Sunday, March 18, 2007

Despite violence only 26% preferred life under Saddam

One in four (26%) Iraqi adults have had a family relative murdered in the last three years, while 23% of those living in Baghdad have had a family/relative kidnapped in the last three years.

These are the findings released today from the largest poll into Iraqi opinion ever to be published. Carried out by UK polling firm O.R.B., which has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005, the poll shows that despite the horrendous personal security problems only 26% of the country preferred life under the previous regime of Saddam Hussein, with 49% preferring life under the current political regime of Noori al-Maliki. As one may expect, it is the Sunnis who are most likely to back the previous regime (51%) with the Shias (66%) preferring the current administration.

Carried out amongst a nationally representative sample of 5,019 Iraqi adults aged 18yrs+ and coming just days before the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the poll reveals that despite the rising number of civilian deaths each month as a result of militia activity, only 27% would concede that their country is actually in a state of civil war. Opinion here is clearly divided, as 22% feel “we are close to a state of civil war but not yet in one” while 18% argue that the country is “still some way from civil war”.

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