H.E. Muhammad Morsi Isa al-Ayyat is the first democratically elected President of Egypt. He was sworn in on June 30, 2012, after having won 51.7% of the vote a week earlier. But little more than one year later – on July 3, 2013, he was deposed from office and detained by the Egyptian armed forces. The coup followed massive anti Morsi demonstrations on June 30th, described by the BBC as the largest ever in the history of Egypt. Morsi was a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and became the first President of its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in 2011. His critics accused him to trying to turn Egypt into an Islamist dictatorship while doing nothing to improve the dire state of Egypt’s economy. Morsi is a professor of engineering and has taught in both US and Egyptian universities.
Morsi was born in northern Egypt in August 1951 and received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in engineering from Cairo University in 1975 and 1978, respectively. In 1982 he received his PhD from the US and then worked there as an Assistant Professor for three years. He then returned to Egypt to teach at Zagazig University.
Second choice for President.
Morsi only emerged as the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate after their first choice, Khairat El-Shater was disqualified. Morsi had been a Member of Parliament from 2000 to 2005 and was already a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood. He became Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), a political party, when it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Morsi’s reputation is one of an honest, steady workhorse rather than a dynamic, inspirational leader. The way he personally deals with issues will be under scrutiny as much as the end results.
Morsi has many challenges facing him internally and externally; the military, inter-religious violence, poverty, unemployment are all urgent internal problems. Externally, he has the eyes of the world scrutinising his every move looking out for ‘Islamic extremism’, the situation in Gaza, and the relationship with Israel. The treatment of religious minorities will be carefully watched by all, especially international observers. He has recently shown great tact with the way he sidelined the power of the military and transferred this to civil rule.
Birth: 20 August 1951 (Age: 62)
Source of Influence: Political
Status: Featured in current year