January 26, 2011 / 9:32 PM / in 7 years

Reform campaigner ElBaradei plans return to Egypt

CAIRO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Political reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei will return to Egypt on Thursday, his brother said, after two days of clashes between police and demonstrators demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down. Baradei, an Egyptian who led the United Nations nuclear watchdog until late 2009, is a vocal advocate of reform in Egyptian politics and a figurehead for many of the activists who organised the protests, the biggest of Mubarak’s 30-year tenure.

Critics have said Baradei, who lives in Vienna, should spend more time in his country trying to rally weakened and disparate opposition groups into a coherent movement for change.

“Dr. ElBaradei will be returning tomorrow evening to Cairo,” said Baradei’s brother Ali in a message e-mailed to Reuters.

Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) dominates the political scene, dealing crushing defeats to its opponents in elections dismissed as rigged by opposition and rights groups.

The government denies the accusations and says election results reflect widespread support for the NDP’s policies. (Reporting by Marwa Awad, editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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