Election update: Ivoirians mistrust electoral commission, fear violence

Democracy
Elections

As Côte d'Ivoire approaches its first presidential election since the violent 2010-2011 election crisis, many Ivoirians harbour mistrust of the Independent Electoral Commission and are concerned about the fairness and security of the election environment, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

The survey, conducted in August-September 2014, suggests that Ivoirians are sharply divided in their views on the direction of the country and the state of the national economy. Results show strong mistrust of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), and only a minority of citizens believe that the last parliamentary elections in 2011 were mostly or completely free and fair.

Sizeable proportions of Ivoirians express concerns about the election environment, including the bribery of voters, biased media coverage, the likelihood of unfair vote counting, and threats to voters at polling stations.

President Ouattara enjoys fairly high approval ratings, and public trust in the president is higher than in the ruling coalition or the opposition. A slim majority of Ivoirians say they feel “completely free” to vote as they choose.

Survey findings related to Côte d'Ivoire elections and democracy are detailed in dispatch No. 51 and dispatch No. 42.

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