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Egyptian opposition: Referendum boycott uncertain

December 10th, 2012
05:17 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

The clock continues ticking down in a tense and deeply divided Egypt.

Egyptians are set to vote on the controversial new constitution this weekend.

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday that the groups opposing the constitution are still considering their response.

“We will either boycott or vote no,” he said, calling the entire process illegitimate.

Morsy aide: Small group behind demos

Elbaradei was director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

With the army in the streets, tanks surrounding angry protestors and cinder block barriers walling off the presidential palace, Egypt is looking more and more like it did in the final days of Hosni Mubarak’s rule.

ElBaradei said he wants to avoid head-on clashes, but was unyielding in his description of President Morsy.

“This revolution was not staged in order to replace one dictator with another,” he said.

For ElBaradei, the protests are about nothing less than whether Egypt will be a religious or a secular state. Either Egypt is wholly secular or it will “have a new dictatorship with a religious flavor.”

Morsy, ElBaradei said, should postpone the referendum on the constitution for several months, until the president is able to engage in further, meaningful dialogue with the opposition and the country comes to a “national consensus.”

Women’s rights, freedom of belief and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in the proposed constitution, ElBaradei said, though Morsy’s aides maintain that the document largely maintains the status quo of the Mubarak era.

ElBaradei disagrees. “Either we are going forward and catching up with the 21st century or we are going back to the dark ages,” he said.

READ MORE: Arab Spring knocking at Jordan’s door

Filed under:  Egypt • Latest Episode
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. EgyptianProud

    We love you Dr. Bob. We wish you are our president. We want a liberal like you

    December 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  2. Wahid

    This man is seeking to ruin Egypt

    December 11, 2012 at 4:02 am | Reply
  3. I'm Egyption

    I'm Egyption and i want to say ElBaradei is lair and he play a dirty politics
    انا مصرى واحب اقول ان البرادعى كاااااذب ويلعب سياسه قذره

    December 11, 2012 at 4:03 am | Reply
    • Ramzy

      There was never any proof that ElBaradies is a liar, there are lots of proofs on how the presidnet is a liar. I'm also egyptian and very proud to be represneted by someone as wise as ElBaradies

      December 11, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  4. Egyptian and proud

    this man does not represent me , iam egyptian and no one represent me except my president " Dr Morsi "
    and this thing called Baradai is the most deceptive person in egypt as he use very very dirty politics and wants
    ruin to egypt

    December 11, 2012 at 4:10 am | Reply
  5. محمود الروش

    ElBaradei traitor does not represent me is a liar and does not represent only himself

    December 11, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
  6. محمود الروش

    البرادعى خائن لا يمثلنى هو كاذب ولا يمثل الا نفسة

    December 11, 2012 at 4:14 am | Reply
  7. wael omran

    M.El-Baradie so lair man and he doesnot Respect egyptian people and he has goals in the division of Egypt as it was a dirty role in the Iraq war.....egyptian people hate him

    December 11, 2012 at 4:14 am | Reply

    ElBaradei man does not recognize Baradat the only people who agree whim
    Democracy has god of candy if he did not like to eat ..
    Thorjy online just invite people to come down only street with full force are paying the blood price is paid electricity bill and Internet ..

    December 11, 2012 at 4:14 am | Reply
  9. hussein

    nous detestons M.El-Baradie, il ne nous represtons pas

    December 11, 2012 at 4:22 am | Reply
  10. Message from Egyptian unfaithful to his homeland.

    Message from Egyptian unfaithful to his homeland. ElBaradei does not want good for Egypt. Just want to sabotage the country. No value and has no weight in the political arena

    December 11, 2012 at 4:24 am | Reply
  11. mohammed elomda

    البرادعى كذاب ويعرف انه كذاب ويعرف اننا نعرف انه كذاب ويصرعلى خداع الشعب المصرى ولن يفلح
    ElBaradei is a liar and knows he is a liar and knows that we know he is a liar and Insists deceive the Egyptian people and will not succeed

    December 11, 2012 at 4:24 am | Reply
    • Apophis

      لفظ واحد هقوله لحضرتك خده و إبلعه يا ابن الهبلة

      December 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  12. Message from Egyptian unfaithful to his homeland.

    Message from Egyptian unfaithful to his homeland.ElBaradei not possess any Egyptian popular with voters. Escape from resorting to democracy and the ballot box

    December 11, 2012 at 4:26 am | Reply
  13. ُُُُEgyptian Lion

    ElBaradei is a liar person, whenever there have been the confrontation flees quickly, never front the rows , refusal to confront Mubarak and refusal to confront of the Military Council and and now refuses to meet the people .
    Thus are the spys people and cowards

    December 11, 2012 at 4:28 am | Reply
  14. Message from Egyptian unfaithful to his homeland.

    ElBaradei will not ascend the seat of power in Egypt and is a well know .. so trying to sabotage the country, but the people will stand a lookout

    December 11, 2012 at 4:31 am | Reply
  15. Sayed Saber Ali

    Liar -- Liar
    I was one of his fans and I liked him and his opinions during Mubarak era but this time I discovered that he was a big LIAR. He wants to ruin Egypt. He betrayed Egypt and Islam. I believe that many people stopped following him as I did and day by day he will be alone and I expect that he will not stay in Egypt and he'll stay in USA that made and supported him all.
    He DOES NOT represent me as an Egyptian.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:34 am | Reply
  16. Egyption

    El-Baradie is Very Bad Man

    December 11, 2012 at 4:35 am | Reply
  17. hany shelbaia


    December 11, 2012 at 4:53 am | Reply
  18. yhassan

    this man does not represent me , i am egyptian and no one represent me except my president " Dr Morsi "
    and this thing called Baradai is the most deceptive person in egypt as he use very very dirty politics and wants
    ruin to egypt

    December 11, 2012 at 4:57 am | Reply
  19. Abraham ali

    It is easier to pretend to be what you are not, than to hide what you really are; he that can accomplish both, hypocrisy.

