Threats keep ElBaradei from polls, news agency reports

Constitution Party President Mohamed ElBaradei did not vote in the second round of the referendum Saturday because he feared an attack after receiving threats, a senior party official told Turkish Anadolu news agency.

The prominent opposition figure had been the target of threats from “Hazemoun,” supporters of Salafi former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, warning him not to vote in the referendum on the draft constitution, Anadolu reported.

But Abu Ismail's campaign manager, Gamal Saber, denied the reports, saying that the accusations were an attempt to hurt the image of his supporters.

Anadolu quoted Constitution Party official Ahmed Derag as saying that ElBaradei had received various anonymous threats. ElBaradei also saw calls on Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood Facebook pages to prevent him from voting at his registered polling station in 6th October City and others urging protests in front of his home, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Sources close to ElBaradei said that he and other party leaders reported those threats to the Interior Ministry and the Giza Security Department and security was also tightened around his home..

Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that crowds of Brotherhood and Salafi youth were gathered at the polling station where ElBaradei was expected to vote, although it was not confirmed if they were there in response to the protest calls.

ElBaradei was assaulted in March 2011 in Moqattam while voting on a referendum on a provisional Constitutional Declaration by the then-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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