ElBaradei: Egypt witnessing 'Arab Autumn,' but hopeful for change

Ahram Online, Thursday 17 Nov 2011

Presidential prospect Mohamed ElBaradei has expressed concern over the current transitional period in Egypt, but says the situation can change for the better

Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei(Photo: AP)

Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei says in Egypt the Arab Spring has given way to an "Arab Autumn," putting in doubt a popular revolution that inspired the world. 

In an interview Wednesday night with the popular TV talk show "90 Minutes", broadcast on Al-Mehwar channel, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said the current period Egypt is going through is one of "revenge", not transition.
He added that this was due to poor management from the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), accusing Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's government of acting as the military junta's secretariat. 
ElBaradei demanded that the SCAF admit they do not have adequate experience to run the country and that a national salvation government with all powers to restore security to Egyptian streets and help the country recover economically be formed. 
The presidential hopeful stressed that work must be done to shorten the post-revolution transitional period and end emergency law, saying that 12,000 people have been tried in military courts since the January 25 Revolution. 
"The people did not have a revolution to bring about a lack of security and an economic decline," ElBaradei said. 
He urged Egyptians not to give up, and in a more hopeful tone said that "we will overcome this stage and move forward."
ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), urged political forces to come to an agreement on key constitutional principles, promising that it would guarantee citizens their rights and that it should include all classes of people, ensuring freedoms and rights for all. 
The presidential candidate visited underprivileged citizens with the talk show's host and told viewers that 42 per cent of Egyptians are "not living", adding that the real concerns in post-revolutionary Egypt are security and the economy, not politics, pointing out that the Parliament that will be elected in upcoming elections is not the revolution's Parliament. 
ElBaradei pointed out that he still stands by his belief that the ruling military junta does not want to stay in power, but underlined the need for a legislative oversight committee to regulate the armed forces' budget in the future.
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