Cairo, Egypt: H G Moussa, the bishop of youth for the Coptic Orthodox Church, has criticized Mohamed ElBaradei, former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for failing to offer new proposal for political reform that would distinguish him from other Egyptian political parties. During the First Conference for Young Egyptians Abroad organized by the National Youth Council in Alexandria, Father Moussa said ElBaradei should join an existing political party and then push for a constitutional reform. Father Moussa asserted that the Coptic Orthodox Church would not allow itself to be used as a platform to serve ElBaradei’s political goals. He also echoed statements made by Ahmed Ezz, secretary for organizational affairs of the ruling National Democratic Party and prominent member of its influential Policies Secretariat, that “ElBaradei is his own obstacle” to success. The Coptic Orthodox Church has a history of supporting prominent members of the current regime. It is widely believed that many Copts voted for President Hosni Mubarak in the 2005 presidential elections. Pope Shenouda III, the Church’s head, has previously endorsed Gamal Mubarak to succeed his father. Many suspect the Church is distancing itself from ElBaradei in fear of an impending alliance between the ex-IAEA chief and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in the lead up to parliamentary elections next fall. ElBaradei, a committed secularist, has declared his willingness to work with all parties who support constitutional reform and fair elections. Last May, ElBaradei met with the MB Parliamentary Bloc leader Saad el-Katatny, a move which angered certain elements of the opposition–such as the Tagammu, Nasserist and Democratic Front parties– but which also earned ElBaradei the support of many Brotherhood members.
–By: Ragab Ramadan