By Mennatallah Fouad Youssef
CAIRO: Top Egyptian dissident and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei will set up a political party with other opposition figures to represent “revolutionary” forces, a co-founder told AFP on Monday.
The future political bloc, known for now as “Party of the Revolution,” will be a “centrist, civilian and revolutionary party,” said Shadi Ghazaly Harb, a member of a youth group who helped launch last year’s uprising.
“A political entity gathering revolutionary forces was needed,” said Ghazaly Harb.
The co-founders, close to 100 prominent figures, also include ambassador Shoukry Fouad, economist Galal Amin, journalist Wael Kandil, novelist Alaa Al-Aswany, politician and TV host Gamila Ismail, and Kefaya co-founder George Ishaq.
“There have been discussions for the past two months about forming this political bloc,” said Ismail.
“The party will be formed to fight for the goals of the revolution and make them a reality, rather than something that has not been implemented up to now. The party will include representatives from the youth revolutionary coalitions, activists, public figures and representatives from the workers syndicates,” she added.
The 2011 uprising forced veteran president Hosni Mubarak to step down in February last year after massive street protests against his autocratic 30-year rule.
ElBaradei, a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, had set up a movement, the National Association for Change, to act as an umbrella for a range of opposition groups upon his retirement from the IAEA and return to Egypt in 2010.
Back then he collected close to 1 million signatures calling for constitutional changes that would have opened the door for fair elections under then-president Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
On Jan. 14, ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate, bowed out of presidential race amid growing discontent with the military rulers who took over after Mubarak stepped down, saying he could not run because there is still no real democracy.
The new party is expected to be unveiled at a news conference at the end of April, Ghazaly Harb said. –Additional reporting by AFP