Sept. 20, 2010, 8:58 a.m.
The International Republican Institute (IRI) has released the findings and analysis from their most recent survey in Iraq. The poll asks Iraqis about their perceptions of the country's direction, the current political stalemate, as well as their opinions on key institutions. One of the most striking features is the importance of basic services as an issue for most Iraqis; the issue has moved ahead of security as the number one concern for many citizens.
The June 2010 poll showed a distinct shift from December 2009 on the single biggest problem facing Iraq as a whole. The latest figures for this are: Basic services such as water and electricity, 69 percent; security, 20 percent; and unemployment, nine percent. The top two were reversed in December 2009: security, 43 percent; and basic services, 23 percent. Security is cited in June 2010 as one of the top three concerns by 59 percent, behind basic services at 74 percent. In the December 2009 poll, the economy and security were virtually tied as top three issues with Iraq voters. When asked to name the top three issues they wanted the prime minister and the Council of Representatives to focus on, 76 percent cited economy-related issues as one of their top three choices and 72 percent cited security. However, a majority of Iraqis agreed that security has improved in the country (81 percent better – 18 percent worse). Voters were less sure about the economy, with 40 percent rating the economy positively and 57 percent rating it negatively.