Haitian President Michel Martelly has highest approval ratings in the Western Hemisphere
MIAMI and PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Dec. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The government of Haiti has generally received negative ratings in national and international media yet the majority of Haitians appear to strongly disagree with what journalists and pundits have been saying about their government.
That is what Newlink Research, a Miami based firm that polls extensively throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and Dagmar Research, one of Haiti's leading public opinion firms, found in their second and most recent survey that gauges the pulse of how Haitians look at their government.
Newlink-Dagmar surveyed 1098 Haitians between December 11 and 17; the poll has a margin of error of +/-5 percent at the 90% confidence level.
According to the poll, President Martelly's approval rating climbed to 80.5% from 62.4%. This rate makes him the most popular head of state in the hemisphere. Martelly, a very popular former musician and entertainer, regularly visits towns and cities all over Haiti where he interacts directly with Haitians.
Martelly's coattails appear to be very wide since Haitians also gave very high marks to Prime Minister Lamothe whose approval ratings rose to 68.1% from 51.4%. Lamothe, a businessman turned politician, is generally perceived as someone who has brought business practice and discipline into government.
Haitians also gave the tandem team of Martelly/Lamothe very high ratings; the government reached 77.6% up from only 43.2% in May. Martelly and Lamothe were perceived as working well together by 66.3%.
The government's social programs—especially the free access to schools program that provides free access for as many as 1.2 million children and a cash transfer program known as Ede Pep—are very well known and liked by most Haitians.
These numbers stand in direct contradiction of published articles which state that street protests are rooted in a general discontent with the current government. These numbers show quite a different scenario. The poll reflects Haitian discontent with the lack of employment opportunities, placing this as the top issue of concern.
The poll sought to identify the perception of recent tensions between the executive and legislative branches. While 54.6% of the population thinks the President is willing to work with Parliament, only 36.2% believes that Parliament is interested in working with the President. Along the same lines, on a scale of 1 to 7 the poll shows that Haitians trust the President (5.14) more than Parliament (3.24).
The poll also asked about the long delayed senate and municipal elections. A vast majority (76.9%) is not satisfied with the long electoral delay. At the same time Haitians place equal blame on the government and the opposition for the long delay.
Lastly, the poll identified an increase in concern over the safety situation with 15% stating that this was a problem in comparison to only 7% in May. Concern was also voiced over the numerous protests seen around mainly Port-au-Prince during the past few weeks.
SOURCE Newlink Research