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Popular support for Egypt's Islamist parties on wane: Gallup poll

Muslim Brotherhood, FJP, Salafists lose varying degrees of popularity on street since last year's parliamentary polls, opinion survey finds

Ahram Online, Friday 18 May 2012
Freedom and Justice Party
Campaign banner for The Freedom and Justice party. (Photo: AP)

According to recent Gallup polls, Egypt's Islamist parties appear to have lost popularity since parliamentary elections late last year. The popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), for example, have fallen considerably in recent months, while the Salafists have witnessed a similar – if less dramatic – decline, according to recent opinion surveys.

A poll conducted last month showed that while 63 per cent of Egyptians in February said they supported the Muslim Brotherhood, only 42 per cent claimed to support them in April. The popularity of the group's FJP also fell considerably, from 67 to 43 percent over the same two-month period, according to the poll.

The popularity of the more conservative Salafist movement, meanwhile, fell from 37 per cent in February to 25 per cent in April. The Salafist Nour Party, in particular, fell from 40 to 30 per cent for the same period.

The Gallup polling agency further revealed that popular support for Egypt's Islamist-led parliament has also waned.

Only 44 per cent of Egyptians polled still back the idea that the party with the most seats in parliament should choose those who will write a new constitution, compared to 62 per cent in February. And only 27 per cent now support the idea that the party boasting a parliamentary majority should choose the vice president, compared to 46 per cent in February.

When asked whether it was "a good thing" for the Muslim Brotherhood to hold a strong position in parliament, those in favour declined from 62 per cent in February to 36 per cent in April. The numbers of those who oppose a strong Brotherhood presence in parliament, meanwhile, increased from 27 to 47 percent over the same period.

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