OpEdNews Op Eds

Baradei's Anguish

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to None 1/19/12

Become a Fan
  (11 fans)

After months of performing like Egypt's Cinderella leader, jet-setting between Cairo and his old home in Vienna, Mohamed ElBaradei has finally reached the limits of his frustration.

At a press conference last week, ElBaradei said the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took over from Mubarak, had governed "as if no revolution took place and no regime has fallen".

"My conscience does not permit me to run for the presidency or any other official position unless it is within a democratic framework," the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog said.

His surprise resignation came as a protest to the ruling military council's failure to put the country on the path to democracy. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, a group of the Egypt's highest military officers, took over as "interim rulers" of the country immediately after the February 11 resignation of 30-year-dictator Hosni Mubarak, Mubarak, now 83 years old,   is currently on trial along with a number of high-level political and military figures for corruption and for killing peaceful demonstrators in Tahrir Square, where the Arab Spring revolution was born.

In the pre-Tahrir Square days, ElBaradei was among prominent Egyptians constantly mentioned for the post of president, should the revolution succeed. He played a somewhat coy game during this period, expressing reservations about taking on the monumental task of leading his countrymen into a new era of non-corrupt, transparent and responsive government.

The Nobel laureate, regarded as a driving force behind the movement that forced the former president Hosni Mubarak to step down, told the Guardian newspaper that the conditions for a fair election were not in place.

With Parliamentary elections to the lower house over, and the parties of the Muslim Brotherhood and the yet more conservative Salafists winning more than enough seats to effectively control the lower body, it was highly doubtful that ElBaradei could have won enough support from the Liberal parties to gain the presidency.

But it would be a big mistake to count the Nobel-prize-winner out just yet. The historic journey along Egypt's road to good governance has barely begun.

The polished international diplomat again called on the SCAF and their puppet civilian government to move with all possible speed to enact fundamental political reforms. The citizens of the Arab world's largest nation were "yearning desperately for economic and social change" and that without drastic improvements, a "Tunisia-style explosion" in Egypt would be unavoidable, he told the Guardian.

Nearly half of the country's 80 million citizens live on less than -1.25 a day, and despite record GDP growth the majority of the population has become poorer in real terms over the past 20 years. Unemployment is epidemic, Graduates with PhD degrees are driving taxies or working as waiters. Many of the members of the last two graduating classes of Cairo University have never held any job for which they were trained.

However, Baradei has rejected the idea of a "second revolution" -- a huge gathering in Tahrir Square, much like those of the recent past -- because of the very real possibility of widespread violence and death.

 

http://billfisher.blogspot.com

William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Silence of the Sheep

Liberties Lost Since 9/11

Law Professors Outraged by Senate Vote on Indefinite Detention

BAHRAIN: UNION LEADERS ON HUNGER STRIKE

Feel Safer Now?

The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable -- A Must-Read.

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments