Mohammed Morsi doesn’t rely on charisma

Ian Black writes: Mohammed Morsi, presidential candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, is an uninspiring figure but he is backed by the best-organised political force in the country, now honing its strategy to secure what would be a historic victory in a second round of voting in June.

Morsi, 60, is an engineer who has taught in the US as well as at Egyptian universities. An expert on precision metal surfaces, he worked at Nasa on the development of space shuttle engines in the early 1980s.

Making a virtue out of his modesty, Brotherhood officials say he was reluctant to run but was persuaded to do so when the more charismatic businessman Khairat al-Shater was disqualified.

Inside the Brotherhood, Morsi has long been a backroom operator who dealt with security – often liaising discreetly with the Mubarak regime – and internal discipline.

Little-known to the wider public, Morsi is a famously boring speaker who reduces Egyptian journalists to teeth-gnashing frustration as he rarely says anything remotely quotable.

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