Poll: Moussa leads Egypt race

Fewer than 2% of respondents identified the Brotherhood’s main nominee, Khairat al-Shater, as their candidate of choice.

April 11, 2012 02:30
1 minute read.
Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa.

Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa 311 R. (photo credit: Abd El Ghany / Reuters)

Former Arab League chief Amr Moussa remains Egyptians’ preferred choice for president, according to a poll published Monday in Al-Ahram newspaper, barely edging a hard-line Islamist candidate whose candidacy may ultimately be overturned.

Nearly 31 percent of respondents said they would prefer to see Moussa, who also served as foreign minister under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, take the helm in Cairo.

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Hazem Salah Abu Ismail – a Salafist Islamist linked to the Muslim Brotherhood but running without party support – came in second with just under 29%.

The poll was conducted before details emerged that Abu Ismail’s mother held US citizenship, which could disqualify him from running. Egyptian law forbids candidates or their families to hold dual citizenship.

Former Brotherhood official Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh came in third with 8.5%.

Surprisingly, fewer than 2% of respondents identified the Brotherhood’s main nominee, Khairat al-Shater, as their candidate of choice. The low figure may partly be a function of timing – 8% of polling was conducted before he announced his candidacy late last month.

The Brotherhood candidate would also likely benefit from an annulment of Abu Ismail’s candidacy, with many of the Salafist’s supporters transferring their support to him instead.

Al Ahram Center for Political and Studies, a state-linked research institute based in Cairo, conducted the poll. The results do not include former Mubarak intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who joined the presidential race just before the close of registration Sunday.

Moussa also topped a survey that the US-based Gallup organization conducted in December, in which 17% of respondents threw their support behind the former foreign minister, followed by 3% for Suleiman.

Since then, parliamentary voting resulted in around three-quarters of Egypt’s parliamentary seats going to the Brotherhood and even harder-line Islamists.

The Al Ahram poll was based on interviews with 1,200 people nationwide between March 31 and April 3, and has a 4% margin of error.

Jerusalem Post staff and Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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