Mohamed Morsy’s strength, many said, was not charisma. He benefited from Egypt’s strong Muslim Brotherhood, as a key figure among those leading it.
Critics described him as bland and timid, but any weak points about the candidate for the presidency took second place to his appeal to Egypt’s liberals and revolutionaries as an ‘anti-Mubarak’ champion.
Morsy told them: “Thanks… appreciation and gratitude to everyone who contributed in this major event: the election. And to everyone who, by actions or words, has contributed to the cause, towards these steps to start along a new path, to a new Egypt. To revolution and the revolutionaries!”
In conservative Egypt, Islamic votes rushed to the head of the Freedom and Justice Party, promoted as an opponent of the old regime, which had earned him six months in prison in 2006.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s activism among people with very limited incomes counted for a lot, although some voters said they cast a ballot for Morsy without taking any swift improvement for granted.
One said he would vote for Morsy “even though I have some reservations about the policies of the Muslim Brotherhood. We hope they will do better, will listen to the people and not take decisions on their own. God willing, we’ll see big improvements.”
Born in 1951 in the Nile delta, his father a farmer, Morsy grew up to study metallurgy and engineering in Cairo, and later earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California, in 1982.
Two of Morsy’s five children were born in the US and have American citizenship.