New Brotherhood candidate for Egypt vote may struggle

News article, posted 04.19.2012, from Egypt, in:
New Brotherhood candidate for Egypt vote may struggle (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

The man thrust unexpectedly into the limelight as the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate to lead Egypt is a mild-mannered figure whose low public profile may leave him struggling against more forceful rivals vying for the votes of Islamists and others.

Mohamed Morsy, the head of the Brotherhood's political party, was the movement's backstop candidate for next month's presidential election until its first choice, millionaire businessman Khairat al-Shater, was disqualified.

The Presidential Elections Commission threw out his bid because of past convictions handed down under ousted President Hosni Mubarak that were widely seen as politically motivated.

On Wednesday, it was Shater who spoke at a Brotherhood news conference, railing against the decision and calling for mass Friday protests against the move that may also dim the chances of the Brotherhood securing the top post.

Morsy, now officially the movement's man of the hour, was nowhere to be seen.

Mohamed Habib, former deputy leader of the Brotherhood, described Morsy as a far weaker candidate than Shater, saying he lacks his charisma, has virtually "zero" ties with other political forces in Egypt and is little known in society.

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