Guyana was better off under the governance of the PPP (prior to change in government in May 2015) than under the present APNU+AFC coalition administration -- economy was better managed, standard of living was much better, crime and corruption were less, and democracy was more secured than what obtains now under political uncertainty. This is one of several opinions obtained from an opinion survey of adults conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) in late February.
A large majority of the population tells NACTA interviewers that they are dissatisfied with how the country has been governed since the coalition was installed in office in May 2015. They also gave a low performance rating to the President and Prime Minister with the Opposition Leader receiving a much higher rating. Bharrat Jagdeo remains by far the most popular politician in the country. Voters are still enamored with Jagdeo even though he can’t run for the Presidency. The poll’s findings reveal that crime remains a major challenge facing the country. But people are also worried about their financial future, declining economy, threat to democracy, racial and political victimization, corruption, failure to adhere to the constitution on the no confidence vote, and the holding of free and fair elections. Voters complained that Gecom has not been carrying put its constitutional mandate to prepare for elections. And they also said that they have limited confidence in Gecom holding free and fair elections.
If an election were to be held soon, PPP will emerge victorious.
The late February opinion poll used the intercept contact method. The survey interviewed 502 potential voters (41% Indians, 30% Africans, 18% Mixed, 10% Amerindians, 1% others) at random to represent the demographics of the population. The poll has a margin of error of 4%. They survey was conducted by Dr. Vishnu Bisram who has been conducting surveys in Guyana for almost thirty years.
Photo : Dr. Vishnu Bisram
Based on the responses of those interviewed, almost everyone is worried about rising crime, corruption, political situation arising out of last December 21 no confidence motion, inflation, declining standard of living, and the country’s political and economic future. People are not confident about their financial future even with oil production on the horizon. Almost everyone said they do not think they will benefit from oil revenues; they do not thrust politicians with past broken promises. People also complain about unwillingness of the present government to follow the constitution, increasing racism, handling of the economy, and what they perceive as creeping authoritarianism.
Asked if they are better off (or worse off) today than they were in 2015 (or prior to that) when the PPP was in office, 71% said they are “worse off”, 18% said they “better off”, and 11% offer no response.
Asked if they are satisfied with the job the government has been doing, 65% said no, 21% said yes and 14% offered no response.
Asked if they approve of the job the President (David Granger) is doing, 38% said yes with 55% disapproving and 7% not providing a rating. The Prime Minister (Moses Nagamootoo) has a job approval rating of 37% with a disapproval rating of 57% with 6% offering no rating. The Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has an approval rating of 63% and a disapproval of 24% with 13% offering no rating.
Asked if they feel the Guyana Election Commission (Gecom) has been carrying out its constitutional mandate to prepare for elections, 67% said no, 15% said yes and 18% offered no response. Asked if they think there is political interference of Gecom’s work by the coalition government, 65% said yes, 21% said no, and 14% not sure. Asked if they support shared governance between PNC and PPP and other political forces, 73% said yes, 11% said no and 16% no response.
Voters feel that if elections were held soon, the PPP will win. However, they do not think APNU+AFC will hold elections soon fearing defeat.