Egyptian opposition leader defends ties with Islamists

October 1, 2010 22:48

CAIRO  — Egypt's leading democracy advocate defended his alliance with the country's largest but banned Islamist opposition group in an interview broadcast Friday — saying that their ideological differences don't preclude sharing goals.

The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mohamed ElBaradei, has been at the helm of a burgeoning opposition movement in Egypt, calling for legal and constitutional reforms to allow for free and fair elections and put an end the nearly six-decade old military-backed regime in Egypt.ElBaradei's call for reform earlier this year attracted a wide range of groups, including Egypt's largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood. The group supported ElBaradei's efforts and collected nearly 90 percent of almost 1 million signatures on a petition calling for reform.

However, critics have said an alliance with the Islamist group may cost ElBaradei his liberal-leaning supporters.

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