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Wasat Party to petition to strip ElBaradei of Nobel Prize

Al Wasat Party freezes all their calls for national dialogue and the party leader will petition to strip ElBaradei of Nobel Peace Prize for his party's responsibility in Friday's violence

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Mar 2013
Baradei Sultan
Al-Wasat Party head Essam Sultan (L) and Constitution Party head and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei (Photo: Reuters & AP)

The centrist-Islamist Al-Wasat Party announced it was going to freeze all its attempts at forging national dialogue between opposition groups and the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government following violent clashes on Friday between anti-Brotherhood protesters and Brotherhood supporters.

In a statement the party issued late on Saturday, it stated it was freezing all its invitations and initiatives for dialogue with all political forces and figures, "who sponsor violence, terrorism and killing."

Al-Wasat announced it had seen pictures of opposition party members and supporters throwing Molotov cocktails and carrying out other forms of violent acts from within their headquarters, "which should be the function and participation for national political affairs and not for criminal acts," they admonished. 

Moreover, they are considering petitioning the Nobel Peace Prize administration to withdraw the award given jointly to opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005.

The deputy head of the party, Essam Sultan, announced he has deliberated with legal experts on the matter and wrote on his official Facebook page that he would petition the administration in Sweden for a delegation to look into Friday’s incidents near the Brotherhood headquarters in Mokattam district of Cairo, and the "violence that was organised from ElBaradei’s Constitution Party headquarters."

Sultan further noted that the prize is being used as a "moral obstacle" that puts ElBaradei and his party somewhat above reproach in investigations into Friday’s violence.

Friday's demonstrations were called for by several opposition activists to respond to what they described as "attacks" by Muslim Brotherhood members on protesters at the Mokattam headquarters last week.

Several opposition groups responded to the call for protests, including the youth of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Free Egyptians Party and the Constitution Party, all of which are part of the National Salvation Front (NSF) umbrella opposition group. At least 200 were reported injured in the clashes that ensued.

The influential April 6 Youth Movement condemned the violence saying that revolutionaries should not use force to demand their rights. However, the movement also blamed the Brotherhood for prompting the violence, citing previous incidents and the group's "failure" to lead the country.

NSF leader Mohamed ElBaradei also denounced the use of violence, holding the regime responsible for failing to deal with the root of the problems that led to the eruption of violence.

Meanwhile, moderate Islamist figure and head of the Strong Egypt Party Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh blamed the "absence of the state" and the "presidency's inability to contain the rift" [between government and opposition] for the escalating violence in Egypt.

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