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Most Egyptians Oppose Ouster of Mursi, Poll Shows

Supporters of Former President Mohamed Mursi
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Mursi hold up his image as they take part in a march through the streets of Cairo. Photographer: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images

Most Egyptians said the army was wrong to topple elected President Mohamed Mursi in July, and support for Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood held up after his July ouster, according to a poll by Zogby Research Services LLC.

The study, conducted in September, found 51 percent of respondents said Mursi’s overthrow was a mistake, compared with 46 percent who said the army was right. It was published on the website of the Arab American Institute yesterday.

Zogby said 46 percent of respondents described Egypt as worse off after the army intervention, while 35 percent said it was better off. Confidence in army chief Abdelfatah al-Seesi, who led the takeover, was only slightly higher than in Mursi, at 46 percent and 44 percent respectively, while interim President Adly Mansour scored 39 percent.

Mursi’s ouster was followed by a wave of violence as security forces cracked down on his Islamist supporters protesting against the intervention, killing hundreds and jailing hundreds more. Political unrest, which has persisted since the revolt against Hosni Mubarak in 2011, has undermined efforts to revive Egypt’s economy.

Egyptian stocks slid the most in a month yesterday, with the benchmark index dropping 1.8 percent, as the government delayed a referendum on a new constitution which is due to be the first step in a transition to democracy, and disputes broke out over a law banning protests without police approval.

Confidence in the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, rose to 34 percent from 24 percent in a previous survey in July, according to Zogby. The September poll found that 50 percent of respondents said the Muslim Brotherhood should be banned from politics, while 42 percent said it should be re-integrated.

Zogby said the survey, conducted between Sept. 16 and Sept. 28 for the Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi, was based on interviews with 1,405 people and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. The AAI’s website didn’t say why there was a two-month delay between polling and publication.

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