Reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei launched a new political party Saturday, April 28 that he said aims to unite Egyptians and save the country’s revolution from a messy democratic transition, The Associated Press reported.
The Constitution Party marks a return to public life for ElBaradei, who declared in January that he would not run for president and that a fair vote would be impossible during a muddled transition period.
His pullout four months before the start of the presidential vote dealt a blow to the liberal and leftist groups who were behind the Jan. 25 uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak out of office last year. The groups, many of whom had found in ElBaradei a rallying figure for their calls for democracy in Egypt, had been badly defeated at the ballot box in the first parliamentary elections after Mubarak.
Islamist groups, including the powerful Muslim Brotherhood and the popular ultraconservative Salafi groups, emerged as the biggest winner in those elections, capturing nearly 70 percent of the seats.
The young activists were also subjected to an escalating crackdown by the country’s rulers, including referral to military trials, arrests and media smear campaigns.
“The aim of this party is to save the great Jan. 25 revolution, which has been derailed, and is almost aborted and to restore our unity,” ElBaradei told a crowd of supporters and journalists. “When this revolution started we never imagined the conditions we are and the tragic transition we are living today.”
ElBaradei, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, said a new organized political group is necessary to unite Egyptians, and prepare the youth behind the uprising for a political future.