Egypt Independent

ElBaradei meets with left-wing opposition leaders

“If I run in upcoming presidential elections, they will rig 35 percent of the votes for me and give the rest to the ruling party,” said would-be presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei at a meeting with left-wing opposition leaders on Tuesday.

“Gamal Mubarak would then shake my hand and smile at me,” he added. “And the ruling party would thereby attain its needed legitimacy.”

At their meeting, left-wing leaders urged ElBaradei to run in upcoming presidential elections slated for next year in addition to maintaining pressure on the regime to accept ElBaradei’s nine “conditions” for political change.

“The left wing plays a crucial role in political change all over the world,” ElBaradei said, calling on all political stripes to unite for change irrespective of their political inclinations.

He also renewed his call for combining democracy with socialism in order to rescue Egypt from its longstanding political malaise.

Criticized for recent comments in which he said that Egyptians had “not caught up” with the advancement of civilization, ElBaradei defended his stance, saying, “Only if we learn to criticize ourselves and admit our shortcomings will we be able to advance.”

ElBaradei went on to announce his intention to pay a visit to the opposition Democratic Front Party. He also plans to meet with the Egyptian community in London this week to explain his views.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.