Posted by on July 05, 2013 in Blog

On Wednesday, in a monumental announcement by Egyptian Army Chief Abdel Fattah al Sisi, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was effectively removed from power. In a statement following days of protests - probably the largest in Egyptian history - al Sisi said that the military was suspending the constitution, appointing the head of constitutional court Adly Mansour as interim leader of the country, and calling for early elections. The military’s removal of Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, comes about a year after he came into office.

When the military issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Morsi calling “for the people’s demands to be met, it was difficult to predict what would transpire. Yet, our polling released just days before, indicated that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s overreach were causing immense backlash from Egyptians.

Ahead of the Tamarud protest movement that led to Morsi’s ousting, Arab American Institute President and Director of Zogby Research Services (ZRS), Dr. James Zogby conducted the most (comprehensive study of Egyptian public opinion, surveying attitudes toward Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. The poll, which surveyed 5,029 Egyptian adults nationwide, examines Egyptian attitudes toward institutions and their future. What emerges from the findings is a picture of a deeply divided society fractured not along demographic lines, but on the basis of ideology and religion. Before being removed from office, 70+% of the population that said that since Morsi took office their economic and security situations have worsened. Egyptians had “simply lost confidence in President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s ability to govern,” said Zogby. This view, however, is not shared by members of the Muslim Brotherhood who overwhelmingly support Morsi, and who – in stark contrast to their opposition counterparts – believe they are better off today than they were five years ago. This week, we saw the full extent of the country’s discontent and lack of confidence in Morsi and the Brotherhood.

The ZRS poll underscores the conditions and political divisions which sparked the Tamarud movement. With the announcement of the military’s decision to facilitate Morsi’s removal from office, the poll remains relevant, finding that while 60% of all opposition supporters agree with temporary military take-over, 98% of Muslim Brotherhood supporters disagree. In many ways, this statistic reflects what we will continue to see in the aftermath of Egypt’s military coup: evidence of a country deeply divided on politics.   

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