ElBaradei says political gridlock blocking recovery

Dostour Chief Mohamed ElBaradei admitted that Egypt's political gridlock has made it nearly impossible for anyone, regardless of their political affiliation, to lead Egypt into recovery.

The National Salvation Front member made the comments in a Tuesday interview on the privately-owned Al-Hayat satellite channel.

"The ability to run the state is missing, especially after the revolution [because of] difficult and exceptional circumstances. This is not related to the Muslim Brotherhood or a certain current," he said.

ElBaradei also said he had not wanted to run for president and was under pressure from supporters. He later took himself out of the running.

But his earlier comments did not stop ElBaradei from criticizing the way President Mohamed Morsy has dealt with recent unrest in the wake of the second anniversary of the revolution.

"We waited for president of the republic to show up and talk to the people after what happened, but he just posted a tweet and after that he waved his finger like Major General al-Fangary, saying he would impose extraordinary provisions…" he said. "We are talking about overthrowing tyranny and reforming the revolution. Morsy has lost the moral and political legitimacy."

ElBaradei said he disagrees with the Muslim Brotherhood's strategy for the country and said Islamists pushed the Constitution through without consensus from Egypt's many political forces.

"I spent two years defending the Muslim Brotherhood before the revolution and I still defend their rights," he added. "Egypt is at war with itself, and the world turned from admiration of the revolution to that of concern and pity because we are mismanaging the revolution."

He added, "People have started to wonder whether we are better off now or if Hosni Mubarak's [rule] was better. Under such circumstances, nobody will run in the elections."

ElBaradei said the NSF will only run if the upcoming parliamentary elections are fair and transparent.

"There is no talk or thinking about elections in the NSF as we will not [participate] in an undemocratic process. If we run the elections, we will give it legitimacy," he said.

ElBaradei concluded by saying the only way Egypt would gain international support is by working together.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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