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PM’s approval rating increases

Monday, August 11 2014

PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s approval rating has risen in the last month, so too has Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley’s rating, according to a poll conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA).

The Prime Minister’s rise in numbers in the approval rating has been attributed to the lowering of food prices and resignation of Anil Roberts as Minister of Sports.

However, the People’s Partnership Government’s approval rating has not seen any upward trend with voters expressing strong dislike for several members of Persad-Bissessar’s Cabinet who they would like to be removed, NACTA said.

Although Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley has seen his approval rating going up slightly, in a statistical tie with Persad-Bissessar’s, voters were critical of his supporting the pension bill that would have given generous increases to retired M.Ps, senators, ministers and judges.

The findings of the poll were obtained from interviews with 430 respondents (41 percent Indians, 38 percent Africans, 20 percent mixed, and one percent others).

The poll, conducted by Dr. Vishnu Bisram, has a four percent margin of error and did not reflect views related to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to be debated in Parliament today.

NACTA said it was currently in “the field” to determine people’s views on the proposed Constitutional amendments with general trends showing strong approval for Prime Ministerial term limits and the right to recall, but voters are lukewarm towards the idea of the majority election of MPs.

According to the recently conducted poll, the approval rating of the Government was down to 35 percent with a disapproval rating of 48 percent and 17 percent not offering a response.

The recent Life Sport scandal and the proposed pension increase bill, among other negatives, have hurt the rating of the Government, NACTA said.

Voters overwhelmingly supported the PM’s recent subsidy on flour and oil by 87 percent, in celebration of Eid and Emancipation holidays, and the revocation of the appointment of Anil Roberts as Sports Minister by 85 percent.

“Both actions as well as the general reduction in the price of vegetables (attributed to the food policy of the Ministry of Agriculture) have yielded positive benefits to the PM boosting her approval rating to 50 percent,” NACTA said.

“Persad-Bissessar’s disapproval rating is at 36 percent with 14 percent not giving her a rating. Dr. Rowley’s performance as Opposition Leader is just below the Prime Minister’s at 48 percent with 39 percent disapproving and 13 percent not offering a rating.

“His recent position on the proposed pensions bill and comments made by Senator Camille Robinson-Regis in the Senate have stagnated the popular wave the PNM was riding over the last year,” NACTA said.

The poll reveals that only a small number of ministers have the favourability of the population with Vasant Bharath at the head of the pack, followed by Fazal Karim, Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, Dr Roodal Moonilal, Devant Maharaj, Prakash Ramadhar, Suruj Rambachan, Errol McLeod and . Lincoln Douglas.

The findings on the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill will be released in a subsequent report.

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