Tunisians want their government to focus on employment, economic development and security, according to a new poll by The International Republican Institute. They are losing confidence in the transition process. Some 77 percent of respondents said Tunisia is moving in the wrong direction. About 86 percent of Tunisians would rather ratify the new constitution through a national referendum, instead of the current process of ratification by the National Constituent Assembly. The following are excerpts from the poll results and analysis, with links to the full reports at the end.


            The survey finds increasingly negative trends in public opinion and eroding confidence in the current transition. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, an increase of 10 points over IRI’s previous survey and the highest level of dissatisfaction that IRI has measured since it began polling in Tunisia. Economic progress is the major concern behind this trend. When asked to cite their first, second and third priorities for the current government, 43 percent chose employment first, and 77 percent mentioned it as either their first, second or third choice. Related issues, including development and reform of the economy and living standards, were the second and fourth highest priorities, respectively.

            In addition to economic issues, security is another area where citizens look for solutions from the government. Though perceptions of security gradually improved throughout 2012, in the current survey it has reemerged as a concern, with 45 percent of respondents saying it should be a top priority for the government, second only to economic issues. Similarly, 50 percent of respondents said that security is one of the three most important problems facing Tunisia as a whole, though only nine percent said it was the most important outright. Security-related issues such as strikes, violence and terrorism were mentioned by a total of 21 percent, 14 percent and seven percent of respondents respectively.  

Click here for the full results.

Click here for IRI’s analysis.