Survey reveals support for democracy in Namibia declining

Research findings by the survey warehouse for the 2019/2020 Afro-Barometer were launched in Windhoek on Wednesday under the theme the state of democracy in Namibia.

The research found that support for democracy in the country is declining.

Out of 1200 respondents, 672 (56 per cent) respondents said democracy is preferable to any other system of government.

While 204 (17 per cent), said non-democratic systems are preferable.

This is a decline from the previous barometer where 67 per cent found democracy to be a preferable system of government compared to 15 per cent who felt it was not.

Christie Keulder, Director at Warehouse Survey, the organisation that conducted the research said in his presentation that even thou trust in democratic systems of governments is declining, Namibians nonetheless reject authoritarian rule.

He said it would be difficult for the current or any future president of Namibia to attempt to extend their term of office because of the precedent set by the previous president and because of the general understanding amongst respondents that presidential term limits should be set in order for democracy to flourish.

On the topic of governance, the survey found that 63 per cent of Namibians feel it is more important to hold government accountable even though it means that decisions are made more slowly.

Respondents said this is preferable to the 35 per cent who feel it is preferable to have a government that gets things done without the citizens having an influence over what the government does.

The barometer found that although a majority of Namibians support the rights and freedoms offered by the democratic system of government, the number who would support efforts to limit these rights is growing.

One of the controversial issues that occurs seemingly across the continent is the finding that there is less willingness to defend press freedom, Keulder said.

He further added that the research found that many Africans are of the opinion that governments should have the right to stop publication of harmful content.

The launch that took place today was attended by various research institutions and members of the media.

It revealed opinions of Namibians towards democracy and governance conducted through face-to face interviews using a sample 1200 adult citizens.

Source: Namibia Press Agency