Analysis of IRI’s Survey of Public Opinion 2015

Blog, Op-ed

People of Bangladesh are optimistic about the country’s future. About 62% of the respondents said the country is heading in the right direction against 36% who think otherwise.

Figure 1: Bangladesh is heading in the right direction or in the wrong direction?

As for factors contributing to such optimism, people identify improvement in the education sector as the prime feature rather than development, better economy or improved security. However, overall they are happy with the current economic condition (72% of respondents), security situation (68% of respondents) and political stability (64% of respondents).

Figure 2: Top reasons given for why Bangladesh is on the right track

Figure 3: Current socio-economic and political situation

People of Bangladesh favors democracy – even over economic prosperity. About 68% of the respondents said democracy is more important to them than a prosperous economy. At the same time, about 88% believes that voting gives them a chance to influence decision-making in the country.

Figure 4: Which is more important: a democratic system of government or a prosperous economy?

Over half of the respondents (56%) thinks that youth voices are heard by the politicians of Bangladesh. About 56 percent of women also think the same about women voice. Also, about 81% of surveyed people agree with the statement that “Women are equally represented in political decision-making positions in Bangladesh”. However, respondents were found little tilted towards male leadership at the top national level. About 56% prefers male leadership against 23% who prefers female and 21% to whom it does not matter.

Figure 5: Youth and women representation in politics

People are divided on the necessity of an immediate parliamentary election. About 43% want next election to be held as soon as possible, where as 40% want the next election after the current parliament completes its tenure.

Figure 6: When should the next national elections take place?

People are still doubtful about the prospects of free and fair national elections under political supervision. About 89% of the total respondents and 86% of the respondents who like to see the election as soon as possible want a non-party caretaker government before the next elections. About 50% of the respondents who want the next election after the current parliament expires, also want a non-party caretaker government before the next elections.

Figure 7: A non-party, caretaker government should hold the next parliamentary elections

[Analysis by Md. Ashiq Iqbal, Research Fellow, IID]

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