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South Africans Increasingly Dissatisfied with their Elected Leaders' Performance

"Public approval of the performance of the president, members of Parliament (MPs), and local government councillors has declined. The president’s approval rating is at its lowest level since 2000, well below the regional average for presidents. Un...

Zambians Gaining Confidence in Elections as Tools for Accountability

"As one of the first post-independence countries in Africa to effect leadership change through peaceful and competitive elections, Zambia has a history of multiparty politics dating back to 1991, when the United National Independent Party (UNIP) p...

Zimbabweans Demand Accountability in Governance, Doubt Efficacy of Elections

"Demand for accountability in governance is solid among Zimbabweans, even if ensuring accountability requires slower government processes. Citizens clearly assign Parliament responsibility for making laws and for holding the president accountable ...

Election Quality, Public Trust are Central Issues for Africa's Upcoming Contests

"With at least 25 African countries conducting national elections in 2016-2017, great attention is focused on electoral management bodies – typically national electoral commissions – as crucial players in electoral processes and in shaping public ...

Do Africans Still want Democracy?

More than half of all Africans today live in functioning multi-party electoral democracies that are demonstrably freer than the military or one-party regimes that previously dominated the continent. At the same time, the post-1990 gains that Afric...

South Africa's Opposition Narrows Trust Gap but Still Faces Mixed Perceptions of Vision and Role

"The African National Congress (ANC) has dominated post-apartheid South Africa’s political landscape. Following the 2014 national and provincial elections, the party holds 62% of National Assembly seats and governs eight of the country’s nine prov...

As South Africa's Local Elections Approach Public Confidence Underpins System in Turmoil

"South Africa’s fourth democratic local government elections, in August 2016, will be a test for the long-ruling but troubled African National Congress (ANC), for opposition parties hoping to claim some major cities, for an Independent Electoral C...

Do Citizens Reward Good Service? Voter Responses to Basic Service Provision in Southern Africa

"Theories of democratic governance posit that citizens should reward politicians for good service and punish them for bad. But does electoral accountability work as theorized, especially in developing country contexts? Studying southern African de...

Citizens and the State in Africa: New Results from Afrobarometer Round 3

"This compendium reports on the findings from new questions and topic areas explored in Round 3 of the Afrobarometer, involving public attitude surveys conducted in 18 countries from 2005-2006. The bulk of these new questions build upon the theme ...

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...

Citizen Engagement in Zimbabwe at Lowest Level in a Decade

"Seven of 10 Zimbabweans consider it the duty of every citizen not only to vote in elections but also to participate in national and community affairs between elections, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows. Yet most Zimbabweans never engage wit...

Malawi's 2014 Elections: Amid Concerns about Fairness, Outcome is too Close to Call

"Malawians will go to the polls on 20 May 2014 to select their next leaders. In an Afrobarometer1 poll conducted 6 to 8 weeks before the election, Malawians express strong confidence in their ability to vote as they choose, but also concerns abo...

Changing Attitudes Toward Democracy in Lesotho

"This briefing, describing changes in democratic attitudes in Lesotho, is based on a survey of 1,161 Basotho who are 18 years of age or older, administered between 6 July 2005 and 17 August 2005. The survey was conducted in 145 villages, in census...

Are South Africa's Youth Really a 'Ticking Time Bomb'?

"This paper reviews longitudinal survey data on South Africa’s political culture produced by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (1994-1998) and Afrobarometer (2000-2011) and finds that while there are real problems with democratic citiz...

Women and Democracy in Zimbawe: Insights from Afrobarometer

"Women are mostly marginalised in African political processes, but they have one key area of equality with their menfolk, and that is in voting: The ballot does not discriminate, even if the results of the balloting frequently do not meet the e...

Perils and Complexity of Democratic Values in Namibia

Namibia has been unique in its transition to democracy. This is illustrated in the formal role of the international community during the transition and in the expression of democratic values and practices measured by international indices. Namibi...

Basotho's less Supportive of Women's Political Leadership, Opposed to Traditional Chieftain Role

Basotho women still find it hard to attain leadership positions due to discriminatory cultural practices and laws. Support for women’s political leadership declined from 2012 to 2014, and even though two thirds of women say that women should hav...

Zambians Disapprove of Non-democratic Means of Governance

"A majority of Zambians do not approve of non-democratic means of governance. 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."

Are Malawian Adults Turning Pink? Exploring Public Opinion on Women's Political Leadership

This briefing paper explores the opinions of Malawian adults on women’s political leadership ability. Literature shows that voters tend to correlate specific personality traits with each gender, and during elections they may employ these stereoty...

Contesting and Turning Over Power: Implications for Consolidation of Democracy in Lesotho

Since its transition to electoral democracy in 1993, Lesotho has experienced a series of upheavals related to the electoral process. Election results were vehemently contested in 1998, when the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) won all b...

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