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ElBaradei forms National Association for Change with Egyptian opposition.

CAIRO: In cooperation with the majority of Egypt's opposition, political hopeful and former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei formed the National Association for Change, the vehicle through which they will attempt to agitate for political change in the country.

Meeting at his home Tuesday evening, practically all opposition groups and movements were represented with the exception of the Wafd, Nasserist and Tagammu parties. Discussions were held on how to go about attempting to instigate political change in Egypt.

ElBaradei is leaving Egypt Feb. 26, but it was agreed to hold a second meeting when returns in early April. Amongst the opposition movements present was the Muslim Brotherhood, represented by MP and member of the Guidance Office Saad El-Katatny.

El-Katatny told Daily News Egypt, "It was a welcoming meeting and we discussed the problems that face the country, and it was agreed that change is necessary, thus it was decided to form this association under Dr ElBaradei."

The association was "open to all Egyptians," he continued, "These demands for change cannot be achieved without pressure from the Egyptian people."

ElBaradei has stirred the political landscape since his arrival last Friday. His comments regarding his intention to run for president in 2011 provided certain conditions were met has galvanized the opposition movement behind him as well as others wanting to see an end to the rule of the National Democratic Party.

Even the Muslim Brotherhood, with a political ideology far removed from ElBaradei's liberal ideals, has agreed to join him in his attempts at instituting change in the political landscape.

"We are saying that even the Muslim Brotherhood as the biggest opposition group cannot do it alone, we must combine forces and cooperate together, regardless of ideology," El-Katatny said.

ElBaradei had said in a television interview that if he was to become president, he would allow the Muslim Brotherhood to form a political party within the confines of the constitution, something the current regime has not allowed them to do.

It was assumed that the opposition parties that did not attend were afraid of angering the regime ahead of legislative elections due to take place this year. Al-Badri Farghali from the Tagammu party told Daily News Egypt he was not aware of why his party was not in attendance at the meeting.

"We want to change the political landscape," former coordinator of the Kefaya movement George Ishak told Daily News Egypt, "and bring an end to the emergency law, call for judicial oversight in elections and amend articles 76,77 and 88 of the constitution."

Ishak believed that in ElBaradei, there was now a personality behind which the Egyptian people could gravitate because "these demands will not be met without popular pressure."

Daily NewsEgypt 2009

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Date:Feb 24, 2010
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