World

Afghans Less Confident in Elections This Time

by Julie Ray

Sixty-seven percent do not trust honesty of process

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Afghans' increasing lack of confidence in the honesty of their elections, along with major security concerns, could keep some from voting next week in the country's second parliamentary elections. Gallup surveys show the percentage of Afghans who do not trust their electoral process spiraled from 49% just after last year's fraud-marred presidential election to 67% earlier this year.

In This Country, Do You Have Confidence in the Honesty of Elections, or Not? December 2008-April 2010 Trend for Afghanistan

Gallup surveyed Afghans in April, shortly after the parliamentary elections were postponed from May to September because of insufficient funds, security, and the need to improve electoral procedures. The postponement may have affected citizens' confidence, which was low already compared with the confidence of others in the region. Only Pakistanis are marginally less likely to be confident in the honesty of their country's elections; 23% express trust in their process.

In This Country, Do You Have Confidence in the Honesty of Elections, or Not? 2010 Numbers for Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India

For Afghans, as well as the country's neighbors and allies, the parliamentary elections are a crucial test after allegations of widespread fraud left the presidential race undecided for months. As with the last election, Afghans have a number of obstacles to overcome just to cast their vote, including threats from the Taliban. But this time, many Afghans must also overcome their increasing disenchantment with their country's election process. If voters turn out and the election goes relatively smoothly, the public may gain more confidence in the process going forward.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in April 2010 in Afghanistan. Gender-matched sampling was used during the final stage of selection. Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in April 2010 in Bangladesh and in May 2010 in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and with 6,000 adults in June 2010 in India. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from ±1.7 percentage points in India to ±4.1 percentage points in Afghanistan.

The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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