Tuesday, July 29, 2008

100 Days Together - Coalition Poll results - Tues 2/29/2009

100 days together

Kenya's president Mwai Kibaki (R) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Photo/REUTERS/Presidential Press Service

By JEFF OTIENO (email the author)

Grand Coalition Government’s performance has been rated at 65 per cent
Mr Odinga tops with 75 per cent approval
President Kibaki has 68 per cent

Prime Minister Raila Odinga commands the highest approval ratings in performance in the Grand Coalition Government, ahead of President Kibaki.

According to the latest opinion poll conducted by the Steadman Group, Mr Odinga tops with 75 per cent approval compared to President Kibaki’s 68 per cent.

The Grand Coalition Government’s performance has been rated at 65 per cent.

The study coincides with 100 days since the formation of the Grand Coalition Government which brought together the two political rivals — President Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

According to the opinion poll, majority of Kenyans view Mr Odinga positively in public service compared to President Kibaki or the Coalition Government as a whole. The study, which was conducted between July 6 and 11, this year, interviewed 2,012 Kenyans aged 18 years. Respondents were from all the eight provinces. The study had a margin of error of +/-2.2 and a 95 per cent confidence level.

However, Steadman’s political consultant, Dr Tom Wolf, said the research did not seek to find out why majority of Kenyans approved of the PM.

“Many Kenyans placed Mr Odinga on the highly approve and somewhat approve categories ahead of President Kibaki,” Dr Wolf said while releasing results of the survey at the Steadman headquarters in Nairobi.

However, he said any leader in the world should be happy with an approval rating of over 50 per cent especially under a difficult political arrangement like the one in Kenya.

Dr Wolf also said many ODM supporters still viewed President Kibaki with hostility as many believe their presidential candidate was robbed of victory.

“Unlike ODM supporters, many PNU supporters view Mr Odinga “mildly” since their candidate was the one who was sworn in as the President,” he said.

Civil war
Dr Wolf said the approval rating of the Grand Coalition was above 50 per cent, largely because of saving the country from imminent civil war rather than its achievements in the past six months.

Majority of Kenyans (78 per cent) support the power-sharing agreement. At the political party level, the agreement receives the highest rating from both PNU and ODM-K faithful at 80 per cent each, with ODM followers giving it a 76 per cent score.

On the provinces, Mr Odinga’s ratings are higher than the President’s in five provinces. The PM leads his partner in Nairobi, Coast, Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western. President Kibaki’s ratings are highest in Central, Eastern and North Eastern.

Individually, the two score highly than the Government in all the provinces except North Eastern where the Grand Coalition scores a high of 80 per cent. In the province, President Kibaki scores 78 per cent, followed by Mr Odinga at 75 per cent.

So far Kenyans are satisfied with the Grand Coalition’s performance in secondary and primary education, in which it scores 78 per cent and 70 per cent approval respectively.

However, the study was conducted before student riots became widespread, affecting the country’s hitherto stable education system.

Kenyans are also happy with the way the Government is handling health matters, with the respondents giving it a satisfaction rating of 65 per cent, followed by electrification programme (58 per cent), water supply (58 per cent) and road construction (55 per cent).

The public, nonetheless, is unhappy with the way the Government is tackling poverty, unemployment, the rising food prices, graft and crime. All have an approval of below 50 per cent.

Of the three political parties forming the Grand Coalition, majority of the respondents identified themselves with the Orange Democratic Movement (53 per cent), followed by the Party of National Unity at 29 per cent. ODM-Kenya (seven per cent) and other smaller parties (four per cent). Seven per cent do not align themselves with any political party.

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