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Gov’t approval rate soars to 74% — survey

By Laila Azzeh - Feb 28,2015 - Last updated at Feb 28,2015

AMMAN – The popularity of the government has soared as a result of various factors that have influenced the Kingdom lately, prompting nearly three quarters of Jordanians to believe that Jordan is "moving forward in the right direction", according to a recent opinion poll.

The poll, a continuation of series of surveys conducted by the University of Jordan's Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS), revealed that 74 per cent of Jordanians believe that lately the government was able to carry out its duties, up from 51 per cent in the previous study.

The way authorities dealt with the security file, especially after the killing of Jordanian pilot Muath Kasasbeh, has "indeed improved the record of the government, or perhaps the country's apparatuses in general", said CSS Director Musa Shteiwi. 

Moreover, the way the government dealt with the snowstorms that hit the country earlier this year, coupled with the decline in oil prices, has affected the way citizens perceive the performance of the administration, he added.

The survey, carried out between February 15 to 17 with a sample of 2,000 people, also showed that the younger generations have a more positive opinion when it came to the government’s performance.

“That is a very important indicator,” said Shteiwi. 

On the other hand, and similar to previous polls, economic development remained a top priority to Jordanians with 23 per cent of the interviewees wanting the government to “urgently” address unemployment, 18 per cent high living costs and 15 per cent poverty. 

A total of 11 per cent wanted swift solutions for administrative and financial corruption, namely wasta “favouritism”.

 

‘On terrorism and extremism’

 

The overwhelming majority of Jordanians — 95 per cent of the surveyed — believe that Daesh is a terrorist movement, 33 points higher than the August 2014 poll and a 23-point increase over the December 2014 survey.

Moreover, 92 per cent of the surveyed believe that Daesh poses a threat to the stability of Jordan, which marks an increase by eight points compared to the previous poll. 

The survey also revealed that 89 per cent of the respondents support the Arab and international coalition against Daesh, while only 8 per cent expressed their rejection of the alliance. 

The vast majority of the surveyed — 87 per cent — agreed that the Kingdom’s participation in the war against Daesh is a pre-emptive step to protect the security and interests of the country, while 10 per cent do not support the war and 12 per cent believed that the war is not for Jordan to wage. 

As for the form of military operations supported by the interviewees against the Daesh movement, 88 per cent said they support the air strikes compared with 10 per cent who completely reject the method.

Furthermore, 60 per cent of the respondents want the Kingdom to continue with its air strikes and 15 per cent want the country to wage a land war in cooperation with the Arab and international alliances. 

Of those who supported a ground war, 6 per cent want it to be in cooperation with an Arab alliance only, 6 per cent believe that Jordan should wage a ground war alone, while 15 per cent want the Kingdom to take part in a ground battle along with the Arab and international coalition. 

A total of 90 per cent of the interviewees believe that the security apparatuses “succeeded” in dealing with the Daesh file, starting from negotiations to release Kasasbeh to the military response against the gang, whereas 6 per cent said it did not succeed at all. 

The vast majority — 95 per cent of the surveyed — said they supported the execution of Sajida Rishawi and Ziad Al Karboli and a total of 92 per cent expressed support for executing the remaining prisoners convicted of terrorist actions.

Regarding the way Kasasbeh was killed, a total of 99 per cent said there was no religious justification for burning the pilot alive, while only 1 per cent believes that it was religiously acceptable.

Asked whether the interviewees know any persons who support Daesh ideology, 86 per cent said they did not, 6 per cent said they knew some people and 2 per cent said they knew many. 

Of the interviewed, 77 per cent said they watched the video that showed the brutal killing of Kasasbeh compared with 23 per cent who said they did not watch it at all. 

The findings of the opinion poll showed that 70 per cent believe that Al Qaeda is a terrorist group, compared with 46 per cent shown in the December 2014 survey, while 45 per cent of the sample believes that Hizbollah is a terrorist group. 

The survey was conducted by 46 field researchers with a margin of error of 2.5 per cent, according to Shteiwi, who noted that the surveyed were chosen randomly from over 168 different locations. 

 

Terrorism-related highlights from CSS poll findings

  • 95 per cent of Jordanians believe that Daesh is a terrorist movement, up by 33 points from August figure
  • 92 per cent believe Daesh poses a threat to the stability of Jordan
  • 89 per cent support the Arab and international coalition against Daesh
  • 87 per cent agree the Kingdom’s participation in the war against Daesh is a necessary pre-emptive step
  • 88 per cent say they support Jordan’s air strikes against the group
  • 90 per cent believe the security apparatuses succeeded in dealing with the Daesh file
  • 99 per cent believe there was no religious justification for burning pilot Muath Kasasbeh alive
  • 70 per cent believe that Al Qaeda is a terrorist group, up from 46 per cent in December
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