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Former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Mohamed ElBaradei on Wednesday met with leaders of a popular campaign aimed at promoting him as a candidate in next year's presidential elections, according to campaign coordinator Abdel Rahman Youssef. At the meeting, the ex-IAEA chief also met with 20 young pro-Baradei Facebook activists and several members of the 6 April opposition movement.
In statements following the meeting, Youssef said that campaign members had suggested that ElBaradei begin working to remove the legal obstacles preventing him from running in elections as an independent candidate. They also suggested that he file a lawsuit aimed at the amendment of Article 76 of the constitution, which, they say, contradicts international conventions to which Egypt is signatory.
Youssef went on to say that ElBaradei had vowed to hold a number of follow-up meetings with his young supporters with a view to hearing their opinions on political reform. He added that the campaign's main objective at this stage was to "mobilize the public" behind the need for change.
Safwan Mohamed, coordinator of the grass-roots "Give Me My Rights" opposition movement, for his part, said that group representatives attending the meeting had suggested that ElBaradei obtain the signatures of as many supporters as possible in an effort to empower his presidential bid.
Meanwhile, the popular Alexandria-based "Campaign against the Inheritance of Power" has reportedly decided to change its name to "The National Front for Change" in an effort to bring it into line with pro-ElBaradei campaigns.
El-Sayed Bassiouni, secretary-general of the liberal Ghad Party's Alexandria branch, said that campaigns aimed at political reform should focus on demands for the amendment of articles 76, 77 and 88 of the national charter.
In a related development, Khaled Abdel Fattah, coordinator of the popular "Citizens against Idiocy" movement, reportedly filed a complaint with the attorney-general against ElBaradei, accusing him of "exploiting" the opposition's contempt for the regime to incite "political revolution." Abdel Fattah alleges that ElBaradei is coordinating his efforts with controversial Egyptian rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim--who had called for an ElBaradei presidency one year ago--as part of a US/Zionist plot aimed at extracting political concessions from Egypt.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.