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Iraqis' Approval of Prime Minister Drops Sharply

Iraqis' Approval of Prime Minister Drops Sharply

by Jihad Fakhreddine
Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • Approval rating drops from 72% to 47% in a year
  • Ratings down in all parts of Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The high hopes that Iraqis had for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi when he first took office in 2014 have faded over the past year, according to a recent Gallup survey. Abadi's approval ratings dropped from 72% in late 2014 to 47% in late 2015. In fact, the prime minister's current approval rating is about the same as the 50% rating that his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki received before he was forced to resign in August 2014.

Iraq1 (1)

Abadi took office in late 2014 amid high expectations that his leadership would help bridge the ethnic and sectarian divides in Iraq -- which was particularly important as the Islamic State group was starting to gain control over more territory. Enthusiasm for Abadi at the time was evident across Iraq, specifically among Iraqis in predominantly Sunni governorates and in the Kurdish governorates -- all of whom had historically expressed low support for Maliki and the central government.

The wholesale drop in job approval ratings for Abadi across most, if not all, governorates in Iraq illustrates how Abadi has not lived up to Iraqis' lofty expectations. Approval ratings in Iraqi Kurdistan have dropped to low levels, followed by the Sunni-dominated governorates in mid-north Iraq.

Although Iraq's government can now boast regaining 40% of the territory lost to the Islamic State group a year ago -- the latest being the recapture of Ramadi -- the public continues to be discontent with what it sees as worsening corruption and poor government services. The perception that corruption is widespread in Iraq's government has swollen to 75% from 67% a year ago, with increases evident in nearly all regions.


Bottom Line

Although Gallup did not measure approval ratings of Iraq's prime minister in the context of the recent government reforms that Iraq's cabinet and parliament approved in principle in August, it is evident that the Iraqis are yet to be impressed. As Abadi attempts to navigate the country through the roughest terrains of liberating governorates one at a time, many of Iraqis' hopes remain unfulfilled.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,009 Iraqi adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in October 2015. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Regional findings are derived by grouping Iraq's provinces into the following regions:

Baghdad: Baghdad

Sunni Heartland: Anbar, Kirkuk, Diyala, Ninawa, Salah ad-Din

Mid-Euphrates: Najaf, Babil, Wasit, Qadisiyyah, Karbala

South: Basra, Dhi Qar, Maysan, Muthanna

Kurdistan: Sulaymaniyah, Arbil, Duhok, Halabja

For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set Details.

Learn more about how the Gallup World Poll works.

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