ElBaradei plans to run for president of Egypt, slams constitutional amendments

Thursday 10 Mar 2011

Nobel laureate and former head of the U.N. nuclear agency Mohamed ElBaradei says he will run for Egypt's presidency as long as a new democratic system is in place.

ElBaradei told Egyptian ONTV channel Wednesday that new constitutional amendments in place to usher Egypt toward democracy are "superficial." He appealed to Egypt's military rulers to scrap them or delay a scheduled March 19 vote on them.

The constitutional amendments limit the terms for a president to run to two four-year terms. They also open the door for independents and opposition members to run. But ElBaradei says the changes don't limit the powers of president or give enough time for political parties to form.

 ElBaradei said  he would vote against constitutional amendments in a referendum on March 19, adding that a new constitution must be drawn instead.

"I will not vote for these constitutional amendments, I will vote against these amendments," ElBaradei added.

"The current constitution fell. It would be an insult to the revolution if we decided to retrieve this constitution," he said, calling instead for "a new constitution, a presidential vote and then parliamentary vote".

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