Iraqi Center for Strategic Research and Studies

It also discovered that 54 percent of Iraqis consider that the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime by the US-led coalition was a worthwhile effort despite the hardships they endure now. A total of 3,000 Iraqi adults in seven major towns – Baghdad, Babel, Basra, Sulaimaniya, Mosul, Diyala and Ramadi were questioned following the transfer of sovereignty to the new interim government on July 1.

However, more than two thirds (81 percent) said they would like Allawi’s government to disarm local militias or bring them under its control. But more than half believed that the forthcoming general elections would be “just and fair� while only 18 percent said they would be “unfair.� But 58 percent said the overall economic situation was better than before.

Restricting the authority of the current interim government was favored by 72 percent of Iraqis but 78 percent agreed to give the government the right to ask the foreign troops to leave. There was mixed reaction to proposals regarding the authority of the president with 42.7 percent approving limited powers, 41.5 unrestricted authority and the rest saying that the presidency should be only ceremonial.

The poll, published in several local newspapers including the country’s most influential Azzaman, makes disturbing reading for Arabic satellite channels which had captivated Iraqi viewers who had their first access to satellite dishes immediately after the fall of the former regime.

The Iraqi Center for Strategic Research and Studies has been measuring Iraqi public opinion on civil rights, democracy, security situation, presence of foreign troops, political parties and media.


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