Baseera poll indicates declining approval for Sisi

A recent poll indicates a 79 percent approval rating for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after 22 months in office, a decline from an earlier poll conducted after the first 100 days of Sisi’s presidency, which indicated 82 percent approval.

The poll, conducted by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) showed that 51 percent of respondents strongly approve of Sisi’s performance, 28 percent of approve, six percent do not approve, seven percent strongly disapprove and eight percent did not have an opinion on the president.

The poll also revealed that Sisi has higher approval among older generations, with 87 percent approval among respondents aged over 50, and a 71 percent approval rating among younger respondents.

Respondents stated that they supported Sisi for a number of reasons, with 30 percent saying the new projects the president has overseen, including the the new Suez Canal extension, are the main reason they approve of the president. 

Twenty-five percent of respondents said they approve of Sisi because he is improving the general situation of the country, 16 percent said they approve because the president maintains security and stability, and six percent said they approve of his performance because he prevents Egypt from engaging in wars and does not allow foreign interference in the country’s affairs.

Baseera’s polls have shown a steady decline in approval ratings for Sisi, but approval ratings remaing high overall.

The first poll, conducted after Sisi’s first 100 days in office, showed that 82 percent of respondents would re-elect Sisi in future elections, with the second poll, which was conducted six months after Sisi came to office, indicating that 79 percent of respondetns would vote for Sisi again. In the most recent poll, 69 percent of respondents stated they would vote for Sisi if the presidential elections were held again tomorrow.

The most recent poll also showed that 14 percent of respondents would not vote for Sisi regardless of who else was running in the election, while 17 percent said their vote would depend on the other candidates in the race.

Baseera’s polls have been criticized for their tendency to ask leading questions and using small and unrepresentative samples of the population. This poll was conducted through telephone interviews and only included 1,541 citizens. Egypt has a population of around 87 million according to CAPMAS, the state census authority, making the scope of the Baseera poll quite limited.

Baseera stated that they only had a 46 percent response rate from people they attempted to collect information from.

Sisi’s presidency has faced international and local criticism for its human rights record. A report released by Human Rights Watch in January 2016 stated that the Egyptian government has launched a security crackdown in response to escalating militant activity in Sinai, which has led to human rights violations including torture, forced disappearances, travel bans and extrajudicial killings.

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