former presidential hopeful and opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei (photo: Al-Ahram)
Upon arriving in Egypt from Vienna Tuesday, former presidential hopeful and opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei warned of Article 28 of the interim constitutional chart, saying it must be amended.
The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency spoke briefly to reporters at Cairo Airport, where dozens of his supporters warmly received him while chanting "down, down with the military rule" and "Freedom, Freedom."
Article 28 stipulates the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) has unfettered authority that is even beyond judicial power.
"The new constitution must be drafted as soon as possible. Article 28 must be amended," said ElBaradei amid nationwide protests against the fact that Ahmed Shafiq, the last premier under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, is running for presidency in the runoff vote, slated for 16 and 17 June.
However, he did not appear in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the recurring demos, unlike many other political figures, such as former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdul-Momen Abul-Fotouh.
ElBaradei had withdrawn last winter from the Egypt presidential race, condemning the roadmap drawn for Egypt's transition period by the ruling military council (SCAF), and arguing that a constitution must be drafted to specify the powers of the president before the elections take place.
He later co-founded the new Constitution Party along with many pro-revolution figures such as author Alaa El-Aswany, international law professor Hossam Eissa, and activists Ahmed Harara and Hala Shukrallah.
ElBaradei called on all parties to sit down and resolve the ongoing political impasse, less than two weeks before the runoff vote.
"Time has come for the government, army, revolutionaries and Islamists to convene and find a quick solution," he added.