As Egypt's military and opposition groups prepare to oust President Mohammed Morsi, it's worth taking a look at just why so many Egyptians think a new leader, a military coup -- anything really -- would be better than the president they democratically elected just a year ago.
When Morsi came into office last year, he laid out a plan for the nation that included some 64 distinct "promises." Just six hours after announcing his roadmap, an Egyptian entrepreneur named Abbas Adel Ibrahim launched the "Morsi meter," a site that aimed to track progress on the new president's commitments for his first 100 days in office. (It took a cue from Politifact.com's Obameter). Since then, millions of people have checked back to follow the new leader's progress.
Suffice it to say, the Meter does not reflect well on Morsi:
According to the site, he's only achieved 10 of the 64 promises, most notably failing to make progress on the nation's chronic security issues and fuel shortages.
"The country doesn't have money, so the country doesn't have gas," as one Cairo taxi driver put it to Al-Monitor, "while staring in frustration at a downtown traffic jam of cars haphazardly lined up near a gas station."
In the site's 100-day report, it noted that pluralities of visitors to the site said there had been "no improvement" in any of the five categories the Meter tracked.
Piles of garbage continue to line some streets of the capital. Strikes over wages and overdue benefits have halted some public-sector services, particularly in Egypt's woefully underfunded hospitals. One man even filed a police report against Morsi for failing to implement all of his 100-day promises, according to the Egypt Independent, an English-language daily.
Morsi of course inherited an economy and political situation that would have been tough for any new president to remedy. Public security nose-dived after the 2011 revolution, and the nation saw upticks in murder, theft, and sexual harassment. Meanwhile, 40 percent of Egyptians live in poverty and, with the country drowning in debt, Morsi failed to make the spending cuts necessary to obtain an IMF rescue loan.
The economy is a big reason for Egyptians' disgruntlement, but it's not the only one: Minority and opposition groups in December protested the country's new draft constitution, which they said put too much power in the hands of Islamist groups. More recently, he's been criticized for cracking down on dissenters like Bassem Youssef , a comedian who lampoons the ruling Muslim Brotherhood on an evening "Daily Show"-style program.
Surprisingly, even the country's hard-line Islamists, who are more closely aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood than the country's secular opposition, think Morsi's not doing a sufficient job -- of moving the country in a more dogmatic direction.
In April, a telephone survey found that Morsi had a 45 percent disapproval rating.
And as Morsi is discovering, Egyptians tend to voice their disapproval in the streets.
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