AD185: Public trust in institutions, satisfaction with democracy decline in Mauritius

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Louis Amedee Darga

Mauritius’ commitment to good governance is embodied in its Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, created after the Alliance Lepep came to power in 2014 (Fakun, 2016). The Ibrahim Index of African Governance vouches for the quality of Mauritius’ democracy by ranking the country as the best-governed country in Africa in its 2017 report (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2017).

Similarly, the efficiency of Mauritius’ institutions has long been credited as a major factor in the nation’s development success. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, trust in institutions is important for the success of many government policies, programmes, and regulations that depend on cooperation and compliance by citizens (OECD, 2017).

According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, however, Mauritians are less satisfied with their democracy and have less trust in their institutions than they did just a few years ago. Support for democracy has declined, and while citizens overwhelmingly endorse multiparty competition and insist on government accountability, they increasingly believe they have to be careful in discussing politics, and they give their political leaders decidedly mixed performance reviews.