November 26, 2012

Large Majority of Egyptians Put High Priority on Fair Courts

81%

About eight-in-ten Egyptians said last spring that a fair judiciary was very important to their nation’s future.

News from Egypt has been dominated in recent days by the controversy over President Mohamed Morsi’s decree limiting judicial review of his actions. A Pew Global Attitudes Project survey conducted March to April found a solid majority (81%) saying it was very important to live in a country with a fair judicial system — a number equaled only by those who say improved economic conditions are a top priority.

When it comes to key features of democracy that Egyptians believe are crucial to their country’s future, they also rated as very important a free press (62%), free speech (60%), and honest multiparty elections (58%).

Other key democratic rights and institutions, while considered at least somewhat important by a majority of Egyptians, do not register as top priorities. In particular, only 24% say that having a military that is under control of civilian leaders is very important. Less than half say that equal rights for women (41%), religious freedom for minorities (38%), and uncensored internet access (35%) are very important.

And while 67% of Egyptians agreed with the view that democracy was preferable to any other kind of government, maintaining law and order also ranked as an important priority with 60% saying this is very important for Egypt’s future. Read More