Politics Society & Culture

Well-being poll could hold clues to Maldives presidential election

A well-being poll of Maldivians could give the first indication of how people might vote in presidential elections next year.

A thousand people are being surveyed as part of the Gallup World Poll, which includes the Maldives for the first time, and covers a number of topics such as corruption, governance, job quality and citizen engagement.

Of the thousand Maldivian participants, 38 percent will be from the capital Malé with the remainder polled in other islands. Questions are asked in Dhivehi.

The poll, which has been seen by the Maldives Independent, features sections likely to be of great interest to political parties.

“The National Institutions’ Index reflects residents’ confidence in key institutions prominent in a country’s leadership: the military, judicial system, the national government, and the honesty of elections. It gives insight into the aspects of life for which people hold national institutions responsible.”

Joe Daly, a partner at Gallup, said the poll was funded by the organisation and that while it had government approval to conduct it, there had been no “interface” with Malé.

“Gallup ultimately owns this information, it’s not a client that pays for this questionnaire.”

The political questions became the focus of a World Bank apology last month, with the global institution saying survey staff had been asking things “beyond the scope” of a data gathering exercise about how people save, borrow, make payments and manage risks in the Maldives.

But Gallup told the Maldives Independent that the questions – about national institutions and leadership – were part of its world poll.

“The local survey firm has done everything perfectly,” said Daly. “They didn’t combine the surveys together. They are the same survey but not the same study. We understand there’s sensitivity around it (the presidential elections),” he added, explaining the results from the financial survey would be released by the World Bank and not by Gallup.


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