MORE than half of 1,217 people questioned in a recent private survey said they believed
that there will be free, fair and credible elections, according to the survey organizers.
In response to three possible answers offered to them, 53.9% replied "yes",
25.2% said "not really" and 20.9% had "no opinion".
The survey - of 503 people in Phnom Penh and 714 in the provinces - was the first
conducted by IFRASSORC, which describes itself as a Paris-based Institute of Statistics.
The group is believed to be at least loosely connected with Sam Rainsy's Khmer Nation
According to an IFRASSORC press release issued through KNP, 73% of respondents said
they intended to vote on election day. A further 23.2% said they had yet to decide,
and 3.8% ticked the "no opinion" box.
To the question "In your opinion, will there be any political change after the
elections?", 15.4% responded "Yes, there will be a big change", 21.9%
believed there would be some change, and the biggest proportion - 44.3% - said they
had no opinion.
Asked "Do you want the 1998 elections to be organized by Cambodians alone, or
do you want them to be monitored and/or supervised by representatives from the international
community?", 22.1% said by Cambodians alone, 68.5% wanted international involvement
and 9.4% had no opinion.
According to IFRASSORC, the survey of 935 men and 282 women was conducted Jan 23-27.
Opinion polls have long been a sensitive issue for the government, which has in the
past allegedly pressured other organizations who conducted them to stop the work.