ElBaradei: I cannot vote for a president whose authorities are unknown

Ahram Online, Friday 25 May 2012

Mohamed ElBaradei boycotts the presidential elections, insisting that the constitution should have been drafted first

Mohamed ElBaradei
pro-reform leader and Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei (Photo: AP)

Former Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei, speaking at a conference in Vienna on Thursday, said that he chose not to vote in Egypt’s presidential elections – adding that he could not vote for a president whose authorities are unknown.

ElBaradei had previously withdrawn from the electoral race, condemning the roadmap drawn for Egypt's transition period by SCAF and arguing that a constitution must be drafted to specify the powers of the president before the elections take place.

He  explained that, since Egypt has no constitution, it is unknown whether the elected president will have any political power or if he will be an honorary president.

ElBaradei is not the only one to declare he will not be participating in the presidential elections. Several activists have announced they would be boycotting the elections, taking place according to the aforementioned roadmap under the supervision of the military.

Activists also set up a database to register the names and numbers of those who have declared their unwillingness to participate. ElBaradei further warned that if the next president was a member of the former regime, Egypt would witness much instability as this may trigger a second wave of revolt since people would feel their revolution had been hijacked.

When asked, ElBaradei insisted that it would make no difference if the coming president is an Islamist or a secular as he will have to answer to the Islamists in Parliament, the liberals in control of Egypt's economy and the young who make up 60 percent of the population.

The president will have to know how to reach a middle ground.

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