25 February 2013

Egypt: ElBaradei Says Parliament Election May Lead to Chaos

Nobel Laureate and prominent opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said on Sunday that while elections are a part of democracy, Egypt must have "a democratic constitution, independent judiciary and free press" first.

The former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that the upcoming parliamentary elections may lead to chaos that may require the intervention of the military.

Egypt's army led the country following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 until the election of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi.

The National Salvation Front, Egypt's main opposition coalition that groups several anti-Islamist parties and movements, will remain unified, ElBaradei told BBC Arabic on Sunday.

He insisted that while some of the Front's members have ideological differences, they share the same goal, which is to create a democratic state.

ElBaradei's liberal Dostour Party officially announced that it would boycott the election on Sunday like other political parties, including Hamdeen Sabahi's Popular Current.

The prominent opposition figure doubted Egypt's ability to conduct parliamentary elections in its current economic state, arguing that the international community will not offer Egypt aid in the absence of national consensus.

Egypt is struggling to acquire a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to revive its ailing economy where negotiations were adjourned as a result of political unrest that led to violence.

The parliament election will begin on April 22 and end in June, paving the way for the House of Representatives to convene for the first time on July 2.

In a televised speech on Sunday, the Islamist president invited all political factions for dialogue to hear their conditions for fair elections.

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