By Nadia El Dakroury
CAIRO: In a statement Tuesday by the National Association for Change and the Campaign to Support Mohamed ElBaradei, the former IAEA chief said that “the priority for Egypt now is to form a government of national salvation to restore security and hold accountable those responsible for killing protesters.”
ElBaradei’s words come amid heightened tension on the Egyptian street, where protesters have escalated calls for the removal of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf who heads the current caretaker government, some suggesting replacing him with ElBaradei.
By time of press, the Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution had not reached consensus over whether a planned march to Cabinet building will call for ElBaradei to head the interim government, with concerns that this may negatively influence his presidential bid.
Responding to the proposal, ElBaradei said: “I want to thank those who put their trust in me, but I repeat what will change the deteriorating situation in Egypt is the Egyptian people … Dr. Essam Sharaf is striving to achieve the demands of the revolution but it is clear that what has been achieved so far is below the expectations of the people, and before we lay the blame on Dr. Sharaf — who I greatly respect — we must ask ourselves why the government did not succeed in achieving the demands of the revolution?
“And the answer is obvious,” he continued, “and it is that the government lacks the power to do so … this is the starting point without which it would be meaningless change of government.”
ElBaradei, who had previously announced plans to run in the upcoming presidential elections, emphasized that one of the priorities for Egypt now is also for the government to adopt economic policies that will be felt immediately by ordinary people and [for the government] to manage the steps of the transitional period in accordance with a timetable and rules that are clear to us all.”
The outcome of this critical juncture in Egypt’s history, ElBaradei concluded will depend more than ever on our unity and what brings us together, not what divides us.