Mohamed ElBaradei (Photo: Reuters)
Leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei has denied that Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Arabi is planning to run for president.
ElBaradei praised El-Arabi via his twitter account. "Nabil El-Arabi should be the pride of Egypt for his knowledge, morals and patriotism. He never intended to run for president. Do not drag the man's name into this polluted political climate," tweeted ElBaradei.
ElBaradei's comments come after media reports claimed that phone calls were made between several political forces including the Muslim Brotherhood, liberal parties and the ruling military council in order to pitch El-Arabi as president for the upcoming presidential elections. The presidential candidacy registration period is set to begin on 10 March.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Ghozlan, the official spokesperson of the Brotherhood, also denied that the group plans to support El-Arabi's presidential race.
"Putting El-Arabi's name forward might be an attempt to polish him for the media or to push him into the centre of public attention," Ghozlan said. "There are media outlets that do not bother to report accurately and some journalists do not have enough material to fill their pages, so end up discussing things like this."
Ghozlan then went on to emphaise that the candidate the Brotherhood would back would be a well known public figure and not a new face in Egypt's political arena. He also noted that the group would not support a secular candidate neither would they back one who does not respect the teachings of Islam.
Earlier on Sunday, El-Arabi himself stepped in to put an end to the rumours by asserting that he does not plan to run for office. He has also denied that he was approached by any official or political body regarding his candidacy.