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PP25: MDC-T defeat in Zimbabwe: Was it only due to intimidation?

In the relatively peaceful harmonized elections of July 2013, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe overwhelmingly defeated challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, 61% to 34%. Mugabe’s party, the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), also won 158 of the country’s 210 parliamentary seats, giving it more than a two-thirds majority in the lower House of Assembly, as well as a large majority of local council seats.

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Nigeria heads for closest election on record, survey shows

As Nigerians prepare to vote in the 2015 general elections, Afrobarometer survey findings show that support for democracy remains the majority view, though weaker than two years ago and tempered by high levels of dissatisfaction and low approval ratings for elected officials.

More than half (57%) of citizens say Nigeria is a democracy “with major problems” or not a democracy at all.

Elected officials at all levels, including the president and members of the National Assembly, receive weak approval ratings and are perceived by a majority of citizens as corrupt.

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Mixed views on democracy, accountability ahead of Nigeria's elections

As Nigerians prepare to vote in the 2015 general elections, Afrobarometer survey findings show that support for democracy remains the majority view, though weaker than two years ago and tempered by high levels of dissatisfaction and low approval ratings for elected officials.

More than half (57%) of citizens say Nigeria is a democracy “with major problems” or not a democracy at all.

Elected officials at all levels, including the president and members of the National Assembly, receive weak approval ratings and are perceived by a majority of citizens as corrupt.

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Electoral Continuity Expected in 2014: SWAPO dominates, but opposition parties survive and tolerance may be increasing

The SWAPO Party of Namibia continues to dominate the political scene in Namibia, with strong advantages in public trust and voter preference, but public tolerance of opposition parties may also be on the increase, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey. The opposition parties continue to survive and scramble for the minor places, with the DTA of Namibia and the Rally for Democracy and Progress in a close race for a distant second place behind the ruling SWAPO.

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Afrobarometer statement on Malawi Round 6 survey

Afrobarometer conducted a Round 6 survey from 23 March to 7 April 2014 on Malawian opinions and attitudes about democracy and governance as well as their views on economic and social development. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample
of 2400 Malawian citizens from all regions of the country. The survey included questions on citizen evaluations of the election environment, as well as their voting intentions.

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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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Togolese voice strong support for two-term limit

By a 6-to-1 margin, Togolese citizens favour a two-term limit for their president, according to a new Afrobarometer survey.

Based on the October 2014 survey, 85% of respondents agree – including 60% who “strongly agree” – with the statement that “The Constitution should limit the president of the Republic to serving a maximum of two terms in office” (see Figure 1 below). Only 13% favour no limit on presidential mandates.

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Mauritians support proportional representation, split on other reforms

Mauritians favour a proportional representation system for National Assembly elections but remain divided regarding two other proposed reforms – introducing an elected president with greater executive powers and eliminating National Assembly representation based on ethnic and religious affiliation, a new Afrobarometer survey reveals.

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Majority of Burundians support presidential term limits

Six of 10 Burundians (62%) support limiting presidential terms to two – a remarkable evolution of public opinion between 2012 and 2014.

In 2012, only 51% of Burundian citizens supported presidential term limits. The larger new majority may indicate that as the country approaches elections, and in response to public debate on the issue, the number of people opposed to a third presidential term is increasing.

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Batswana decry self-interest of politicians but continue to support the ruling party

If elections were held in June or July 2014, the majority of Batswana would have voted for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) would consolidate its position as the strongest opposition party. The coalition of opposition parties, the Umbrella for
Democratic Change (UDC) would have won 13%. The coalition consists of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (which broke away from the ruling party), the Botswana National Front and the Botswana People's Party.

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BP152: Democratization in Kenya: Public dissatisfied with the benefit-less transition

Africa’s transition to multiparty democracy has often been accompanied by a re-institutionalization of autocratic regimes and authoritarianism. This tension between the forces of progress and regression has become an enduring feature of Africa’s electoral and democratic transitions, a contradiction of more frequent elections and the consolidation of multipartyism accompanied by a reversal of democratic gains and the institutionalization of violence during elections. Elections and democracy have not always correlated strongly.

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BP125: Examining the relevance of political parties in Malawi

This briefing paper examines the relevance of political parties in Malawi’s democracy. Beyond the functionalist assumption that existence suggests some positive contribution of an organ to the whole, this paper looks at social operational pre-requisites that justify the relevance and existence of political parties. Specifically the paper focuses on the linkage role of political parties.

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BP103: Voting intentions in Zimbabwe: A margin of terror?

Intermittently over the past decade, researchers have taken the political pulse of the general public in Zimbabwe. Public opinion surveys provide information on what ordinary citizens are thinking about the issues of the day. Among the most anticipated survey results are the expressed party preferences and voting intentions. At any given time, Zimbabweans are understandably eager to know how their fellow citizens would vote “if an election were held tomorrow.”  This briefing paper offers an alternative account of current voting intentions in Zimbabwe.

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BP97: Zimbabwe: The evolving public mood

At the end of 2010, Zimbabwean citizens remained broadly supportive of power sharing as an antidote to political crisis.  But they were increasingly critical of the halting performance of their country’s coalition government.  Most people also perceived declining civil liberties and feared resurgent political violence.  Yet clear majorities called for constitutional reforms to limit the powers of the presidency and seemingly even for free elections in 2011 to return the country to legitimate rule.  

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BP88: Namibia political party prospects leading to the 2009 elections

The structure of government and opposition in Namibia as a dominant party system became solidified after independence in 1990 (Du Pisani and Lindeke, IPPR 2009).  But, over the past year a number of new political parties have been formed to challenge the established ruling party, SWAPO Party of Namibia, as it has been officially called since independence.  These new parties are also challenging the existing opposition parties in Namibia.

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BP83: Zimbabwe: People's development agenda in 2009

For many Zimbabweans, life in the last few years has been nasty, brutish and sometimes short, but there is now a flicker of light at the end of a dark and long tunnel. Things started really falling apart in 2008 with the unprecedented cholera outbreak that claimed more than 4 000 lives and infected over 100 000 others. Zimbabwe stood at the edge of a precipice with health centres and schools closed, shops displaying empty shelves, acute shortages of food and other basic essentials, and rampant politically-motivated violence and human rights violations.

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BP76: Proportional representation and popular assessments of MP performance in South Africa: A desire for electoral reform?

This policy brief examines public attitudes towards MPs, and indirectly towards the electoral system in South Africa in 2008. The Afrobarometer survey did not ask directly whether people wanted electoral reform, including constituency-based selection of MPs.  But it did ask a range of questions about the accessibility of MPs, satisfaction with their performance, and accountability relationships.  These help us to get an overall sense of the level of satisfaction – or dissatisfaction – with the current system and how it is functioning.  

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BP75: A country turning blue?: Political party support and the end of regionalism in Malawi

This bulletin draws on data collected in four Afrobarometer surveys of public attitudes to examine trends in party support in Malawi over the course of the last decade, looking especially at the extent of regionalism in Malawian party politics.  How regionally diverse are the support bases of each of Malawi’s leading political parties?

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BP48: Ethnicity and violence in the 2007 elections in Kenya

The recent Kenyan elections have given rise to violent confrontations between ethnic communities. During the first half of December, in the run up to the elections, the University of Oxford, in collaboration with researchers from the Michigan State University and the University of Connecticut, conducted a detailed survey of voter intentions, attitudes towards violence, corruption, performance of leaders, political party preferences, ethnicity and socio-economic characteristics.

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