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17.11.2008 General News

Kufuor's approval rating hits 70%

By The Statesman

A recently released Primary Research Associates poll shows that nearly 70 percent of Ghanaians think President Kufuor has done well in his tenure as President of the Republic.

28.5% thought the President had done poorly and 5% did not know. However, a smaller percentage, 50.5% said they would vote for Nana Akufo-Addo to succeed President Kufuor. 35.6% preferred Prof John Atta Mills.

The research team, led by Prof Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh and Dr Abeeku Essuman-Johnson, interviewed 3,000 Ghanaians in all 10 regions between October 23-November 2.

The poll showed that President Kufuor's high popularity rating of 69.2% after two terms in office is based on Ghanaians" appreciation of his record of performance.

On the contrary, in America, with about 3 weeks to the November presidential election, President Bush set a record by getting the highest disapproval rating of any US president since polling began some 70 years ago. Bush's rating worsened amid collapsed optimism about the American economy.

But here in Ghana the polls do not reflect any such voter angst. 70.5% of those polled by PRA said President Kufuor's government had done "things important to them.' Only 3 in 10 answered to the contrary.

When asked to name one such thing, 51% mentioned NHIS, 10.8% good roads, 10.3% capitation grant, 6% school feeding, 5.7% mentioned metro mass transit, 5.3% mentioned the NYEP, HIPC projects scored 3% and 1.4% of respondents mentioned markets.

58.5% of interviewees expressed satisfaction 'with the way the Kufuor government has handled the economy.' 36.9% were not satisfied.

 'This finding is in the context of another that the economic situation of close to 4-in-5 (74%) of them would affect their voting decision on December 7,' the pollsters note.

52.1% said their quality of life had improved 'since President Kufuor assumed office'. 42.2% said their lives had not improved, with 4.8% saying they did not know.

The poll shows Ghanaians being very hopeful about the oil prospects and that they trust the NPP better to handle the oil resources.

Only 2.1% saw the oil as a curse for Ghana. An overwhelming 94.3% of those polled saw the 'discovery of oil in commercial quantities' as a blessing for Ghana.

The NPP was seen by 50.3% of Ghanaians as the party 'best prepared to manage the oil to the greatest benefit of the nation'. 34.3% trusted the NDC to manage the oil, CPP (7.6%) and PNC (2%).

Respondents would like to see the oil money spent mainly on creating jobs (33.4%), schools (13%), set up factories (10.9%), roads (10.8%), water (7.7%), health facility (5.4%) and electricity (3.5%), among other things.

On who or what to blame for the higher cost in fuel prices were 'high world prices' (52.3%), 'NPP government' (39.7%) and 'all past governments' (4.1%).

Jobs came up as the most pressing problem, with 37.3% of respondents naming jobs. 12.1% each picked fuel prices and corruption as the most pressing problem. 7.2% opted for poor roads.

The interviews were conducted by post-graduate students, graduate teachers and others.

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