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El-Baradei Leaves Presidential Race
January 16, 2012

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The Egyptian presidential race is without a big-time name, as Mohamed El-Baradei has withdrawn from contention.

El-Baradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and longtime critic of the Egyptian government, says he has withdrawn his name because he believes that the ruling military council will still be in charge. An early advocate of the ouster of Mubarak, El-Baradei has been outspoken in his opposition to the generals now running the country.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces continues to insist that it will turn over the running of the country to Parliament in June, once the full membership of both houses and the president have been elected.

All three rounds of the lower house of Parliament have taken place, and Islamist candidates have dominated those elections. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party says that is has won 46 percent of the seats. The Nour Party, whose brand of Islam is even more conservative than the Brotherhood's, reports that it has won 23 percent.

The upper house of Parliament will be filled by the winners of two upcoming rounds of elections. The president will be elected in a subsequent election.

Meanwhile, the ruling council's leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, announced that he would go to Libya on a diplomatic mission, a task normally reserved for a head of state. A campaign backing Tantawi for president launched in October but has not gained much support, even from Tantawi, who insists that he doesn't want the job.


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