National

At 70% approval, SBY slides
from his apex

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono’s popularity has declined
by 15 percent due to the Bank Century bailout, a survey showed on the 99th day the pair were in office.

The Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) publicized Wednesday its January study revealing that Yudhoyono’s performance had satisfied 70 percent of respondents.

It dropped from 85 percent, Yudhoyono’s highest popularity rating according to LSI since 2004, gained in July 2009 shortly after he won the presidential election to serve his second term in office.

The same study showed that, in January, Boediono gained approval from only 51 percent of respondents.

Yudhoyono’s declining popularity trend has occurred since November last year when only 75 percent of respondents remained satisfied with the President.

LSI found that most respondents who expressed disappointment with Yudhoyono-Boediono’s performance were highly educated.

Another polling body, Indobarometer, gave Yudhoyono an approval rating of 75 percent in January, representing a 15 percent drop from its August 2009 survey.

LSI executive director Dodi Ambardi said the Bank Century case was among factors triggering the drop of Yudhoyono’s popularity.

Of all respondents surveyed by LSI, 42 percent said they had followed Century-related news, the rest said otherwise.

“As much as 74 percent of respondents who had not followed the Century case expressed approval of Yudhoyono’s performance.

“Of respondents who had followed Century-related stories, only 64 percent approved Yudhoyono’s performance. The Century saga has had a negative impact on Yudhoyono’s popularity,” Dodi said.

LSI also found that, of the Century-saga-follower respondents, 66.2 percent believed that the bailout was a misappropriation.

In law enforcement, only 37 percent of respondents approved Yudhoyono’s performance. Thirty-two percent of respondents were dissatisfied with country’s law enforcement rating under Yudhoyono’s administration.

The law enforcement rating on January hit the lowest level since the LSI conducted the survey for the first time in Sept. 2005.

Hayono Isman, a lawmaker from Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, said that the LSI’s study was a “warning signal” for Yudhoyono.

“This is a wake-up call. The LSI’s survey shows that Yudhoyono’s popularity dropped by 5 percent in only two months,” he said.

Golkar Party politician Jeffrie Geovanie, however, said that 70 percent was good.

A legislator from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Gandjar Pranowo, said the study had resulted in figures that were, “too good for Yudhoyono”.

The chairman of House’s Commission III on law and human rights, Benny Kabur Harman, said that the popularity rating was not important. “The President works to serve the public, not gain a popularity rating,” he said.

In its study, the LSI also interviewed respondents about their opinions on state agencies, including the President, judiciary institutions and political parties.

The survey, conducted from Jan. 7 to 20, involved 2,900 adult respondents across the country. Dodi claimed that the survey was funded by a politics-free foundation called the Indonesian Democracy Development Foundation (YPDI). (bbs)

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