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Most Egyptians believe it was wrong to depose Morsi

The latest poll by Zogby Research Services LLC, released to the public this week, has revealed that Egyptians are divided over the toppling of Mohammed Morsi. 51% believe he was the legitimately elected president and it was wrong to depose him, whilst 46% believe it was the correct decision. The FJP, which according to Zogby around one third of Egyptians support, unanimously regard Morsi's ouster as incorrect.


The third in a series of surveys – the first taken in May just before the coup and the second in July just after the coup – Egyptian Attitudes September 2013 analyses Egyptian attitudes towards political parties and groups, Tahrir Square, Tamarrud, the interim government, the Muslim Brotherhood, national reconciliation and emigration. It offers an insight into how attitudes in Egypt have unfolded over time, roughly two years after Mubarak was deposed and one year after Morsi's ouster.

The results are based on 1,405 face-to-face, in-home personal interviews with adult males and females above the age of 18, carried out over the period between September 16 and September 28 2013. The interviews took place from the south to the north of Egypt, in both rural and urban areas including Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, Mansura, Tanta, Shubra Al Kheemah, Asyut, Menia, and Bani Suwayf.

May's results showed that three-quarters of Egyptians were afraid that the Muslim Brotherhood were monopolising power and attempting to impose their ideology on the country and that they wanted change. Back then 94% of society supported the military, though they were divided 44% in favour and 56% against the military's intervention. By July the army still had a positive rating at 93%. But only a third of Egyptians thought the interim government could amend the constitution, create an inclusive democracy and restore order in the country.

September's survey concludes that Egyptian society is now even more polarised. 35% believe Egypt is better off as a result of the June 30 Tamarrud and July 3 military action, and 46% believe that since Morsi and his government were deposed the situation in Egypt has become worse.

According to the report, the military is the institution in which the country has the greatest confidence, though this has dropped by 23% since July. Those who have confidence for the Muslim Brotherhood have dropped by 40% since July. As for the level of confidence in Egyptian leaders, Abdel Fatah al Sisi maintains the highest support at 46%, closely followed by Morsi at 44%.

Between 43% and 51% of Egyptians, and two thirds of non-FJP supporters, believe that the interim government can restore order in the country and follow the roadmap to change. This is an increase since July's survey, when only one third held this view.

Support for the FJP has risen by 5% since May to 34% but half of those who are not backing the FJP see the Muslim Brotherhood as the main obstacle to reconciliation. More than 60% of non-FJP supporters want to see them banned from politics. 35% of all Egyptians see the Muslim Brotherhood as the biggest obstacle to reconciliation, whilst the military are at 23%, and 50% think the Brotherhood should be banned. 42% of all Egyptians believe that they should be included in politics.

In terms of how favourably countries outside of Egypt are viewed, Israel stood at 0% and the United States at 4%. Iran was close behind at 9% and the European Union at 10%. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were viewed more positively at 58% and 52% respectively. Despite the political and economic support offered to Egypt by Qatar, only 19% of Egyptians view them in a favourable light.

60% of Egyptians are satisfied with their prospects in Egypt and only 16% have thought of emigrating. 83% of Egyptians are optimistic that Egypt will be better in the next few years whilst 15% are pessimistic.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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