Voters in many countries sceptical of democracy, poll shows


  • World
  • Thursday, 11 Apr 2024

FILE PHOTO: Voters queue to vote at a polling station in a school during a general election, in Islamabad, Pakistan February 8, 2024. REUTERS/Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Voters in many countries are suffering a crisis of faith in their democracies and institutions, a survey by a governance watchdog showed, painting a bleak picture in a year in which more than half of the world's population holds elections.

With the United States, India, Britain and the European Union going to the polls in 2024, the report published on Thursday by the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) offers a sombre snapshot of the perceived health of many democracies.

The results show that voters in 11 of the 19 countries surveyed, which included the U.S. and India, fewer than half of the people believed the most recent election was free and fair.

Only voters in Denmark believed courts 'always' or 'often' provide access to justice, while in 8 of 19 countries, more people had favourable views of "a strong leader who doesn't have to bother with parliament or elections" than had unfavourable views.

"Democracies must respond to the scepticism of their public, both by improving governance and by combating the growing culture of disinformation that has fostered false accusations against credible elections," International IDEA Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora said in a statement.

This year's presidential election in the United States is likely to see incumbent Democrat Joe Biden face off again against ex-president Donald Trump, who falsely claimed widespread voter fraud when he lost the presidency in 2020.

The survey showed that only 47 per cent of respondents in the United States expressed faith that the country had credible electoral processes.

Elections for Europe's parliament which take place in June could see big gains for the far-right and impact policy from support for Ukraine in its war against Russia's full-scale invasion to measures to address climate change.

In February, the parliament condemned what it called Russian attempts to undermine European democracy.

The survey, conducted between July 2023 and January 2024, polled about 1,500 people in each of 19 countries including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, The Gambia, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Korea and Tanzania.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson; editing by Niklas Pollar, William Macleand)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In World

Portugal hosts over 1 mln foreign residents: AIMA
Ukraine commander says French military instructors to visit Ukrainian training centres
Argentine President Milei to meet Apple, Google, Meta CEOs in US
Chinese envoy hails "unbreakable" ties with Zambia
Iran's near-bomb-grade uranium stock grows, talks stall, IAEA reports say
Death toll rises to 20 after storms hit southern U.S. states
Botswana, FAO launch plan to increase honey production
Hong Kong's value of total export up 11.9 pct in April
Ghana's central bank assures adequate reserves to meet foreign exchange demand
Drought-hit Zimbabwe raises aid appeal to 3.3 bln USD

Others Also Read