Brotherhood's Mursi promises inclusive Egypt
Published Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Mursi, who faces ex-premier Ahmed Shafik in a presidential runoff, has pledged that Egypt under his leadership will be inclusive, courting secular and Christian voters.
A retiring individual, bearded and bespectacled, Mursi vows to uphold the goals of the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak and to share power with other parties.
Mursi, who became the Brotherhood's candidate only after their first choice Khairat al-Shater was disqualified, topped the first round of elections last month with 24.7 percent of the vote against Shafiq's 23.6 percent.
Many had written off Mursi as an uncharismatic substitute, saying he would be unable to muster widespread support.
But the powerful Islamist movement mobilized its formidable resources and supporters behind Mursi, who was appointed last year as the head of its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.
During his final campaign speech, Mursi pledged an inclusive presidential institution that "includes all forces, presidential candidates, women, Salafis and our Coptic brothers."
He pledged to end "discrimination against any Egyptian based on religion, ethnicity or gender."
Mursi expressed confidence in winning the landmark poll, believing that Egyptians would not vote for a symbol of the old regime.
"Egyptians will never bring back Mubarak through the window after they kicked him out of the door," he told reporters.
During his campaign, Mursi offered a fiery stump speech, pledging a presidency that would be based on Islam but would not be a theocracy.
Initially awkward, he appeared to gain confidence as his campaign proceeded, growing comfortable in his new role as a potential president, as he gave interviews and made speeches.