Babylon & Beyond

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EGYPT: Opposition leader says he might run for president

February 4, 2011 | 12:11 pm

Egyptian opposition activist Mohamed ElBaradei said he might run for president in future elections if asked by the people, an Austrian newspaper reported Friday.

ElBaradei was also quoted by Der Standard newspaper as saying that longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should step down immediately, but that he should be able to do so with “dignity.”

“I am an agent for change in Egypt. If it comes, then I would have done my duty. I stand above the parties, which gives me more flexibility to express myself clearly,” ElBaradei told Der Standard when asked whether he would stand in presidential elections.

“Naturally I want to play a part in the future, but who stands in the election, that's really not so important at the moment. But if the people want it, of course I would be available.”

ElBaradei also told CNN's Eliot Spitzer in an interview expected to air late Friday that “if people want me to run [for president of Egypt], I will not let them down.“

--Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Egyptian opposition activist Mohamed ElBaradei addresses reporters during a news conference in Cairo on Friday. ElBaradei told an Austrian newspaper that he might run for president if it was the will of the people. Credit: Amr Nabil/Associated Press