Nairobi, Kenya – An IRI poll found that the country’s government enjoys the broad support of a majority of Kenyans.  Among respondents to the poll, 67 percent expressed approval of the government’s performance, up 12 points from a poll conducted in June 2006.  In this recent poll, 22 percent disapproved compared to 32 percent who disapproved in June.

The government has improved in nearly every public opinion category measured since IRI released a similar poll in June. A majority of Kenyans are now optimistic about the direction of their country with nearly 60 percent saying Kenya is headed in the right direction.  This is up 13 percentage points from the June poll.

The poll also found Kenyans are still somewhat split on the accomplishments of the ninth parliament with just half (49.6 percent) approving of the parliament’s performance.  Asked about their own member’s performance, respondents were near evenly split, with 44.2 percent indicating approval and 43.6 percent disapproval, representing no significant changes since IRI’s June poll.  A little more than half of voters (55.4 percent) do not believe their member should be re-elected.

Economic issues remained the most important issues government should address according to respondents.  A majority of Kenyans, 59.5 percent, pointed to economic development concerns, as the most important issue.  More Kenyans are convinced that the state of the economy is getting better (49.6 percent).  However, when asked about their own economic situation over the past five years, 69.5 percent, down slightly from June (76.4 percent), responded it had remained the same or gotten worse, indicating that most Kenyans still feel the economic gains have yet to improve their lives.

A majority of respondents (56.8 percent) believed that corruption had increased or remained the same since the 2002 elections, yet a slight majority, 52.1 percent, believes that the government is committed to the fight against corruption.

The nationwide poll was conducted on behalf of IRI by Strategic Public Relations and Research, a survey firm based in Nairobi, Kenya.  From November 3-7, 2006, 3,008 people were interviewed in all regions of Kenya.  The margin of error does not exceed +/- two percent.

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