Mohamed ElBaradei: Egypt is a failed state

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Egypt is a failed state, even worse now than under Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship, said Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace laureate and former head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, in a recent article in Foreign Policy magazine.

“The evidence is all around us,” said ElBaradei.

“The feeling right now is that there is no state authority to enforce law and order, and therefore everybody thinks that everything is permissible. And that, of course, creates a lot of fear and anxiety.”

Last year, the number of robberies was up 350%, with murders and kidnappings up 130% and 145%, respectively, according to Interior Ministry statistics cited by ElBaradei.

He discussed Egypt’s financial woes, noting a lack of foreign and domestic investment, the country’s budget deficit, devaluation of the Egyptian currency, and the risk of defaulting on its foreign debt.

The current governmental crisis, according to ElBaradei, is not related to whether the leaders are from the Muslim Brotherhood or are liberals.

Those currently in power have “no vision or experience” and “are simply not qualified to govern,” said ElBaradei.

Egypt’s 2011 uprising was not about changing people, but “changing our mindset,” he said.

Now, the country still has the same mindset as it had during Mubarak’s rule “only now with a religious icing on the cake.”

ElBaradei’s solution would task Mursi with establishing a competent, impartial government until the upcoming parliamentary elections are held; a new committee to amend the Egyptian Constitution and the construction of a political coalition between established parties and the Muslim Brotherhood.

“You need to put your ideological differences aside and work together to focus on people's basic needs,” he said, addressing the Muslim Brotherhood. “You can't eat sharia.”

Since Mursi came to power last year, ElBaradei has emerged as one of the leading opposition figures, as well as being one of Mursi’s most vocal critics.

Earlier this week, he urged Mursi to step down ahead of planned protests calling for the Islamist president’s resignation.

On Wednesday, Mursi will speak to the Egyptian people ahead of the protests in a televised address that may decide the future of his position.

Fears of conflict in the streets between the president’s Islamist supporters and many of the disaffected have led people to stockpile food and fuel supplies, according to Reuters.

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