Election Watch

Promoting democracy in Namibia

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Faith in democracy deepens

The latest round of the Afrobarometer opinion survey, conducted in November 2008 across Namibia, found that Namibians are becoming more democratic. More and more Namibians are rejecting authoritarian and non-democratic means of ruling, according to the survey of 1,200 people. Some 63 percent of those surveyed agreed that ‘democracy is always preferable’ as compared to 57 percent when the survey was previously carried out in 2006.
Most Namibians believe Namibia is either a ‘full democracy’ (41 percent) or a ‘democracy with minor problems’ (32 percent). This combined belief in Namibian democracy of 73 percent, is much higher than the average for Afrobarometer surveys in other countries (around 50 percent).
Sixty nine percent disapproved of a one-party state as compared to 59 percent in 2006. When asked about military rule, 67 percent disapproved (up from 40 percent in 2006). Seventy three percent said no to the president ruling by decree, up from 45 percent in the previous poll.
Satisfaction levels with democracy remained about the same. Some 67 percent of respondents said they were either fairly or very satisfied with the way democracy works in Namibia, compared with 69 percent in the previous survey. There were some worrying indicators, too. Thirty three percent said they feared becoming a victim of political intimidation or violence, while 49 percent said that political competition led to violent conflict either often or always. Forty six percent said they felt they had to be careful what they said about politics, down from 59 percent previously.
Namibians also respect the results of elections. In 2006, 77 percent of respondents said that the previous election of 2004 had been ‘free and fair’. In the last survey this had risen to over 80 percent.
The full survey is available at http://www.ippr.org.na

© 2017 Election Watch

Election Watch is a project of the Institute for Public Policy Research in Windhoek, Namibia. Election Watch is funded by the European Union and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.