Egyptians choose Saudi Arabia over Turkey as model: poll
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Egyptian protesters attend noon prayers over a large Egyptian national flag on the blocked road leading to the Ministry of Defense in this April 29 photo. Despite the ongoing turmoil in the country, army ruler Tantawi is well regarded by 63 percent of Egyptians. AP photo
Most Egyptians see Saudi Arabia as a better model than Turkey for the role religion should play in government as they want Islam to play a major role in society and believe the Quran should help shape the country’s laws, a recent survey indicated.
When asked which country, Saudi Arabia or Turkey, served as the better model for the role of religion in government 61 percent said Saudi Arabia. Only 17 percent choose Turkey while the remaining 22 percent responded that neither country was an appropriate model, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Results of the survey in Egypt are based on 1000 face-to-face interviews conducted from March 19 to April 10. The sample taken was representative of the country’s adult population.
A majority of Egyptians, 64 percent according to the survey, continue to believe Islam plays a positive role in their country’s politics. According to the survey, Egyptians want Islam to play a role in shaping the nation’s laws as the majority, 60 percent to be exact, said Egypt’s laws should strictly adhere to the Quran. About 32 percent say the country should follow the values and principles of Islam but not strictly follow the teachings of the Quran. However, most also endorse specific democratic rights and institutions which do not exist in Saudi Arabia, such as free speech, a free press and equal rights for women. Among those who choose Saudi Arabia over Turkey as the best model for Egypt, two-thirds also said democracy is preferable to any other kind of government. More than six out of ten people, or 64 percent, said it is very important to live in a country with a free press. Sixty-one percent responded with freedom of speech.
Army still popular
Despite the country’s ongoing political conflict, many of the organizations and leaders who played key roles in last year’s revolution, such as the military, the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberal April 6 Movement, remain popular. While the military’s ratings may have dropped since 2011, a majority of Egyptians continue to view the military, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and the country’s ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi in a positive light. However, the influence of the military has dropped from 88 percent to 75 percent when compared to figures from 2011. Tantawi is well regarded by 63 percent of Egyptians, although his favorability rating has fallen from last year’s 90 percent.
Of people surveyed 83 percent said religious leaders have a very good or somewhat good influence on the country. Despite the political turmoil which has surrounded the military over the past year 75 percent of Egyptians have continued to say it has a good influence in the country. Ex-Mubarak foreign minister and current presidential candidate Amr Moussa is also very popular with the Egyptian public with 81 percent giving him favorable ratings, down only slightly from 89 percent in 2011.
Amr Moussa leading in presidential race: survey
Former Arab League chief and Foreign Minister Amr Moussa remains the most likely winner in the upcoming Egyptian presidential election, a recent poll has found.
Moussa received the backing of 39 percent of the electorate, 15 percent clear of his nearest rival just two weeks ahead of the official polling day, the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies poll found. Former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh came second with 24.5 percent, followed by former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq with 17.2 percent, according to Al-Akhbar’s website. However Shafiq, who was controversially allowed back into the race after initially being disqualified, showed the fastest growth among the candidates, rising from 11.9 percent a week before.
Official Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi lagged behind, with just 7 percent of
people saying they would give him their first-preference vote. None of the 13 candidates in the first round of the election are expected to get the 50 percent support needed to avoid a run-off.