By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: Fifty-six percent of Egyptians surveyed in an official poll believe the country is going in the right direction, according to the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) at the Cabinet.
The poll, aimed at measuring Egyptians’ participation in political life, was released on Tuesday.
Eleven percent said the country is going in the right direction but had concerns about the lack of security, sector protests, slow trials for ex-regime figures, absence of a president and economic troubles while 9 percent said the country was going in the wrong direction.
The survey used a sample of 1,062 respondents chosen from across Egyptian governorates all above 18 years old according to their representation in society, and was conducted through phone interviews till May 2.
Of the respondents, 77 percent said they will vote in the upcoming legislative elections while only 28 percent said that they voted in 2010; 87 percent said they will vote at the presidential candidates while 18 percent said they voted at 2005 elections.
Legislative elections are scheduled to take place in September with the presidential to take place before the end of the year.
One percent of the sample were members in a political party while 12 percent said they are planning to join one based on its program, its suggested solutions for society’s problems and its leaders.
Only 2 percent were members of political movements like Kefaya and April 6 while 6 percent of the sample said they attended a symposium related to politics during the past 12 months.
Twelve percent of the sample said they participated at a demonstration/sit-in during 2011 while a similar survey in 2008 showed that only 2 percent participated while 39 percent didn’t hear of sit-ins before.
Of the respondents, 37 percent said they didn’t know the name of the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Field Marshal Hussein Tantawy, 43 percent didn’t know Prime Minister Esam Sharaf, and 77 percent didn’t know deputy Prmie Minister Yehia Al-Gamal.
A large percentage of those who didn’t know the names of these top officials were women, age group from 18 to 30 years old, with lower than secondary school education, low economic level and from the Delta governorates.
Almost quarter said that they followed political news frequently, 56 percent said they follow it often while 18 percent said they don’t follow it at all. Thirty-one percent of those who follow news said they always discuss it with family and friends, 50 percents said they discuss it often while 11 percent said they don’t discuss it.
Seventy-six percent said the referendum of constitutional amendments last March was fair, four percent believed that it wasn’t fair while 20 percent were undecided.
Sixty-three percent said they are confident upcoming presidential elections will be fair while 56 percent expressed confidence that the legislative elections will be fair, and 3 percent said that they are confident that both elections will be fair given complete judiciary supervision and applying proportional rosters system in legislative elections.
Regarding the criteria for choosing Egypt’s next president, 39 percent said fairness, 29 percent honesty, 26 percent familiarity with people’s problems and 8 percent chose religiosity.
Fifty-ninepercent of the respondents rejected the notion of a woman president, a slight increase from 57 percent last year, while 67 percent wanted to keep the peace treaty with Israel.