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Taken Questions
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 27, 2003
Question Taken at the October 27, 2003 Daily Press Briefing

Iraq: Political Survey in Iraq

2003/1093 

Question:   What does the Department of State survey on the Coalition Provisional Authority's website reflect about the Iraqi ideas on their future government? Who conducted the survey and why?

Answer:   The survey was conducted by the staff of the State Department Office of Research, in coordination with the Iraq Central Statistics Office and the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies (ICRSS). Fieldwork was done between August 18 and September 4, 2003, in the cities of Baghdad, Basrah, Najaf, Fallujah, Ramadi, Sulaymaniyah, and Irbil.

According to the data, Iraqis overwhelmingly agree on the importance of free and fair elections (87% very important, 8% somewhat important), that people should abide by the law and that criminals should be punished (90% very important, 4% somewhat important), that groups should share power in government (89% important for ethnic groups, 87% important for religious groups), that Iraqis should have the right to criticize their government (86% very or somewhat important), that media should report without government censorship (78%), and that there should be equal rights for women (50% very important, 21% somewhat important).

According to the data, Iraqis have different views on the role of religion in the state and the role of religious leaders in politics, with some telling survey researchers that they preferred a Western-style democracy, others favoring an Islamic state, and others favoring a unique blend of Islam and democracy. Even those favoring an Islamic state, however, favored free and fair elections (95% very or somewhat important), the rule of law (94%), the right to criticize the government (87%), and that different groups should share power (87%).

The constitutional process that the Iraqi people are now engaged in will give them the opportunity to apply principles of democracy to the future of Iraq.

Released on October 28, 2003

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