San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Arias Doing ‘Regular’ Job, Polls Say

A recent poll by Demoscopía for the daily Al Día suggests Costa Ricans continue to view President Oscar Arias as a capable leader, though they give him average marks for his performance since taking office May 8.

Of the 1,200 people polled Aug. 28-Sept. 6, 56.9% said Arias’ performance has been “regular,” with 20.2% calling it “good,” 15.8% “bad” and 7.1% not responding.When asked to rate his term so far on a scale of 1 to10, 85.9% gave him a 5 or above.

Most respondents said Arias is capable, humble and knowledgeable about the reality of the country, “makes decisions” and “thinks big.”

However, 55.1% said he is slow to make decisions; only 43.3% said he tells the truth; and 43.8% said he manages economic resources well.

Respondents were neck and neck when asked whether Arias is following through on his campaign promises: 38.7% said no, while 36.3% said yes. Also, 72.2% said his administration’s agenda is undefined or is still being defined.

Those polled ranked Arias’ trips abroad – to Europe in June, to Colombia in August and to the United States this week – first on a list of aspects of his performance that could be considered negative.

Responding to questions on other topics, 46% said the Legislative Assembly should approve the Central American Free-Trade Pact with the United States (CAFTA), now under discussion (33.8% said it should not); and lack of security ranked top on the list of problems facing the country, with poverty and the high cost of living coming in second and third.


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