eesti keeles

Press Releases
Open in print mode

Public opinion survey to assess the activities of the President has been completed

Today, in the Ice Cellar of the Kadriorg Palace, sociologist Juhan Kivirähk presented to the press the results of a public opinion survey on the activities of the President of the Republic during his term of office.

The survey revealed that the confidence rating of President Rüütel has remained continuously high regardless of the frequent political attacks of last months. Turu-uuringute AS has regularly monitored the confidence rating of the Head of State during his current term of office, and in May 2006, 76 percent of respondents had confidence in the President of the Republic.

Assessment given to the President’s ability to fulfil his official duties was on the same level with the assessment given to President Meri in the course of a similar survey conducted six years ago – respectively 71 percent and 72 percent of respondents assessed it either as good or very good. Differences can be seen when comparing responses given by various clearly defined groups - the fact that has been revealed also in some previous surveys found confirmation - that the support for President Rüütel is more evenly spread, embracing both young and old, urban and rural people, and Estonians as well as non-Estonians.

President Rüütel’s former Communist Party membership that had earlier been reproached in public discussions was considered to be not so condemnable, only 1 percent of respondents considered that circumstance as negative. Over 40 percent of respondents thought that even if a person had once been a member of the Communist Party or had worked within the Soviet apparatus, their becoming the President mainly depends of the person themselves.

When comparing different areas of activities, President Rüütel deserved most positive responses for his role in enhancement of public health and promotion of physical exercises. The Head of State has repeatedly pointed out the fact that poor health status of Estonian population among other things also hinders the economic growth of the state; this opinion has been confirmed by an analysis that was recently made in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the World Health Organisation and PRAXIS Centre for Policy Studies.

More than two-thirds of respondents gave a positive assessment to the role of President Rüütel in the campaign of home beautifying and in protection of Estonian national values, and also in safeguarding our statehood and constitution, in promotion of environmental awareness, safeguarding ethical values, facilitating regional development and Estonia’s accession to the European Union and NATO.

Comparing the results of the survey conducted in 2000 and the current survey, we can see that more than half of respondents still think that the President should be elected directly by people. It is wished that the President played an active and strong role in the society – according to the opinion of more than 70 percent of respondents if necessary the President should actively intervene in everyday politics and have more than a representative role in international relations. 59 percent of respondents thought that there is no need to change the role of the President, 34 percent thought that the role of the President should be expanded (six years ago: 52 percent and 19 percent respectively).

Over the last six years the opinion of the public that the Head of State should have more authority has increased: in domestic politics (increase from 20 percent to 41 percent), in foreign affairs (increase from 19 percent to 35 percent) and in national defence affairs (increase from 12 percent to 25 percent). The fact that there were ten times less respondents who could not express their opinion shows a significant improvement in civic awareness.

Turu-uuringute AS conducted the survey at the request of the Office of the President of the Republic in May 2006 as a part of an Omnibus 1000 survey. The aim of the survey was to find out how the citizens of Estonia assess the activities of President Rüütel in different fields and to find out what the public perceives as the role of the President in our society. The sample comprising of 1000 respondents was gathered using a territorial model that was based on the information received from population statistics database of the Statistical Office of Estonia. In 2000, a similar survey had been ordered by the Office of the President on the activities of President Meri.

A summary of the survey’s results compiled by sociologist Juhan Kivirähk is available in the Internet

Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, June 6, 2006

© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l