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Trust in Africa’s elections drops by 10% points- Afrobarometer report


Trust in Africa’s elections drops by 10% points- Afrobarometer report

As most African countries lace their boots for elections this year, Afrobarometer report reveals a weakening support for elections in the continent.

According to the report, though most Africans endorse elections as the best method for choosing their leaders, the preference has weakened over the past decade.

In a statement issued and signed by Afrobarometer communications coordinator for Southern Africa, Asafika Mpako noted that, on average across 29 countries in the years 2011/2013 and 2021/2023, the support has dropped by 8 percentage points with a massive declines in Tunisia (-24 percentage points), Burkina Faso (-19 points), and Lesotho (-19 points).

The findings stated that, though 75%, indicating three-fourths of Africans support fair, open, and honest elections as the best way to choose their leaders, only 50% “strongly agree” with the view.

The findings further indicated that only Sierra Leone records significantly increased support for elections (+13 points).

It noted again that, nearly two-thirds representing 64% of Africans support multiparty competition to ensure that
voters have real choices in who governs them, while 34% think political parties foster division,  confusion and therefore, they are not needed in the country.

Also, the report added that, fewer than half indicating 42% of Africans believe that their country’s elections ensure members of Parliament (MPs) represent the views of voters.

“A similar minority (45%) say
their elections enable voters to remove leaders from office who fail to align with the desires of the people”, it stated.

The report again said 65% of Africans overwhelmingly feel “completely free” and 20%  “somewhat free” to vote for the candidate of their choice without feeling pressured.

“Only 14% indicate that they feel pressured or constrained”, the report said.

It said, on average, only four in 10 citizens representing 39% say they have trust in national electoral commission “somewhat” or “a lot,” while 57% express little or no trust.

On average across 27 countries between 2011/2013, it said, trust in the electoral commission has dropped by 10 percentage points, from 51% to 41%.

Based on national surveys in 39 African countries, the report said, most Africans endorse multiparty competition, feel free to vote as they choose, and assess their most recent election as largely free and fair.

But fewer than half think voting ensures representative, accountable governance and
public trust in national electoral-management bodies is weak in most countries.

Source: Eric Nii Sackey

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