Egypt opposition picks ElBaradei as representative

Egypt opposition picks ElBaradei as representative
Tue Jul 2, 2013 21:48:21

Mohamed ElBaradei has been chosen by the Egyptian opposition groups to represent them in negotiations on the country's future.

The June 30 Front, which includes various groups including Tamarod -- a grassroots campaign behind Sunday's record protests against President Mohamed Morsi – said on Tuesday it had delegated ElBaradei "to be the voice" of the opposition.

The Front "entrusts ElBaradei with the responsibility to ensure the execution of the Egyptian people's demands and to draft a scenario that aims at the complete implementation of the roadmap for the political transition," it said in an English-language statement.

Meanwhile, large crowds of anti-government protesters are gathering in Cairo’s iconic Liberation Square, the birthplace of the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Since June 30, millions of Egyptians have held nationwide protests to demand the resignation of Morsi and a snap election. The protesters accuse Morsi of failing to meet their demands for political and economic reform and realize the goals of the 2011 revolution.

On July 1, the Egyptian Army gave the president a 48-hour ultimatum to compromise with the opposition or the army would intervene and impose its own road map.

However, Morsi dismissed the army’s statement as an attempt to “deepen divisions and threaten the social peace,” and vowed to push ahead with his own plans for national reconciliation.

In a televised address on June 26, the president acknowledged that he had made some mistakes during his first year in office but called for national reconciliation. He said he was open to cooperating with the opposition on constitutional reform.

But Egypt’s main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, rejected the offer, demanding the ouster of the incumbent president.

The opposition, however, has made it clear that it will not back a military coup in the post-revolution country.

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