'Egypt falling apart.' ElBaradei
Photo: AFP
Anti-Mubarak rally
Photo: AP

ElBaradei: Mubarak must leave today

(Video) Egyptian opposition leader tells CNN 'it is loud and clear that Mubarak has to leave today, and it is non-negotiable for every Egyptian'; calls for government of national unity to fill void and hold 'fair and free' elections

VIDEO - Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei on Sunday called for embattled President Hosni Mubarak to "leave today and save the country."


"This is a country that is falling apart," ElBaradei told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS, adding that Egypt is entering a period of transition, and a government of national unity is needed to fill the void and hold "fair and free" elections.


On the sixth day of anti-government protests throughout Egypt, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood said Egyptian opposition forces have agreed to support ElBaradei to negotiate with the government.


"Political groups support ElBaradei to negotiate with the regime," Essam el-Eryan told Al Jazeera television.


ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, came back to Egypt on Thursday night, just in time for the "Day of Anger" protests which have left Mubarak clinging to power with the army in the streets - though he fired his cabinet and appointed a new vice president and prime minister.


"I think this is a hopeless, desperate attempt by Mubarak to stay in power," ElBaradei told CNN. "I think it is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today, and it is non-negotiable for every Egyptian."


The opposition leader said a transitional unity government is needed to move the country from dictatorship to democracy.


"Egypt needs to catch up with the rest of the world. We need to be free, democratic, and a society where people have the right to live in freedom and dignity," he said.


Asked by CNN f he would serve as interim president of Egypt, ElBaradei said that if the people of Egypt requested his leadership, he would serve.


ElBaradei speaks in Cairo (Video: Reuters)


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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the US expects that the protests in Egypt will lead to free and fair elections as part of an "orderly" transition to "real democracy."


"I want the Egyptian people to have a chance to chart a new future," said Clinton, who addressed the volatile situation in back-to-back interviews on the five morning TV news shows before leaving on a trip to Haiti.


Earlier Sunday, fighter jets swooped low over Cairo in what appeared to be an attempt by the military to show its control of a city beset by looting, armed robbery and anti-government protests.


Minutes before the start of a 4 pm curfew, at least two jets appeared and made multiple passes over downtown, including a central square where thousands of protesters were calling for the departure of President Mubarak.


Police could be seen returning to some streets nearly two days after virtually disappearing, creating a security vacuum only partially filled by the presence of army troops backed by tanks at key sites around this city of 18 million people.


Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry advised Israeli citizens to avoid travel to Egypt, and urged those who are already there to consider leaving.


Reuters, AP contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 01.30.11, 18:53
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