Egypt: Mohamed ElBaradei Keeps his Eye on the Ball.
Mohamed ElBaradei is back at it again. He declared Sunday morning on GPS, the CNN weekly program anchored by Fareed Zakaria, that "unless by Friday the military has a specific road map for democracy and a road map for a transitional government, the protests will begin again”. This assertion is a daring leap forward by someone who after establishing himself as a central figure in the Egyptian crisis now tries to be an opposition leader.
That is fundamental for ElBaradei who clearly aims now at a much bigger role than "standing with his people", what he said he came to do when he flew back home soon after the uprising erupted about three weeks ago. It is no longer enough for him to fight the narrative when it doesn't suit his need, he must be proactive, feed story lines in order to create a new dynamic.
CNN did some of that Sunday morning by presenting him as an Egyptian opposition leader, which, with no party affiliation, he is not. Will he join a political party or is he going to create a new one? At 68, and given the monstrosity of the work that would be involved before the election, the first seems more likely unless he decides to run as an independent.
It would very much depend on the new constitution that will be drafted, and how soon the Military schedules the next elections. The conventional wisdom is that a rush to new elections may favor the Muslim Brotherhood, reportedly better organized, with a ground infrastructure easily transformable into an effective electoral apparatus.
ElBaradei is on the record advocating the need to give the opposition time to organize. But for him it is less for fear of the Muslim Brotherhood than it is an opportunity to build name recognition, consolidate his standing on the Egyptian political spectrum, and increase his chances should he decide to run for the highest office of the land.