ElBaradei ready to run against Mubarak
Former UN atomic watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei has said he is ready to run for president of Egypt even against Hosni Mubarak, local newspapers reported on Tuesday. ElBaradei said he was "prepared to run for president, if the people ask me to, no matter who will run against me in elections," he told Dream TV, in comments quoted by Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.
According to him, Mubarak, head of state since 1981, will not necessarily win a free election. He also slammed the corruption and poverty in Egypt, saying all Egyptians should have access to medical services and a good education.
ElBaradei, who returned to Cairo on Friday, has repeatedly called for democratic change in Egypt since stepping down as International Atomic Energy Agency head at the end of last year.
The Egyptian constitution bars an ElBaradei candidacy. It requires candidates to have been a leading member of a party for at least one year and for the party to have existed for at least five years. "For someone like myself to be unable to run for president, this is a disaster. How can a constitution bar 99 percent of the people from running?" he said on Dream television.
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