WP41: Satisfaction with democracy and performance of the New Deal government: Attitudes and perceptions of Zambians

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Working papers
Mulenga, Chileshe L., Annie Barbara Chikwanha and Mbiko Msoni

This report, drawing on the second round of the Afrobarometer survey, analyses satisfaction with democracy and perceived performance of the New Deal government in Zambia, which took the reins of power after the heavily contested tripartite elections of December 2001. The May 2003 Afrobarometer survey was carried out about one year and three months into the rein of this "New Deal" government.

The survey results show that satisfaction with democracy has remained rather static, but modest, with 54 percent of Zambians expressing satisfaction with the way democracy works in the country in 2003, down slightly from the 59 percent who were satisfied with democracy in 1999. The commitment of Zambians to democracy, however, remains strong, with 67 percent stating a preference for democracy, and high rates of rejection for various authoritarian forms of government. The supply of democracy may, however, have dwindled considerably. In 1999 just 20 percent thought they lived in a democracy with major problems, compared to 40 percent in 2003. Assessments of the state of personal and national economic and living conditions were also relatively quite negative.