ElBaradei Ends Presidential Run, Slams Egypt Military
He says nation is not moving toward democracy as promised
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2012 8:27 AM CST
An Egyptian man wears a T-shirt with the portrait Mohamed ElBaradei at a polling station in Giza district on December 15.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Yet another sign that Egypt's Arab Spring is fizzling in the actual-results department: Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said today that he is pulling out of the presidential race because the pace of reforms by the nation's military leaders is pathetic. "My conscience does not permit me to run for the presidency or any other official position unless it is within a democratic framework," the onetime frontrunner said in a statement. It's "as if no revolution took place and no regime has fallen.”

The Los Angeles Times sees the move as a "strategic and emotional blow to young liberal and secular activists" in the nation, but it also says that ElBaradei never seemed comfortable as a candidate who needed to move the masses. CNN notes that election wins by entrenched Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in recent weeks made it increasingly unlikely that ElBaradei would have won anyway.