mubarak delivered a televised speech announcing a transfer of some powers to Suleiman, but did not step down, sparking an angry reaction from demonstrators massed in Tahrir Square.

ElBaradei recalled that Suleiman, whom Mubarak recently named his first ever vice president, said Egypt does not have the “culture” of democracy.

“No, I don’t have any confidence” in Suleiman, said ElBaradei.

The military leaders who have practiced dictatorship for decades “don’t understand, let alone are willing to move Egypt into democracy, unless we keep kicking their behinds,” he said.

ElBaradei said he urges young Egyptians, whom he says are the only ones who can bring change because they have “no hidden agenda,” to maintain their mass protests until they satisfy their demands — above all that Mubarak leave.

He implied Suleiman also leave when he said “there is no credibility in either Mubarak or Suleiman or anybody who is associated with that regime.”

His advice to the young people is to take charge of the “transitional period of a year,” he said.

“And I am suggesting a presidential council of three people, a transitional government of national salvation, national unity under a caretaker government of people who have sterling reputations, have experience,” he said.

The national unity government would “then prepare the country for free and fair elections,” he added.

He called for abolishing the current constitution and replacing it with a new one “which is really democratic, with a president who has checks and balances” on him.

He also pushed for abolishing the “rigged” parliament and replacing it with one that “has the power of the purse and oversight” as well as establishing an independent judiciary.

ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), outlined a similar political transition in an interview with Austria’s die Presse daily.

The dissident did not make clear his own political ambitions except to say that he has always described himself as “an agent for change” rather than a grassroots organizer.

“But I never said I’m not a politician,” he said.

He said that in the year he has been back in Egypt he has tried to lift the hopes of young Egyptians with the promise of democracy.

“My message to them is to try to make them feel that they are no different from other people, that they have all the tools, all the talents,” he said.

He tells them that “it’s only through democracy we will be able to change this whole system.”

He expressed fears that the regime risked making Egyptians more radical.

“If you try to crush them, you will then get into a bloody revolution,” he warned.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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  • Hassan i Sabbah

    You nutsky.

  • Anonymous

    No he IS NOTa Puppet of US-Israel

    He comfrontet the Neocon gang on IRAQ and IRAN in the heart of the US.

    See how Zionist see him:


  • Anonymous

    Has this plan been vetted with Mubarak’s puppeteers ?

    Anybody know ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    ElBaradei was a thorn in the side of the Bush administration and for that I will always love him. He spoke truth to power when for a time it seemed the entire world was against him. But in the end ElBaradei was true and Bush the liar.

  • Anonymous

    totally agree. i like all his ideas outlined above. and i think that one of the council, it could even be a caretaker oversight council of 4-10 people should include some of the young organizers and perhaps even a member of the Brotherhood and someone from the coptic church, it really has to be pretty inclusive to have legitimacy – and the young guy from google too, Wael Ghonim, and some women as well, they seem to be mostly sidelined here, not too surprising considering how sexist this dictatorship has been (and the culture in general in many ways) – but Baradei is right, and it has to start somewhere and throw out that rotten old constitution.

    and i hope they have a new leadership that isn’t like the one in the US, so slavish to ‘looking forward’, so all the crimes of the past from the bush cheney era were never addressed, hell the obamaites blocked everything that would have held the bushivites in any way responsible. hope the next egyptian adminstration isn’t like that. someone has to pay for 30 years of tyranny and the astounding ‘illicit enrichment’ as we call it here in mexico…

  • Anonymous

    A man who told us all there were no goddamn WMD in Iraq, provided some sanity about Iran and now distinguishes himself in Egypt.

    I’m sure all the fetus fanatic party war lovers and PNAC planning pricks will be outraged to hear that.