Survey conducted by French Opinion Way Research Institute in Azerbaijan this March confirmed that President Ilham Aliyev continues to enjoy high confidence of voters
The French Opinion Way Research Institute has conducted an extensive survey in all regions of Azerbaijan, excluding Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, in order to learn the attitude of the country’s population towards the current socio-political situation in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the course of reforms conducted by President Ilham Aliyev over the past year, and, in general, domestic and foreign policy of the Azerbaijani government.
The survey results were announced by Director General of the Opinion Way Research Institute Bruno Jeanbart on April 9 at a press conference held at the International Media Center.
According to the survey results, 80.1 percent of respondents described the maintenance of the current socio-political and socio-economic stability in the country as the most successful outcome of President Ilham Aliyev’s activity. According to respondents, despite numerous negative global and regional processes, Azerbaijan has maintained its dynamic socio-economic development in the conditions of socio-political stability over the past year, all necessary steps have been taken to ensure peace and prosperity of the people, and consistent measures have been taken for the well-being of the population. Ethnic, religious, socio-political stability prevailed, there have been no serious cases causing public concern in the country. All these factors ensured high recognition of the internal situation in the country and the activities of the Azerbaijani President. That is why asked “How do you evaluate work done by President Ilham Aliyev over the past year?”, 85.1 percent of respondents generally answered “positive”. Only 6.8 percent of them answered “negative”, while 8.1 percent said “I do not know”.
Answering Opinion Way’s question “How do you assess socio-economic activity in Azerbaijan and the reforms conducted by President Ilham Aliyev in this area last year?”, 90.5 percent of respondents in general gave a positive response, including 64 percent said they were “fully satisfied” with the government’s activity in this regard, 26.5 percent said they were “mainly satisfied”, while only 6.0 percent said they were “not satisfied”, and 3.5 percent said “I don’t know”.
This answer by respondents coincides with the assessments of experts of different levels. The point is that the majority of international organizations and leading financial institutions follow with great interest the socio-economic processes and reforms in Azerbaijan over the past year and characterize them as very positive. Azerbaijan is now ranked 25th globally in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. Leading international rating agencies highly appreciate the socio-economic and financial situation in Azerbaijan. The population`s approval of President Ilham Aliyev’s socio-economic policy, which reflects interests of the Azerbaijani people, should therefore be considered as absolutely natural.
75.6 percent of respondents positively answered Opinion Way’s question on the assessment of President Ilham Aliyev’s fulfillment of his pre-election promises. Only 5.8 percent of respondents said that the promises were not fulfilled and 4.2 percent said they had difficulties in responding.
Sociologists explain this result by the fact that the Azerbaijani President is always in direct contact with his people and that his words always matched his actions. As these promises were firmly fulfilled, Azerbaijan has ensured its dynamic development, implemented major transnational energy and transport projects, joined the ranks of a handful of space states on the planet, and substantial achievements were made in the development of various sectors of the country’s economy over the last 16 years. The population`s well-being steadily improved and a large social package covering 3 million people has been launched in the country. In any matter of concern to the society, the President showed solidarity with the people and took immediate measures to address the issues raised.
Human resource reforms conducted by President Ilham Aliyev were also highly appreciated by citizens participating in the survey. Answering questions in this regard, 78.8 percent of respondents directly expressed their positive opinion on the human resource policy conducted in the country, 43.3 percent of expressed their full satisfaction with the changes in this field, and 35.5 percent said they were mainly satisfied.
According to experts, the structural and human resource reforms implemented by President Ilham Aliyev over the past year have been a serious step towards addressing the issues of the improvement of the efficiency of public administration and its transparency, elimination of the negative cases of concern to society, formation of professional human resource base, and promotion of worthy candidates to important positions. It is not a coincidence that all the recent surveys have highly appreciated the measures taken to improve public administration in Azerbaijan.
According to results of the survey, anti-corruption measures taken by President Ilham Aliyev over the past year have also been praised by the society. 75.6 percent of respondents hailed the measures taken to eliminate corruption as effective and satisfactory.
Again experts explain this by the fact that President Ilham Aliyev recently declared the fight against corruption and bribery as one of the priorities of the state policy, and systemic, administrative and institutional measures have been implemented in the country. Created on his direct initiative, “Asan Xidmət” model is now recognized and implemented worldwide as an effective and innovative mechanism in the fight against corruption. In addition, purposeful measures in tax, customs, social and other governance areas have ensured an increase in transparency, state budget revenues, and allowed to address other key issues.
Asked “Did regions develop as a result of the implementation of the program on the socio-economic development of regions adopted by Ilham Aliyev and as a result of the government`s activities in regions?”, 93.1 percent of respondents answered “yes”, while 72.3 percent described the government’s activities in this direction as positive, and 20.8 percent as “mainly positive”.
Apparently, such a high result can be explained by the fact that the third State Program on the socio-economic development of regions was successfully completed last year, the five-year program was implemented to the excess. As a result of the implementation of the three programs, infrastructure in regions was rebuilt to modern standards, thousands of production facilities, more than two million new jobs were created and great strides were made in major development of separate fields, including the non-oil sector. The fourth State Program on the socio-economic development of regions was adopted this year and its implementation started.
President Ilham Aliyev`s special attention to the development of regions is also appreciated by citizens. 90.4 percent of respondents described usefulness of the President`s numerous visits to regions as “positive”, while 48.9 percent described these visits as “very high”, 27.5 percent as “mainly high” and 14 percent as “partly positive”.
The point is that in 16 years of his presidency, President Ilham Aliyev has focused on the socio-economic development of regions. Last year alone he paid 24 visits to regions of Azerbaijan, and maintained direct contact with citizens. The President signed numerous orders on the improvement of the socio-economic situation of regions as well as on infrastructure projects. In addition, the head of state`s on-site meetings with local residents, familiarization with problems, their solution in a short span of time and other issues are the factors that conditioned the results of this survey.
The results of the survey relating to President Ilham Aliyev`s foreign policy also reflected the positive stance of the population: 89.9 percent of respondents positively answered this question, with 73.9 percent of them responding “excellent”, 16.0 percent describing as “satisfactory”, 2.4 percent as “bad” and 7.7 percent saying “I don’t know exactly”.
According to experts, President Ilham Aliyev`s foreign policy was always characterized by its dynamism, intensity and purposefulness and was centered on national interests. This transformed Azerbaijan into the center of economic, political and humanitarian projects of regional and global significance and the initiator of many important cooperation formats. Currently, the number of allies and partners of the country is growing day by day and Azerbaijan is strengthening its image of a reliable partner on the global scale. The country`s internationally implemented foreign policy strategy, which is centered on the principles of equality and mutual interests, was characterized as a model that is appreciated by experts.
Respondents` answers in the Opinion Way survey reaffirm that the Azerbaijani society places great confidence in President Ilham Aliyev. Generalized average results show that if the presidential elections were held again today, Ilham Aliyev could gain 83-85 percent of votes, absolute majority of the country`s electors.