Time for a Mandela moment

Muhammad Morsi, the winner of the presidential election in Egypt, does not have a real mandate. That’s an opportunity.

Mr Morsi was not even the Muslim Brotherhood’s first choice. He was put forward to stand after the Brotherhood’s primary candidate was disqualified.

The numbers tell the story. In the first round 11.5% of the registered voters gave Mr Morsi their support, with a low turnout of 46%. In the run-off, the turnout increased to 51%, a sure sign that people were voting against, rather than for one of the candidates who stood on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Even the final tally of 51.7% of valid votes in favor of Mr Morsi is tentative.

In 1994 there were numerous predictions that South Africa would descend in chaos after the elections there. One man made sure that it did not happen – Nelson Mandela. He did it by looking after everyone’s interests, caring about what was important to them.

He also made sure that South Africa had a solid constitution that entrenched the principles of equity, freedom and the protection of rights and human dignity.

Mr Morsi has already started on that route, saying “I have no rights, only responsibilities. If I do not deliver, do not obey me.”

Now this quiet man needs to let his actions speak.

More at:
Explainer: Egypt’s presidential poll
Egypt’s Morsi calls for unity after poll win
Egypt’s election Two reasons not to be cheerful
Egypt voters’ ‘loss of faith’
As it happened: Egypt election result
Guide to Egyptian presidential election
Voter turnout surges in final hours of Egypt presidential runoff
Language of numbers : The Egyptian Presidential elections
Morsi Meter