ElBaradei: Liberals ‘Decimated’ in Election

Hopes Junta Will Promote 'Consensus'

Speaking today in the wake of the first round of parliamentary elections, former IAEA chief and top liberal politician  Mohamed ElBaradei expressed serious concerns with how poorly his political bloc did in the first round of voting, saying they were “decimated.”

ElBaradei’s bloc came in a distant third in the voting, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party winning 36.6 percent of the popular vote and the al-Nour Party, another Islamist faction, netting 24.4 percent. The top liberal bloc, the Egyptian Bloc, scored only 13.4 percent.

ElBaradei placed the blame squarely on the youth, saying they “failed to unify” behind his bloc and warning about the gains of religious elements in the country. The voter turnout was significant, however, with over 60 percent of voters in the nine provinces turning out.

With a political mandate failing to materialize, at least in the first round, ElBaradei says the country is in the hands of the SCAF, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and expressed hope that the military junta would impose some sort of “consensus” government. It should be noted that in the days leading up to the election, ElBaradei offered to remove himself entirely from the political process if the junta would appoint him as the “salvation” prime minister.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.