June 22, 2012
Majority of Egyptians Want Military Out of Politics
Most believed military would cede power
by Mohamed Younis Gallup
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A majority of Egyptians in April told Gallup that it
would be a "bad thing" for their country if the military remained involved
in politics after the presidential election, a role that many expect the
military will continue after the latest political changes in the country.
Do you think each of the following is a good thing or a bad thing for the
The military remaining involved in politics after the presidential election:
Dec 2011 Good 27% Bad 63% Donít know 10%
Feb 2012 Good 23% Bad 71% Donít know 06%
Apr 2012 Good 25% Bad 58% Donít know 16%
Majorities of Egyptians have felt this way about the military's role since
December 2011. Even so, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces this week
amended the March 2011 constitutional declaration to give it sweeping
control -- including legislative powers -- after Egypt's courts dissolved
the country's parliament.
Majorities of Egyptians have also consistently believed that the military
council would cede power to a civilian government after the country has
elected a new president. The council said it will still keep that promise,
despite its latest declaration that it will significantly curtail the
president's executive powers until a new parliament is elected and a
constitution is written.
Do you believe the military will or will not hand over power to a civilian
government after the presidential election?
Apr 2012 Will 73% Will not 12% Donít know 16%
The new constitutional addendum also gives the military council authority to
convene the constituent assembly tasked with drafting the country's new
constitution, although fewer than one in five Egyptians supported this role
for the council in April this year.
After a turbulent 15 months since Egypt's revolution, the country witnessed
the dissolution of the only body democratically elected to office. The
country's ruling military council has now positioned itself to play a major
role in the country's legislative, constitutional, and executive affairs for
at least months to come -- despite the public's desire for the contrary.
Council members said in a recent press conference that the new
constitutional addendum was necessary to balance the powers between the
executive branch and the now vacant legislative branch of government. Others
have described the latest move as a military coup aimed at slowing down
Egypt's transition to democracy.
Since former President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, the Egyptian public has
expressed high levels of confidence in the military council that has ruled
the country in the interim period, measuring 83% confidence in April. These
perceptions highlight that despite a high level of confidence in the council
as an institution, many Egyptians see their continued political role as
problematic. It will be interesting to see whether the council's latest move
will seriously erode confidence in the institution. A perceived political
overreach or "power grab" by Islamist parties in the past months resulted in
a noticeable decline in support for Islamist groups in the lead up to the
first round of the presidential election. It is yet to be seen whether the
council's latest political maneuvering will have a similar outcome in the
For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries
Gallup continually surveys, please contact
SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030 .
Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,074 adults, aged 15 and
older, conducted April 8-15, 2012, in Egypt. For results based on the total
sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum
margin of sampling error is +/-3.4 percentage points. The margin of error
reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error,
question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can
introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.