ElBaradei to lead a coalition for change

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Around 30 Egyptian opposition politicians and activists have agreed to form a coalition for political change led by the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, who has said he may run for president.

Members of long-marginalised opposition parties and protest movement leaders met Mr ElBaradei yesterday to launch a campaign for constitutional change before 2010 parliamentary and 2011 presidential elections. Several people involved in the talks said the group had agreed to form a "National Coalition for Change", headed by Mr ElBaradei, 67.

The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Egypt on Friday to a jubilant welcome. He has said that he would consider challenging Hosni Mubarak, the country's President for almost 30 years. Decades of autocratic rule have weakened and fractured Egypt's opposition.

Mr ElBaradei's return has provided a new focal point to rally support.

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