    December 11, 2012 at 5:09 am | Reply
  20. Egyptian for ever

    ElBaradei is lair selfish dictatorship

    December 11, 2012 at 5:22 am | Reply
  21. abdelrahman

    A man with two faces
    Not telling the truth
    Does not only represent himself
    And grubby just like .....

    December 11, 2012 at 6:04 am | Reply
  22. Rishad

    I am a sri lankan, and from here i say, this man is a traitor, coward, and trying to spoil Egypt. from all comments CNN and world knows people are with Dr Morsi and lets wish Egypt should overcome all obstacles.

    December 11, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
  23. Sam

    The man who helped destroy Iraq with his Powerpoint show at the UN... I remember him telling "Iraqi are not proactive enough in showing us their WMD" WMD which did not exist. ElBaradei provided a rationale for attack.

    The man who helped destroy Iraq cannot help to build Egypt

    December 11, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
  24. Gideon

    I'm from Israel ...
    A bunch of phony responses.
    Thoroughly reading all responses above, I see that they are all in the same style and are rephrasing the same message, by the same words. Each one is signed in different name.
    Obviously they are all from the same person, who systematically attempts to present El-Barady in the wrong light.
    One thing for sure ... Morsi manipulates Egypt's newborn democracy back into dark ages. And he has followers who are writing phony responses against his opponents.

    December 11, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Apophis

      wait a minute!! –> OMG even the Israelis see Morsi wrong – this is so unbelievable why ?? Because the liberal parties are calling for a democratic country not theocratic one that assaults the women, that calls for teaching our children Arabic only and cutting the ties to west, we want a country that has a revolutionary plan to alter the health, economy, and the education systems and this will only be done through a democratic countries that puts experience above the trust or that country will remain in the stone ages as Iran, China and Russia that can't compensate to find their true ideals in life

      December 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • SAm

      Do you remember M. Baradei giving the rationale to USA for destroying Iraq ? Yes or NO ?

      Do you remember his stupid speeches at the UN ? He was even more of a cheerleader than Colin Powell or Hans Blix ?

      He was saying "Iraqis are not proactive enough with us in showing us their Weapons of Mass Destructions"..... which did not exist, to begin with !

      This man deserves the utmost contempt, in this world and in the hereafter

      December 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • THEeyeINtheSKY

      yes i totally agree with Gideon , this are the Muslim brotherhood Media watch dogs ,working on frauding and destoryingt the image of every person that disagree with them or proves them wrong , this is one of hundreds of dirty tricks they have been using since the start of the 25th of January revolution , in order to Hijack it ,
      MORSY = MOBARAK x10

      December 12, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
  25. khaled issa

    Without exaggeration You are a genius

    December 11, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
  26. Farida

    Gideon, I totally agree with you...The MB has an army specialized in Twitter, FB and you name it. I am from Egypt and we are used to this tone from them...they get instruction min by min as to how to respond to any statement....they are all betraying our beloved Egypt.

    December 11, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  27. Apophis

    It is really funny that the Islamists are now flaming the CNN website just as they do in the Facebook, even though some type in Arabic and insult while the others trying to put the same foul words together in English using Google Translate which is incorrect in English sentence structure – it is so funny their minds are just like brick stones that got no mission or Vision for the country

    December 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  28. Dr Wael As-Sawi

    To those dirty people calling themselves Islamists,Dr Baradie is the most honest and nationalist Egyptian I have ever seen. Those who comment against the man are dirty parrots and ugly sheep who only rephrase what their criminal sheephood MP members and the general Corruptor dectate upon them. Egypt will be free by its people from those dirty bands

    December 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  29. Scott B

    Pretty sure most groups have announced that they will fight to keep the referendum from happening, but if it does, to go and vote against it.

    December 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  30. Amr S

    what a desperation... egyptians just like to look for a pharoh to rule them .... the fight is over which of them? and the guys who are so overwhelmed by el baradaei so called genius also fail to acknowledge any of his pitfalls. it is just sad ............ and the least to be said about the responses aganist islamists are at least filled of bigotry regardless of what mistakes they did

    December 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  31. jamiu

    Just for the role he played in destroying Iraq, i can never trust this man with Egypt affairs.... He's a populist.

    December 13, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
  32. Sarah

    The muslim brotherhood aren't even a political party, they're a group!! So what's the big deal? Do people actually think they can ALL rise to power such as a dictatorship??! Hasn't the Egyptian revolution taught people anything? Egyptians will not allow that, they will not allow a PERSON or a GROUP to dictate Egypt, the Egyptian people will not give that a chance.

    December 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  33. Mahmoud

    ElBaradei has crossed the boundary of law so many times. The violence in Egypt at the moment take place when and only when ElBaradei calls his followers to take on streets. For the majority, according to bolls, he is trying to force his way to whatever he wants. He has nothing to win in any election so he is against any democratic process, that is it.

    February 17, 2013 at 4:06 am | Reply
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