The methodology behind a new Arab News/YouGov pan-Arab survey

The survey was conducted using YouGov’s online survey methodology. (AFP)
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Updated 26 October 2020

The methodology behind a new Arab News/YouGov pan-Arab survey

  • Poll aims to understand what people in the Arab world anticipate from the next US administration
  • People from 18 countries in North Africa, the Levant and GCC region took part in an online survey

RIYADH: Voters across the US will decide on Nov. 3 whether President Donald Trump will remain their leader for another four years. The White House occupant is challenged by Joe Biden, who served two terms as Barack Obama’s vice-president and has been a prominent Democrat politician since the 1970s.
As part of its continued partnership with Arab News to reveal the public’s views on current events, YouGov conducted an opinion poll in late September 2020 to gauge how Arabs across the Middle East view the 2020 US election, the candidates and their policies.
The main aim of the Arab News/YouGov pan-Arab survey is to understand what the region anticipates from a future US presidential administration.
The survey was conducted using YouGov’s online survey methodology. The respondents were picked from among YouGov’s global panel of over 8 million individuals across the world who agreed to take part in the online surveys.

An email was sent to panelists selected at random from the panel, inviting them to take part in the survey and providing a link to questions. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are based on the responses to the Arab News/YouGov pan-Arab survey.
The total sample size was 3,097 Arabic speakers, aged 18 years or above, residing across 18 Arab-speaking countries in North Africa, the Levant and the Gulf. Fieldwork was undertaken between Sept. 21 and Sept. 27
this year. The overall margin of error is ±1.761 percent. The sample was weighted as per the population distribution of all the countries covered. Weights were also added in line with regional distribution of age groups, and for equal representation of men and women.

A staggering majority were not familiar with how the US president was elected: 82 percent agreed that the candidate with the most votes across the board will win the presidential elections, omitting the Electoral College which is the ultimate decider of the presidential vote.
The survey results have been rebased, in line with accepted industry standards, to remove “Don’t Know” or “Can’t Say” answers to compare only relevant answers.
A majority of the respondents (76 percent) said they believe in the significance of the next US president and his impact on the Arab world in 2021. Regardless of who will fill the post on Inauguration Day, residents of the Arab region believe in the importance and impact the US president will have in 2021.

When asked which candidate would be better for the Arab world, most respondents (49 percent) said neither candidate would be, but Biden (40 percent) was still considered a better option than Trump (12 percent).
Analysts say this in part reflects the emotional nature with which Arabs are seeing the candidates and their potential administrations despite the facts on the ground. For, although Biden is not as well known as Trump, he is perceived more favorably perhaps because he is Trump’s opponent.


Five years on, calls continue for justice over killing of Kurdish lawyer

Updated 35 min 6 sec ago

Five years on, calls continue for justice over killing of Kurdish lawyer

  • Elci was a key figure in Turkey’s human rights movement

ANKARA: Kurdish lawyer and prominent human rights activist Tahir Elci’s murder remains unsolved five years after his death amid claims that intelligence neglect may have played a part in the killing.

Elci was a key figure in Turkey’s human rights movement and was also known globally for his efforts to represent human rights’ violations before the European Court of Human Rights.

Nov. 28 marks the fifth anniversary of his assassination while giving a press statement as the head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association in Turkey’s southeastern Kurdish-majority city in 2015 to protest armed clashes between security forces and the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

At least 43 international lawyers and human rights organizations joined forces to demand justice for Elci and his family with a joint declaration on Nov. 27. “We are concerned that the prosecution, as well as the court before which this case is being heard, fails to respect fair trial rights. We are further troubled by the Turkish authorities’ continued violation of Turkey’s international legal obligations to carry out a prompt, effective, impartial and independent investigation into the death of one of its citizens and to ensure a fair trial by an impartial and independent tribunal for those accused of the killing of Tahir Elci,” they said.  

His wife, Turkan Elci, wrote a song in Kurdish, “Hewar” (Cry), on the fifth anniversary of his death.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Turkan Elci said that the judicial process around her husband’s killing fitted with the general atmosphere of impunity in Turkey.

She said that the independence of the judiciary could only be ensured if it was not under the influence of the executive: “A judge must decide according to the principles of universal law, the constitution and the law, as well as according to his own conscientious opinion. But it is a very remote possibility for the Tahir Elci case.”

Elci’s lawyers continue to try to ensure that his case file, started only five years after the murder, is not closed and are calling for the identification of the real perpetrators as they believe this is no ordinary assassination.

Following his comments about the outlawed PKK, which he said was not a terror organization but an armed political movement, Elci faced a “lynching” campaign in the mainstream media up until his death. 

A 13-second section of the video footage from police cameras is missing, although Elci was killed within that time frame. The police have also failed to locate the bullet that shot him.

Forensic Architecture, a London-based independent research group, examined footage of the murder and determined that the three police officers at the scene were the most likely suspects. If the three officers accused of killing Elci are convicted they will face two to nine years in prison.

According to Ayse Bingol Demir, a human rights lawyer and co-director of the Turkey Human Rights Litigation Support Project, ensuring a fair trial is extremely important for several reasons.

“First, Tahir Elci was a human rights lawyer who was killed while advocating ... for ending the violence in the Kurdish region. He was a prominent figure in the human rights community, especially known for his fight against impunity and systemic human rights violations committed by the state security forces,” she told Arab News.

For Demir, Elci’s killing in broad daylight — in the presence of the press and many others — and the failure of the judiciary to carry out an effective investigation into the incident, has had a severe impact not only on his family but the wider community in Turkey.

“Second, the main issue in this case is a violation of Tahir Elci’s right to life, one of the core rights under international human rights law. Tahir Elci’s family are entitled to the right to truth, access to justice, and an effective remedy for the violation they and their loved ones have been subject to,” she said.