Poll: Country ‘Not So Well’

Though the country is not doing well now, many believe life will be better off in five years, according to an opinion poll released Friday by the pro-opposition, Washington-funded Interna­tional Republican Institute.

When asked to imagine their lives five years from now, 40 percent of respondents thought they’d be better off, 28 percent thought they’d be worse off and 25 percent thought they’d be about the same, according to the poll.

Meanwhile, a massive 73 percent thought the country was doing “not so well,” while 25 percent thought the country was doing well.

The poll, conducted between Jan 5 and Feb 10, asked 1,200 randomly selected people about social and political issues.

“I’ll let the results of the poll speak for themselves,” Jackson Cox, resident program director of the IRI, said Friday.

The IRI presented the results of the poll to leaders of the Alliance of Democrats on Monday, Cox said. The results were not presented to the CPP, he said, because “it was not part of our plan.”

Some see the IRI’s legacy of only working with the opposition as damaging to its credibility.

“People see the IRI as a rightist organization,” said Chea Vannath, president for the Center for Social Development, who had not yet seen the poll results. “Whatever it says [in the poll], people might perceive it as an extreme stance.”

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith saw the poll results but declined to comment Friday.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents thought favorably of Prince Ranariddh, compared to 66 percent for Prime Minister Hun Sen and 62 percent for Sam Rainsy. Forty-nine percent had never heard of the Alliance of Democrats and 71 percent favored term limits for prime minister.

The most important issues facing the country, the poll found, are poverty, border integrity, water quality, HIV/Aids and roads.

The poll was conducted by two US-based companies and the Phnom Penh-based Center for Advanced Studies. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.83 percent.


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