Mohamed ElBaradei: Muslim Brotherhood not radical

CUMAL? ÖNAL
EGYPT


Mohamed ElBaradei
Mohamed ElBaradei, a member of the Egyptian opposition known for his secular views, has said he does not see the Muslim Brotherhood as a radical organization. Speaking to Today’s Zaman, ElBaradei stressed that elections conducted before the establishment of democratic institutions in the country would only benefit the party in power.
The former chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the Muslim Brotherhood movement is not a radical one, as it has been portrayed in the West. ElBaradei suggested that through the presence of the army, the regime is standing strong and firm.
Explaining the latest developments in Egypt, ElBaradei indicated that the elections need to be held in one year’s time, not six months. Noting that regimes in Egypt thus far have been sustained with military backing, he said those retiring from the army have been made governors and directors general, or they have been assigned to important posts in ministries. He said at the present time the exact aims of the military are not clear and that Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi has not once attempted to ease public concern by appearing on television.
Democracy is not just a matter of going to the ballot box, according to ElBaradei. He said any election that comes before or without the existence of democratic institutions can only serve the interests of the governing political party. He expressed the belief that constitutional change would not benefit democracy. According to ElBaradei, the army is a complete black box and has to date not met with any member of the opposition, apart from media-savvy youth.

Stating that no party is prepared or formally structured for the elections to be held in September, ElBaradei stressed that apart from the National Democratic Party currently in power, the Muslim Brotherhood is also lucky in terms of the election. Arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood would not be able to gain more than 20-25 percent of the vote, ElBaradei said that it could in no way be regarded as radical. It would always reject the use of arms and would remain loyal to democracy. ElBaradei emphasized the fact that the organization’s initial struggle was not religious, but completely political.


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