ElBaradei supporters reject ‘fake’ revolution celebrations

Supporters of former International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei rejected Thursday what they called "fake celebrations" being planned for the anniversary of the outbreak of the 25 January revolution.

The Popular Campaign to Support Mohamed ElBaradei expressed its stance in its first statement since he abandoned his presidential bid on Sunday in protest of what he called the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' mismanagement of the transition period.

Divisions between political forces have been growing over whether to celebrate the beginning of the uprising that eventually forced former President Hosni Mubarak from office. While some groups have chosen to celebrate, others have called for renewed protests to demand the fulfillment of the unmet goals of the uprising.

The SCAF has declared 25 January a national holiday in response to several parties and groups calling for mass protests on that day to demand a speedy transfer of power to a civilian government.

The campaign statement said that celebrations would make the revolution hollow and provide cover for the military rulers' "catastrophic failure" in managing the transitional period.

Celebrating the anniversary means stultifying the mourning for protesters killed during the uprising. Campaign members said they would take part in all peaceful protests scheduled for 25 January and afterward.

In a tweet on Wednesday, ElBaradei called for a moment of silence at 2 pm on 25 January to remember those killed during the revolution.

The campaign statement hailed ElBaradei's decision to bow out of the presidential race, stressing that the timing of his withdrawal, just days before the revolution's anniversary, emphasizes that the revolution will continue and be victorious.

Ahmed Salem, the campaign's Europe coordinator, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that his group will continue to support ElBaradei as a reformer.

The campaign was launched under the former [Mubarak] regime to back ElBaradei’s bid for political change and to fight the inheritance of power, not only to support him as president," Salem said. "Since the old regime has not totally collapsed, we go back to square one."

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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