International

ElBaradei: 'It's The Greatest Day Of My Life'

"It's the greatest day of my life," Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei just told NPR's Robert Siegel. "I couldn't have imagined that I would live long enough to see Egypt emancipated from decades of repression.

ElBaradei said that "every Egyptian [now] feels ... a sense of hope" and "every Egyptian is a different Egyptian today."

He said he's been given assurances that the Army will reach out to a "wide spectrum of Egyptian society" and that military control should last no more than a year.

He added that "different contacts" have told him the Army is "not really coming in to take power but to save the country and move to democracy."

El Baradei, whose name has been floated as presidential candidate, said there likely will not be elections in September as was scheduled. "The September election is too soon. We don't even have the right political parities. ... We don't want to rush into an election."

It will take time, he said, to create the structure and ensure fair and free elections.

ElBaradei said hearing the news that Mubarak was stepping down, "reminded me of the moment I received the Nobel Peace Prize." But today, was "more emotional. ... We are emancipating 85 million people who have been repressed for decades."

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