Guineans strongly prefer democracy to any alternative form of governance, despite widespread dissatisfaction with government’s performance, the most recent Afrobarometer survey shows.
Barely a year after claiming a third term in office amidst widespread opposition, President Alpha Condé has been detained since last Sunday’s coup d’état.
Coup leader Lt. Col. Mamady Doumbouya has cited pervasive poverty and corruption as reasons for the takeover.
Afrobarometer findings from late 2019 show majorities of Guineans believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction, that the level of corruption has increased, and that the government is doing a poor job of fighting corruption.
Dissatisfaction with the country’s economic conditions and citizens’ personal living conditions has increased, as have negative ratings of the government’s economic performance and provision of essential public services.
Only three in 10 citizens are satisfied with the way their democracy is working.
But the study also shows that most Guineans endorse elections as the best way to choose leaders and that citizens’ preference for democracy has remained consistently high over the years.
The survey found that;
- More than three-fourths (77%) of Guineans prefer democracy to any other form of government. Support for democracy has remained high since Afrobarometer began its surveys in Guinea in 2013 (Figure 1).
- Eight in 10 Guineans (82%) endorse free, fair, and honest elections as the best way to choose leaders, including 57% who “strongly agree” with this view (Figure 2). o A similar majority (76%) want the president to serve a maximum of two terms in office.
- Only four in 10 Guineans (40%) describe the country as “a full democracy” or “a democracy with minor problems” (Figure 3). o Only three in 10 (29%) say they are “fairly satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the way democracy works, a sharp decline from 2017 (56%) after consistent improvement from 2013 (39%).
- Almost two-thirds of Guineans (64%) say the country is heading in “the wrong direction.”
- The perception that “most” or “all” officials at the Presidency are corrupt has increased from 26% in 2013 to 47% (Figure 4).
- Almost two-thirds (63%) of citizens say the level of corruption in the country increased during the year preceding the survey, a 25-percentage-point increase compared to 2015 (38%).
- Eight in 10 citizens (81%) say the government is performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” in fighting corruption, a 27-percentage-point increase compared to 2013 (54%).
- The proportion who say their personal living conditions are “fairly bad” or “very bad” has also increased, to 64%.
- Seven in 10 (72%) rate the government poorly on its performance in managing the economy.
- Almost seven in 10 citizens (68%) describe the country’s economic conditions as “fairly bad” or “very bad,” a significant increase compared to 2013 (59%) (Figure 5).
- About nine in 10 Guineans say the government is doing “fairly badly” or “very badly” at narrowing income gaps (90%), creating jobs (89%), and improving living standards of the poor (85%) (Figure 6).
- Overwhelming majorities also say the government is doing a poor job of maintaining roads and bridges (92%), providing water and sanitation services (85%), providing a reliable supply of electricity (83%), addressing educational needs (73%), and improving basic health services (72%) (Figure 7).