Most Bosnians support ongoing protests but only half believe they will yield results - poll

By bne IntelliNews February 12, 2014

Most Bosnians support the ongoing protests, taking place mainly in the country's Muslim-Croat Federation against poverty, corruption and the incumbent political elite, a recent survey showed, but if the demonstrations turn violent again the support will likely drop to below 50%, news service Klix.ba reported on Feb 12.

An opinion poll of marketing agency Valicon showed that 88% of the citizens in both Bosnian entities - the Federation and the Serb Republic, are in favour of the protests sparkled by the people's great discontent with their harsh economic and social state. In particular, a total of 93% of the polled in the Federation and 78% in the Republic support the demonstrations.

Still, only half of the survey participants believe they will result in any significant change.

The poll results generally explain the main reasons for the events on the streets across the Federation in the past week. According to it, as much as 90% of the people are unhappy with the society they live in. More than half consider the country "is going into the wrong direction", while a third think it is in a standstill.

The survey also shows that most of its participants (60%) see the protests as a revolt against the general state of affairs in the society. Around 20% consider them as a riot against the governing political parties and 13% characterise them as a riot against all political parties. The number of citizens who describe the protects as an uprising against corruption and bad privatisation is the smallest.

When asked to respond to the statement - "If the violence is the only way towards change, it is better not to change anything." - half of the participants said they do not agree with the statement, while nearly a third said they agree with it. This suggests that in case of new violent outbreaks, the public support will sharply drop.

The survey was conducted among 525 people of 18 to 65 years of age on Feb 10-11.

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