People of Adygea want Sovmen and are dissatisfied with federal center

PRAGUE. On 19-24 October 2006 Caucasus Times conducted public opinion poll among 400 residents of the capital of the Republic of Adygea Maikop in the age category 16 – 65 years old (in total, 209 females and 191 males have been polled). Representatives of local intelligentsia, students, employees, workers, pensioneers as well as as representatives of different ethnic groups living in Adygea (including Adygeans, Russians, Greeks, Tatars, Armenians, Ossetians etc.) were among those who participated in the public opinion poll.

Results of the opinion poll in Maikop demonstrated the dominance of cautious optimism in the local society about social and economic situation of the republic as well as rather positive attitudes of the majority of respondents of Maikop towards present republican leadership headed by the President Khazret Sovmen. Attitudes of the population towards the policy of the federal center in the North Caucasus region proved to be a bit more critical.

Thus, 38% of those polled rated Khazret Sovmen’s presidency in the “positive” range; 21% – in “rather positive” range and only 13% estimated his presidency “negatively” and 16% – “rather negatively”. 12% of respondents found it hard to provide clear answer to this question. In total, number of all those who estimated Sovmen’s activities positively or rather positively equals to 59% while number of respondents who gave critical assessment of his presidency is 29%. It seems that such favorable attitudes of the majority of respondents towards current Adygean President mostly stems from certain positive changes in social and economic sphere which have been reached in Adygea during his term in office. Thus, many respondents explaining their positive attitudes towards Sovmen, noticed “stability”, “order” and “certain improvements in real life” as well as “support to veterans and old people”, which they tended to connect with the policy of current Adygean President.

High appreciation of Khazret Sovmen’s presidency manifested itself in respondents’ answers to a question on whom they would vote for if they have a chance to elect President of Adygea in the regular elections. 40% of respondents declared their readiness to vote for the present Adygean President Sovmen, which became an indisputable leader in the ratings of presidential candidates thus leaving far behind all other potential presidential candidates. Providing explanation of their decision to vote for Sovmen, some respondents indicated that “they trust Sovmen much more than any other person” and that Sovmen “should complete those positive changes in the economic sphere he initiated”. 16% of respondents would like to see Rector of Maikop Technological University Aslan Tkhakushinov in the capacity of the future Adygean President. 11% of respondents would prefer former Head of Krasnogvardeiski district of Adygea Murat Kudaev as President of Adygea. (Hazret Sovmen wanted to see Head of Kranogvardeiski district of Adygea Murat Kudaev as his successor in presidential office, but Kudaev was shot dead just few days before Kozak’s visit to Adygea).

8% of respondents were in favor of Nina Konovalova, Head of Slavs of Adygea; 5% preferred lieutenant-general of Air Forces Aiteg Bizhev; 4% – former Speaker of Adygean State Council Mukharbii Tkharkakhov and 1% – current speaker of Adygean Parliament Ruslan Khadzhibiekov. 15% of all respondents reported their unwillingness to participate in the elections or expressed their intention to vote against all.

24% of those polled gave positive evaluation of the policy conducted by the federal center in the North Caucasus region. 15% of respondents evaluated this policy “rather positively”. In the meantime, 19% expressed their negative attitudes towards the policy of Moscow in the region and 14% evaluated this policy “rather negatively”. In total, 39% had positive or rather positive attitudes towards federal center’s policy while 33% expressed negative or rather negative attitudes. It is worth of noting that considerable number of respondents (28%) reported difficulties in answering this question. Some of those positively minded respondents explained their positive evaluation of federal center by the fact that current federal policy “maintains stability in the region”. On the other hand, critically minded respondents explained their negative evaluation of Kremlin by what they perceived as “lack of necessary attention to the regions” from Moscow.
Media preferences of respondents in Adygea

Overwhelming majority of respondents in Maikop (80%) indicated television as their main source of information about current events. 5% indicated international TV as their major source of information. At the same time, only 61% consider television a trustworthy source of information. 9% of respondents expressed their confidence in international TV.

Russian ORT proved to be the most popular TV channel among respondents in Maikop. 37% reported using ORT as their main source of information about current events. RTR (32%) and NTV (31%) were also among the most popular TV channels. Local TV channels including Maikop TV (25%) and Vesti Adygei (15%) were also quite popular among Maikop residents as sources of information. Euronews (2%) and NTV+ were mentioned by respondents as main international TV channels they use as sources of information.

Contacts with relatives and friends proved to be the second most popular source of information after television. 33% of those polled indicated communication with relatives and friends as their most important information source. However, only 25% said they trust this source of information.

12% of respondents use newspapers and 11% use Internet as their main sources of information about current events. 14% tend to trust newspapers and 10% trust Internet as information sources. It should be noted that Internet left radio behind as a source of information. Such local newspapers as “Sovetskaya Adygea” (7%), “Maikopskie novosti” (4%) and “Zakubanje” (2%) proved to be the most popular among the local print media. “Komsomolskaya pravda” (3%) and “Izvestiya” (2%) were the most popular among federal press.

Among the most popular web sites respondents indicated Yandex (3%), Mail.ru (3%), Rambler (3%), Regnum (2%), Caucasus Times (1%), Periodicals.ru (1%), Akipro.ru (1%) and Kavkazskii Uzel (1%).

Only 9% of those polled indicated that they use radio as their main source of information. At the same time, 11% tend to trust those news and information they receive from the radio. Only 3% of respondents mentioned international radio as their main information source but nobody said they feel confident about information they get from international radio. Among the most popular radio stations in Maikop were Russkoe Radio (8%), Radio Adygea (6%) and Maikopskoe Radio (3%).

Islam Tekushev, Caucasus Times, Prague

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