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Opposition leader ElBaradei asks Morsi to 'listen to his people'
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Mohamed ElBaradei urges President Morsi to call off constitutional referendum, labels draft process 'illegitimate'
Ahram Online, Tuesday 11 Dec 2012
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Mohamed ElBaradei
Mohamed ElBaradei, founder of Constitution Party (Photo: reuters)

President Mohamed Morsi should listen to “at least half of the Egyptian people” and postpone the constitutional referendum until there is a national consensus, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has said.

Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday evening, ElBaradei said the Egyptian opposition considered the whole constitution-drafting process “illegitimate.”

“We will do whatever is necessary to get back to why this revolution is all about freedom and dignity,” he said.

ElBaradei, who is general-coordinator of the National Salvation Front, said the group had not yet decided if it would call for a boycott of the 15 December referendum or call for a 'no' vote.

He said he hoped Tuesday’s mass protests would persuade the president to accept the opposition's demands.

“We are hoping that Mr Morsi will rescind his decision, would really come to his senses,” ElBaradei said. “You cannot adopt a constitution which at least 50 per cent of the Egyptian people oppose, that defies its basic rights and freedoms and tries to have a new dictator in the making.”

When asked by Amanpour if the opposition’s call for protests were a “recipe for a head on clash,” ElBaradei stressed that he was not asking for a confrontation but wished to open a dialogue with Morsi.

“We are at a cross in the road,” ElBaradei said. “Either we will have a country that is civil, which respects women’s rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, children’s rights, and a balance of power, or we will have a new dictatorship with a religious flavour.”

When asked by Amanpour why the opposition was attacking a democratically elected president, ElBaradei said it was not contesting his position but his policies.

“Being a freely elected president does not mean that you can make yourself a dictator with supreme powers,” he said, referring to Morsi’s November constitutional decree which put his decisions above judicial review.

He also criticised Article 4 of the draft constitution for giving “veto powers” to religious institutions over Egypt’s legislative process. The article says “Al-Azhar ulema are to be consulted in matters pertaining to Islamic law.”

“That is not really the making of a democratic, free and civil state,” ElBaradei said. “On the face of it, it looks fine ... 99 per cent of lawyers here, the legal community is completely opposed to [the draft constitution]. It violates basic human rights values, universal values. It is not that we are fighting for the sake of fight, it is not that we are sore losers.”

ElBaradei also stressed that at least 70 per cent of the Egyptian people are neither Salafists nor members of the Muslim Brotherhood and urged President Morsi to listen to his people.

“It is a question of going forward, catching up with the 21st century or going back to the dark ages,” he said.





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Klaus
12-12-2012 04:25pm
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Let the people vote
If 70% of the people don't like the constitution, why does Mr al Baradei not let them vote, and let them say "no"?? If he wants Mursi to listen to the people, why is he so keen to deny the people the opportunity to express their will and tell Mursi what they want? How can a personality, who has never stood for any elective office be "leader of the opposition"? Is this democracy???
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Mohammed moiduddin
19-12-2012 03:08am
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I agree something fishy with 3 stooges
What is wrong with the youth movement they are naive
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democracia
12-12-2012 10:30am
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He said it...
Mr. El Baradei was the first one who said clearly: "The constitution first!" Maybe you remember... But nobody listen to him and now there is the dilemma...
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5



Nora
12-12-2012 06:33am
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No honest politician turns down a dialog
You can't put a price for those who got killed in the last demo. We can't afford having a demo in each square. When we run out of bread, having a world class constitution would be meaningless. He is a fact cat, he can go back to his European life style without having to work. We don't have that option. If it is too inconvenient for him to spend few hours in a dialog, then only an ass should follow him.
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4



Jamna
12-12-2012 04:07am
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Al _Baradei skipped national dialogue
Al Baradei asked President to listen and he, on the other hand, refused to attend National Dialogue. This is very irresponsible attitude on his part.
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3



Sam
12-12-2012 03:28am
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Albaradei Lost.
Let me read it carefully, "...So AlBaradei and his allies are not fighting for the sake of fight, and that they are not sore losers." I think he has completely lost confidence and start mumbling the opposite of what he believe... Why not read all of the above article in opposite of what he said. It's interesting and more to the reality of Egypt today...:)
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2



Mohammed moiduddin
12-12-2012 12:11am
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This guy is not muslim
Al azher is very impt to egypt
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democracia
12-12-2012 10:32am
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Why?
Can you answer me one question: Why he is not a muslim as you say? Now even the clerics say people shall vote "NO", as you can see on this website. So they also are no Muslims anymore or what?
Aladdin, Egypt
12-12-2012 04:33am
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Easy Accusation
To be Muslim, one must say the Shada. Study Islam and stop being judgemental. It is sin in Islam. Allah AKber.
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For goodness sake
11-12-2012 05:56pm
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blah blah blah
than if you have more that the majority..wouldn't it MAKE SENSE to MOBILIZE the NO vote..and then you will have a NEW CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY...Elbaradei what is your real Play here?
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