WASHINGTON - The Washington-based Gallup, renowned for predicting US election results and conducting the US presidents’ approval ratings, has placed President Asif Ali Zardari at lowest in the survey conducted in 21 countries of Asia and the Pacific Rim in 2011.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina Wajid was placed at 7th, Indian premier Manmohan Singh ranked 11th with 59 per cent support while only 20 per cent Pakistani people approved of their president making him dead last in the region.

“Pakistanis have never placed much confidence in President Zardari’s leadership; throughout his tenure, the country has grappled with terrorism, challenging relations with the US and a struggling economy,” said the report.

Hasina received higher approval than her counterparts in Australia, New Zealand, or Japan, according to the survey.

The survey report, released Friday, found that just about a fifth of the people (19 per cent) disapproved of Hasina and four per cent refused to answer. The report, however, did not elaborate on the Bangladesh situation and why it is among the top 10 in Asia despite its volatile political arena, soaring food and fuel prices, and chronic utility crises, including severe electricity and gas shortages.

It said recent government corruption scandals and economic troubles most probably tarnished the image of Manmohan Singh, who has seen a slight dip in his approval rating.

The report said, “Economic stability and peace dividends may help explain some of the relatively high approval that leaders of Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka get from their constituents.”

In contrast, political discord, internal strife, and geo-political complexities likely affected approval ratings for leaders in Hong Kong, Nepal and Pakistan. The report said Laotians, Cambodians, and Sri Lankans were most likely to express support for their leaders.

Majorities in more than half of the countries surveyed in the Gallup Poll approved of their chief executives, with leaders in Southeast and South Asia earning some of the highest marks in the region.

However, the survey found that more leaders in Asia lost support between 2011 and 2010.

It showed New Zealand Prime Minister John Key ranked ninth with an approval rating of 72 per cent while Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard came 14th with 45 per cent and Japan’s Yoshihiko Noda ranked 15th with 44 per cent.

The Gallup Poll survey results were based on face-to-face and telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, between April 5 and December 4, 2011, according to the firm.

Gallup Polls are best known for their accuracy in predicting the outcome of United States presidential elections. The company has four divisions: Gallup Poll, Gallup Consulting, Gallup University and Gallup Press.