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More Jordanians believe country on right track — poll

By Khaled Neimat - Apr 14,2014 - Last updated at Apr 14,2014

AMMAN — A recent poll to measure public opinion over the performance of the government has shown that more Jordanians believe that their country is on the right track, compared to a previous study conducted in October.

The survey, carried out between March 22 and 27 by the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, polled 1,800 Jordanians over the age of 18 and a smaller group of 700 “opinion leaders” made up of political figures, academics and journalists.

The results, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5, showed that 42 per cent of the national sample and 55 per cent of opinion leaders agreed that the country is moving in the right direction.

This poll reflects a slight shift in citizens’ opinion as in the previous poll held in October, only 29 per cent of the national sample agreed that the country was on the right track, citing issues concerning Jordan’s security, stability and state of justice. In the same poll, 42 per cent of opinion leaders voiced their satisfaction in the government’s performance, citing reasons surrounding its implementation of the required political reforms and wise approach in handling the current stage of political developments.

However, the “deteriorating” economic situation that includes higher inflation rates, corruption, favouritism, a slow political development process, and weak economic and political planning were listed as top factors that led 53 per cent of the national sample and 38 per cent of the opinion leaders to vote that the country is on the wrong track.     

With regards to confidence in the government’s ability to carry out its tasks, 49 per cent of the national sample polled in the latest survey voiced approval. The poll also showed that citizens’ confidence in Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour was at 50 per cent, with 44 per cent also voicing similar confidence in the ability of Cabinet members. 

Meanwhile, 57 per cent of opinion leaders voiced confidence in the government, with 63 per cent stating that the premier was able to carry out his duties and 49 per cent of them approving of the Cabinet members’ abilities.

These results showed a slight rise in public confidence in the head of the government and his team, compared to the figures registered in October last year, when 45 per cent of the national sample expressed confidence in the government’s ability, with 52 per cent of opinion leaders believing that the government was doing a good job in handling the current stage.

However, 57 per cent of the national sample said their current economic situation is worse than it was 12 months ago. When asked about the future, 26 per cent expected the economic situation to improve in the next year, with 24 per cent of those polled believing there would be no change, and 45 per cent saying it would become worse. 

In general, only 18 per cent of the national sample agreed that the country’s economic situation has improved in the past year, with 61 per cent saying it is worse and 20 per cent stating that there is no change.

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