Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Iraqis Feeling Positive About Their Govt And Country In 2023

The Gallup company recently did
a public opinion survey in Iraq about how people felt about their government and economy and compared it to other countries in the region. Iraqis felt generally positive about the current administration while acknowledging continued struggles with the economy.


The first questions were about the current Sudani government. 56% of respondents said they were confident in their government. That was the third highest response in the region only behind Iran at 60% and Jordan at 77%.


There was a 51% approval rating of the national leadership. The last time that figure passed 50% was in 2014, and only happened twice since 2008 when Gallup begin questioning Iraqis.


The company pointed out that in 2019 when Adil Abdul Mahdi was prime minister only 13% of Iraqis said they approved of the country’s leadership.


PM Sudani had a 69% approval rating. That was the highest for any premier since Gallup started asking that in 2012.


68% of young people and 55% of Kurds had a favorable view of Sudani compared to 71% in the rest of the nation. His government has seen a period of calm after years of disruptions. There is no more real insurgent threat in the country and the protest movement was put down by the previous prime ministers. That doesn’t mean Sudani has actually achieved anything but peace has been in short supply in the country since 2003.


The arms of the state were equally held in high regard. 82% had confidence in the local police. 82% had confidence in the military and 57% in the judiciary. Again this was likely the result of the current stability.


When it came to how the government actually operated however the cynicism came out. 86% believed that corruption was widespread in the state and 76% said that elections were dishonest. The latter is a result of the former as the ruling parties cheat and steal to stay in power and enrich themselves.


Views on the economy were mixed to bad. 50% felt that the local economy was getting better versus 32% who said it was getting worse. Only 39% believed it was a good time to find a job versus 59% who said it was bad. That was still the highest response in 10 years.


Gallup broke down these figures. Only 24% in Kurdistan thought the local economy was getting better compared to 55% in the rest of the nation. 23% in Kurdistan said it was a good time to look for employment while 42% said so in the other parts of the country.


Iraq has a young and fast growing population. Because Iraq is the most oil dependent country in the world and has a state dominated economy there are not enough jobs for the population. The most desirable work is with the government and those positions are controlled by the ruling parties and dished out in patronage networks.


Finally, 39% of those in the survey said it was a struggle to afford food and 40% said it was hard to find shelter. Again this was likely due to the lack of good jobs. Iraq also went through a recent spate of inflation.


This Gallup poll represents an interesting snapshot of the current state of Iraq. There is relative peace in the country for the first time since 2003. Iraqis are understandably feeling better about some things as a result. On the other hand there has been no real improvement in the economy and none can happen due to its structural short comings. It will be interesting if more surveys are done in the coming years because the limits of the economy and the ruling parties also mean that the government cannot carry out any major reforms either. Will people maintain their positive views or will they sour with time?




Vigers, Benedict and Younis, Mohamed, “Iraq: Signs of Stability in a Volatile Region,” Gallup, 2/16/24


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Iraqi government and Iraqi Army have finally won their post 2003 war.


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