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ElBaradei: Youth can change undemocratic Egypt

Former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei, a potential candidate for presidency in Egypt, says the country will only change through the young, report says.

“If Egypt were going to change, it is going to change through the young people,” he told Reuters.

“I believe the current system is not free and fair, and, whoever would run under the current system, I would make it very clear that this is not democracy as it should be,” he added in the report published Saturday.

ElBaradei said that he would run for 2011 presidency “only if people coalesce around me.”

The 67-year-old former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director, said that the advocacy of the so-called ‘silent majority’ held the key to success for his coalition of opposition parties in the next presidential race.

“The key is the silent majority of the Egyptians, and if the silent majority subscribes to this National Front. I think that will make a very big difference,” he noted.

“I have tried to make the connection between economic and social development and political reform. If you move into a democratic system everything else will fall into place,” he went on to say.

“It is going to take a long time to switch Egypt into a democracy,” ElBaradei said in the interview, holding that many Egyptians were “intimidated” against speaking their minds.

Egypt’s current President Hosni Mubarak has been in power for around 30 years.

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