ElBaradei: Egypt army ignored agreement for Morsi's dignified exit
Mohamed ElBaradei has said that the Egyptian army reneged on an agreement with opposition leaders that would have allowed Mohamed Morsi a peaceful exit at the height of protests against his presidency.
ElBaradei, a former vice-president in the transitional government that followed Morsi's removal in July 2013, said that opposition politicians and army leaders had agreed a deal which ensured a dignified exit for Morsi, and would have established a political system that included Islamists and other groups and enable a peaceful resolution to protests.
However, ElBaradei said the army ignored that agreement, and removed Morsi.
Speaking at the State of the EU conference in Florence, held last week, ElBaradei listed Morsi's removal as one of many errors made after the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
"We placed ourselves on the right course, but we were hasty in holding elections before the youth of the revolution had a chance to organise themselves and form political parties that represent them after long decades of repression and a lack of civil society.
He admitted that the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi had won elections fairly, "but with them we had reached an exclusionist regime which was the last thing we needed at that stage... we needed a national agreement that included everyone.
"In July 2013, I had to be part of the opposition and my aim was to reach a system that would include all segments of the population, the Islamists and others."
Amr Adeeb, a popular Egyptian talk show host, called on the authorities to respond to ElBaradei. "If they do not respond it will look like they are admitting ElBaradei's account is true," he said.
However, some pro-regime journalists reminded activists of ElBaradei's comments immediately after the removal of Morsi, saying the army's actions were not a coup, and defended a decision not to hold early presidential elections.
One social media user wrote: "Someone tell ElBaradei that when a president is elected through fair elections (according to him), and the army and the opposition agree to remove him from power... this is called a military coup."
This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.