Obama inspires most confidence among all world leaders: Poll

Washington, June 30: US President Barack Obama inspires the most confidence as compared to any other contemporary political leader in the world, according to a new poll by an international public opinion network.

Sixty-One percent of respondents in some 20 countries have expressed confidence that Obama would ‘do the right thing regarding world affairs’, showed the poll conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a global network working on public opinion on international issues.

Among the least trusted leaders, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin top the list with almost 50 percent of respondents saying they have little or no confidence that the two leaders would ‘do the right thing regarding world affairs’.

A year ago, former US president George W. Bush was one of the least trusted leaders in the world.

The Washington-based organisation conducted the poll of 19,224 respondents in nations that comprise 62 percent of the world’s population. This includes most of the largest nations such as China, India, the US, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia. The poll was also conducted in Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and South Korea.

The survey was conducted between April 4 and June 12, 2009, prior to Obama’s speech in Cairo but subsequent to his Ankara speech.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon received the second-highest rating behind Obama. About 40 percent respondents and 11 nations expressed confidence in him. While he was trusted the most in Asia and Africa, people in the US and some nations in the Middle East thought Ban was not quite a trusted world leader.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was studied for the first time this year, proved to be a leader inspiring relatively high confidence in other nations. An average of 40 percent of the public, not including Germans, express confidence in her, and 38 percent do not.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was similarly viewed with 38 percent of respondents expressing confidence in him. He also enjoyed the trust of eight nations while 10 countries viewed negative about him.

Putin, who was voted second trusted leader last year, received positive views from only 34 percent of respondents. Next to him is the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, who enjoys only 32 percent of world public support.

Ahmadinejad, who was re-elected as Iran’s president for a second term two weeks ago, commands the least faith of international public as a capable and trusted leader.