Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes completed his first year in office today. Recent public opinion polls show that citizens of the country are generally pleased with their first president from a left wing party.
The Public Opinion Institute at the University of Central America polled more than 1200 Salvadorans in May and released their results here. Among the highlights:
- Citizens give Funes a rating of 6.78 on a 10 point scale, down from 7.16 in August 2009.
- 57.8% say Funes is doing a good job, while only 17.5% think he is doing a bad job.
- 58.3% have seen positive changes in the country under Funes, while 41.7% said they had not seen an improvement
When asked about Funes' biggest achievement, more than 40% of respondents cited his program to provide free uniforms, shoes, and school supplies to school children throughout the country. Nothing else came close in the poll.
The failure to combat the crime problem was cited by 26.7% of those polled as Funes' greatest failure, with economic issues being cited as well by 10%.
53% answer that President Funes has control over governmental decisions, while 36.8% believe he is being manipulated by other sectors. When this latter group is asked to state who is manipulating Funes, 20.3% indicate the left-wing FMLN, while 19.2% indicate he is being manipulated by right-wing ARENA and 14.2% point to the rich and powerful in the country.
These IUDOP poll results are very similar to the findings of a new public opinion poll released by La Prensa Grafica. You can read the LPG poll results here.
I would be remiss if I did not point out that Tony Saca, Funes' predecessor, enjoyed similar approval ratings at this point in his administration.