News Analysis |
Although Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is facing severe economic challenges yet the nation has shown its confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. In a nationwide survey, conducted by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights a combined 57 percent of respondents believe that PM Imran Khan is doing a “very good job” while 56 percent has given approval to the government policies.
According to details, the survey results, announced on March 14, reveal strong approval ratings for the new government and repose confidence in the July 2018 elections. The respondents expressed their concern over the state of the economy, but at the same time, 17 percent said Prime Minister Imran Khan was doing a “good job” while 40 percent agreed with his policies.
A plurality of respondents; 40 percent said they were willing to give the government one year; 26 percent said two years, and 14 percent said that the prime minister had started delivering on his campaign promises.
A clear majority of Pakistanis firmly believe that the elections were free and fair. Hence, the incumbent has both political as well as legal legitimacy to function and work for the betterment of Pakistan, they add.
Inflation was singled out as the most important problem in Pakistan by 39 percent, followed by poverty, as pointed by 18 percent and unemployment as mentioned by 15 percent. Nearly 77 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 see lack of jobs as the biggest challenge facing young people in Pakistan.
The poll also indicates high levels of confidence in the results of the July 2018 national elections. A clear majority (84 percent) say that the results are either “very accurate” (46 percent) or “somewhat accurate” (38 percent). A combined 83 percent believe that the election was either “completely free or fair” (50 percent) or “mostly free and fair” (33 percent).
It has essentially questioned the allegations leveled by opposition parties against the establishment for rigging elections. A clear majority of Pakistanis firmly believe that the elections were free and fair. Hence, the incumbent has both political as well as legal legitimacy to function and work for the betterment of Pakistan, they add.
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According to IRI, this survey was conducted on behalf of the Center for Insights in Survey Research. Data was collected between November 1 and November 22, 2018, through in-home, in-person interviews. The sample consisted of 3,991 respondents aged 18 and older and is representative of voting-age adults nationally. The margin of error was 1.6 percent.
Political observers believe that in a situation when the government is facing some political challenges e.g. Nawaz Sharif’s insistence to get relief to go to London for his treatment, it is encouraging for the incumbent government that the nation has expressed its confidence.
Johanna Kao, IRI Regional Director for Asia, noted that “despite Pakistan’s economic challenges, confidence in the new government and the prime minister is high. Pakistanis seem to be willing to give the government time to deliver on its campaign promises, which will require difficult economic reforms to revitalize the country’s struggling economy.”
Analysts maintain that it is the high time that the government keeps on focusing on meritocracy and the rule of law to maintain its popularity among masses.