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Opposition leader tells protesters 'change is coming'

January 30, 2011|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times

Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei made his way through the crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday in an appearance that defied the military curfew and President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year regime.

"You have taken back your rights and what we have begun cannot go back," ElBaradei told the protesters, according to Al Jazeera reports.

"We have one main demand -- the end of the regime and the beginning of a new stage, a new Egypt. ... I bow to the people of Egypt in respect. I ask of you patience. Change is coming in the next few days."

Muslim Brotherhood officials have said that ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has the authority to negotiate for the opposition.

"Egypt needs to catch up with the rest of the world. We need to be free, democratic and a society where people have the right to live in freedom and dignity," he said.

Asked if he would serve as interim president of Egypt, ElBaradei told CNN on Sunday that if the people of Egypt requested his leadership, he would serve.

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