CAIRO: Seven conditions need to be met to ensure free presidential elections in 2011 and a democratic future, said Mohamed ElBaradei in a statement under the banner of the newly-formed National Coalition for Change.
The coalition is an umbrella made up of opposition movements and parties in Cairo and led by ElBaradei, though its coordinator is Hassan Nafaa, also the coordinator of the Popular Campaign Against the Inheritance of Power.
The seven demands which ElBaradei stipulated were imperative for democratic reform and free presidential elections in 2011, include the immediate lifting of the emergency law, reinstating judicial oversight of elections and election monitoring by local and international NGOs.
Additionally, ElBaradei called for equal media coverage and television time allotted to all candidates running for the presidency in 2011, as well as the right of Egyptians abroad to vote at their embassies and consulates worldwide.
In the statement, titled “Together We Will Change, published Monday on the group’s official website Elbaradei2011, he also called for the removal of all obstacles in the face of anyone wishing to run for president, thus enshrining the right of every citizen to run.
The former IAEA chief has previously called for the amendment of the Egyptian constitution, especially articles 76, 77 and 88 that govern the eligibility of presidential candidates and the role of the judiciary in monitoring the elections.
Finally, ElBaradei is calling for a two-term limit on any president. Egypt currently has no restrictions on the number of terms a president can hold, with incumbent Hosni Mubarak currently in his fifth term.
ElBaradei has invigorated the political scene in Egypt since he stated his intention to pursue political change and possibly even run for president in 2011. However, there are some who have been less than enamored by his presence.
On Tuesday a lawyer named Ahmed Al-Hanafi filed a lawsuit at the Judicial Administrative Court calling for the arrest of ElBaradei and 31 members of the National Coalition for Change on charges of “spreading chaos and shaking the confidence of Egyptians in their leaders.
Citing that their comments caused “harm to Egypt’s security , the lawsuit requested that Interior Minister Habib Al-Adli apprehend them immediately.
The Coalition was launched on Feb. 23 after a meeting between ElBaradei and representatives of Egypt’s opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Brotherhood MP and member of the Guidance Office Saad El-Katatny told Daily News Egypt at the time, “It was agreed that change is necessary, thus we decided to form this association under Dr ElBaradei, though he added that “demands for change cannot be achieved without pressure from the Egyptian people.