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Op-Ed

How Morsi Let Egyptians Down

H.A. Hellyer

In the aftermath of the military takeover of the Egyptian government on July 3, much of the world’s media reacted characterizing the move as a coup. Defenders of the move argued that the “coup” description could not apply because it received widespread public support, in contradistinction to former President Mohamed Morsi’s unpopularity. Both supporters of the move and its detractors argued that their side spoke for the silent majority — something that no one could thoroughly substantiate. However, data from the recent “TahrirTrends” survey and additional data from Gallup shed some light on at least part of the public discourse.

The data, from a countrywide, face-to-face survey, is currently being analyzed by the TahrirTrends BrainTrust, a group of scholars and experts, including some of the more well-known academic and polling figures in the field. This article is the first in a number of pieces likely to be released by the group and others, covering a range of political, social, and economic subjects. The survey was conducted between late May and early June, before the military’s move, so therefore indicates little directly about the support of or opposition to the military takeover. However, it clearly highlights the unpopularity and lack of confidence in former President Morsi’s rule, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) — even among the Egyptians who voted for Morsi in the first round of presidential elections. Gallup’s Mohamed Younis has also released data that indicates that this lack of confidence extends to Egypt’s government.

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