The elections of 2012 could prove to be even more consequential for Egypt than the turbulence of 2011. Various Egyptian factions have spent the last year trying to find their place in the new post-Mubarak order, and for the first time Egyptians have an opportunity to choose their president. It is a critical time to take the pulse of the population.
On May 21, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings unveiled the results of a new University of Maryland poll. Conducted in the weeks leading up to Egypt’s historic presidential election, the poll gauges which candidate is most favored by the public, what issues are driving public preferences, what Egyptians want their leader and their country to look like, and what role they want religion to play in politics. In addition, the poll explores Egyptian public attitudes toward the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, the Iran nuclear issue, the Syria crisis, and the American presidential election. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami, principal investigator of the poll and the Anwar Sadat professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, presented his latest research and key findings. Steven Cook, the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations provided commentary and offer his insights from his own research. Senior Fellow Daniel Byman, director of research for the Saban Center, moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.