IRI survey finds PM more popular than government

survey by conducted by International Republican Institute in June found that prime minister Sheikh Hasina was more popular than her government.
The survey, released on the website of the institute on Wednesday, showed that despite a continuing partisan divide on electoral issues, the Awami League-led government gained support among a majority of Bangladeshi respondents.
The poll results also indicated positive public feelings about Bangladesh’s current economic position and optimism about both the respondents and the country’s economic futures.
Survey respondents, however, cited corruption as their dominant concern.
In the 18 months following Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections on January 5, 2014, support for the ruling government and Sheikh Hasina reached 66 and 67 per cent respectively, the survey said.
Bangladeshis were increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the country, with 62 per cent of respondents indicating they believed the country was headed in the right direction (up from 56 per cent in a September 2014 IRI survey).
The survey showed that 72 per cent rated overall economic conditions positively, 68 per cent felt security conditions were good in Bangladesh, and 64 per cent were positive regarding Bangladesh’s political stability.
The effects of the January 2014 elections were evident in the persistence of a sharp division regarding new elections – respondents were almost equally divided when asked about when they would like the next national elections to occur, the survey showed.
Forty-three per cent of respondents indicated a desire for new elections to be held immediately, similar to an IRI survey conducted in September 2014, when 40 per cent stated they wanted immediate elections, said the survey report.
Forty per cent wanted the current parliament to fulfil its term, down slightly from 45 per cent of respondents in September 2014.
The survey found that with the decline of electoral violence and daily general strikes, 24 per cent of respondents cited corruption as the most important problem facing the country, nearly 10 points higher than political instability (16 per cent) and security (15 per cent), which were cited as the second and third most important problems facing Bangladesh.
Though the government received positive marks on the whole, 47 per cent of respondents did not see the government as fully engaged in or capable of fighting corruption. Eleven per cent of respondents said they had paid a bribe; more than half said they had paid at least Tk 5,000.
One-third of those who acknowledged making payments had paid the police or courts to obtain justice, 29 per cent had done so for a license or permit and 25 percent had paid for job consideration.
The findings were based on face-to-face interviews conducted with a randomly selected sample of 2,550 voting aged adults from May 23 to June 10, 2015, the institute said.
Conducted in cooperation with international research firm Global Strategic Partners, the nationally representative sample was drawn from all 64 districts in the seven divisions of Bangladesh. The margin of error for the aggregate sample does not exceed plus or minus two percent at the midrange with a confidence level of 95 per cent, said the institute.
The institute has conducted surveys in Bangladesh since 2008 to inform elections and civil society stakeholders on key electoral issues, it said.

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