(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Over half of Jordanians have faith in Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh to manage the various crises currently facing the Kingdom, according to a poll released on Monday, which revealed that more citizens believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.
A poll released by the University of Jordan's Centre of Strategic Studies (CSS) revealed that 56 per cent of Jordanians have confidence in Tarawneh to fulfil his mandate, namely the passage of political reform laws and improving citizens' living conditions.
The results of the poll, carried out within two weeks of the premier's designation, mark a drop from 63 per cent in Tarawneh's predecessor, Awn Khasawneh, and a 71 per cent confidence level during Tarawneh's first go-around as premier in 1999.
While the majority of Jordanians have faith in the current government, citizens are less than optimistic of the country's future, according to the poll, which revealed that half of Jordanians believe the country is heading in the right direction, a drop from 63 per cent in February of this year.
More Jordanians believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, the study revealed, with 39 per cent expressing concern over the Kingdom's future, a spike from 27 per cent three months ago.
Of citizens that believe the country is heading in the right direction, nearly half, 46 per cent, cited a feeling of security and stability as the main factor behind their positive outlook, while 34 per cent stated the state's commitment to implementing reform.
In contrast, 36 per cent cited a worsening economy as the main reason behind their negative outlook, while 28 per cent cited corruption and lack of efforts to curb abuse of public post behind their pessimism.
Opinion leaders cited the state's genuine commitment to reform as the main factor behind their optimism over the country's direction, while 14 per cent stated the new government's ability to manage the transition period ahead of parliamentary elections.
Approximately 37 per cent of opinion leaders stated a lack of confidence in the government to implement reform as the main reason behind their pessimistic outlook, while 11 per cent stated concern over the qualifications of the recently formed Cabinet.
That a vast majority of Jordanians - some 72 per cent - favour the dissolution of Parliament after the passage of the elections law and the holding of early elections by the end of the year, a sentiment shared by 86 per cent of opinion leaders.
Citizens and decision makers share gloomy economic outlooks, according to the study, with 27 per cent of citizens believing the Kingdom's economic situation will turn around in the next six months, compared to 11 per cent of opinion leaders.
In contrast, 39 per cent of citizens believe the economic situation will remain the same over the next six months, while 32 per cent believe economic conditions will worsen by the end of the year.
Nearly half of opinion leaders, some 49 per cent, expect an economic downturn over the next six months while 38 per cent expect little change from the current economic climate.
The Kingdom's economic situation topped citizens' concerns, the poll revealed, with 75 per cent stating economic issues as the greatest challenges facing the Kingdom.
One-fourth, 25 per cent, of citizens cited unemployment as the greatest challenge facing the Kingdom, followed by rising prices (24 per cent) and the overall economic climate (12 per cent). Approximately 12 per cent of respondents cited administrative corruption as the greatest challenge facing the country.
Approximately 48 per cent of opinion leaders stated overall economic conditions as the greatest obstacle facing Jordanians, followed by corruption at 12 per cent.
The poll, carried out between May 7 and May 12, relied on a sample of 1,930 citizens distributed proportionally across the governorates and 700 decision makers with a 2.5 per cent margin of error, according to the CSS.