Approval ratings for President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi are at an all-time high, according to opinion poll by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) published this week.
Al-Sisi’s popularity comes despite the implementation of divisive policies, a worsening security situation and a general crackdown on human rights in the country.
According to the research, 89% of Egyptians approve of Al-Sisi’s performance, compared to only 4% who disapprove, while six in 10 respondents said they ‘highly approved’.
The figures, put together after 10 months in office for General-turned-President Al-Sisi, are 7% more positive than a study taken after 100 days in office, also by Baseera. In that poll, Baseera reported that 82% of respondents approved of the president’s performance.
President Al-Sisi has the support of the vast majority of media, and has earned praise at home for his relationships and projects with foreign countries, such as the Economic Summit in March.
However, crackdowns on rights and mass trials of Muslim Brotherhood members and organisations have generated much anger towards Al-Sisi. The security situation is also deteriorating in the country, with as many terror attacks in the first three months of 2015 as the whole of 2014.
The study states it is based on a diverse demographic sample and finds that the higher a respondent’s educational level, the less approving they are of Al-Sisi, but only marginally. Some 85% of university graduates indicated approval, compared to 90% of school-leavers.
The study also demonstrated variation across ages, with 55% of respondents under 30 years old highly approving of the president’s performance, compared to 72% of those aged 50 and above.
A Baseera spokesperson told Daily News Egypt that they had faith in the veracity of the results, in light of the extremely high and improved approval ratings. Asked whether respondents may be scared to criticise the president, the spokesperson said: “We believe people answer truthfully, because Baseera is well known and is also known to be private and independent from the government. After the revolution, people are not as afraid to speak honestly anymore.”
The research group contacted a sample of 2,016 citizens aged 18 and above from all governorates between 7 and 10 April, with a response rate of 43%. Asked whether those who were critical of the president were those who did not respond, the spokesperson stated: “Those who did not reply, refused from the beginning to [take] the phone call, for instance if they were busy or did not answer. They were not refusing to answer the questions themselves”.