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Amid political upheaval, Basotho support democratic process, reject military rule; trust in political institutions remains low

Basotho overwhelmingly support democratic elections and reject military and strongman rule, according to a new Afrobarometer study.

The survey, conducted at a time of mounting political tensions leading to the dissolution of Parliament, sheds light on citizen views on democracy and trust in political institutions, among other issues.

The Afrobarometer Round 6 public opinion survey interviewed 1,200 Basotho in May 2014. The nationally representative sample yields a +/- 3% margin of error with a 95% confidence level.

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Namibians express strong policy preferences in comparison to the government

Most Namibians favour policy changes from the status quo on several specific policies asked about in the 2014 Afrobarometer Round 6 survey, despite showing strong support for the ruling party. For example, 78% of Namibians interviewed for the Round 6 Afrobarometer
opinion poll favoured the adoption of the Basic Income Grant Programme (BIG) even if it required new taxes such at Value Added Tax (VAT) or income tax. Although the government has rejected BIG, the people favour it nearly 8 out of ten. Similarly, nearly 9 in 10 Namibians

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Constitutional amendment passed without adequate public consultation, Namibians say

Most Namibians (55%) say the controversial Third Constitutional Amendment1 was passed without adequate public consultation, according to a new Afrobarometer survey.

By an overwhelming majority, eight of 10 Namibian survey respondents say that changing the Constitution should be preceded by extensive public consultation and that this did not occur for the recent amendment.

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Majority of Malawians report the country is heading in the wrong direction

A strong majority (78%) reported the country was heading in the wrong direction, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey held in March 2014. Malawians perceptions on which direction the country is heading to, and perceptions about their living economic conditions were collected as part of the Afrobarometer Round 6 Survey.

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Malawians support a strong Parliament in spite of disappointment with their representatives

Malawians value Parliament’s legislative and oversight role but are highly critical of the performance of parliamentarians, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey. A majority want parliament to vet the president’s appointment of cabinet ministers and hold the president accountable. Most citizens disapprove of how their Members of Parliament (MPs) have been doing their work and feel that their MPs do not listen to them. A significant proportion of MPs are perceived to be corrupt, and public trust in the National Assembly has waned.

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Zambians disapprove of non-democratic means of governance

A majority of Zambians do not approve of non-democratic means of governance, according to the most recent Afrobarometer survey.

Results from the survey, which was conducted in October 2014, shows that most Zambians disapprove of undemocratic alternatives such as one-party rule and one-man rule.

The data is being released in view of the recent (January 2015) presidential elections that showed regional polarisation in voting patterns which have the potential to slow down the democratic process. It demonstrates that Zambians, in general, have faith in Zambia’s democracy.

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Tanzanians express dissatisfaction with current living conditions, perceive declining economic conditions

Despite annual economic growth rates averaging of 7%, a majority of Tanzanians say their current living conditions are bad, according to the 2014 Afrobarometer survey.

Negative public perceptions of the country’s economic condition are also significantly higher than a decade ago.

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