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Poll finds Egyptians divided, many disappointed

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Asma Alsharif and Alastair Macdonald

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptians are deeply divided and many have no faith in any of the main political groups, creating a crisis for the state to build on the revolution of 2011, a new poll by Zogby Research Services found on Monday.

Only 28 percent saw the election of Islamist Mohamed Mursi as president in June 2012 as positive or at least the result of a democratic vote they respected - a figure down by half from a 57-percent majority who were positive or respectful a year ago.

Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist ally the Nour party combined have the confidence of 30 percent of voters, the poll by Washington-based Zogby found, while opposition groups the National Salvation Front and April 6 movement are trusted by a combined 34 percent. The survey did not ask voting intentions.

Nearly 39 percent of more than 5,000 people interviewed over five weeks to May 12 expressed confidence in none of these four main groups, however, voicing disaffection with Mursi ahead of protests planned for the first anniversary of his taking office on June 30, but little faith in alternative potential leaders.

The pollsters noted that over 90 percent of those identified with Islamist parties felt better off than five years ago, while over 80 percent of those associated with the opposition and the "disaffected plurality" said they were worse off.

"And while the overwhelming majority of those associated with the Islamic parties retain hope in the promise of the Arab Spring, the rest of the society now says they are disappointed."

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, said the Islamists won power by mobilizing their support while others did not. But the "Tamarud - Rebel!" campaign for protests could now galvanize the secular opposition, he said.

"The (Islamist) base was never that large; it was just more disciplined and better organized," he said. "That's why this Tamarud movement may actually make a difference in the long term in creating a different level of organization."

LEADERSHIP

The poll showed a crisis in leadership; eight of nine living figures, including past presidential candidates, were seen as credible leaders by no more than a third of voters. The only one of the nine to appeal to a majority - of 60 percent - was TV satirist Bassem Yousef, known as "Egypt's Jon Stewart".

The army as an institution scored a 94-percent confidence level - a degree of trust common across all groups.

Asked their opinion of the performance of Mursi's government on the economy, welfare, security and human rights, respondents who were "dissatisfied" broadly outnumbered by 3 to 1 the "satisfied", who were essentially supporters of the Islamists.

Asked what they thought should happen now to resolve Egypt's problems, 64 percent favored scrapping the constitution and 52 percent holding immediate parliamentary elections - both options strongly opposed, however, by supporters of Islamist parties.

About 60 percent of non-Islamists favored a temporary return to army rule, while almost all Islamists opposed that.

The poll found that the only proposal with overwhelming approval from all was a "real national dialogue".

"People are going to have to recognize there's not going to be a victor-vanquished scenario," said James Zogby. "There's going to have to be a resolution in which all parties ultimately are satisfied. But getting from here to there is not going to be a straight line. We're going to see some difficult days ahead."

(Editing by Michael Roddy)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130617/poll-finds-egyptians-divided-many-disappointed