IEC comes out tops in Afrobarometer survey

According to a new report by Afrobarometer, South Africa’s electoral management body, the Independent Electoral Commission, or IEC, is one of the most trusted electoral management body among 36 countries on the continent.

Despite its high ranking among its peers, trust in the IEC has declined since 2011.

The Afrobarometer report is based on almost 54,000 interviews in 36 African countries.

The survey is conducted every two years, according to Southern Africa Afrobarometer Spokesperson Sibusiso Nkomo, which means this year's local government elections were not included.

A survey which will include 2016 local government elections could reflect an increase in trust for IEC because many people have said they were happy with the way things went, says Nkomo.

See key findings of the Afrobarometer survey below:

• About 6 in 10 South Africans (58%) say they trust the Independent Electoral Commission “somewhat” or “a lot”. Among 35 countries in which this question was asked, South Africa ranks ninth.

• Trust in the IEC declined by 11 percentage points from 2011, from 69% to 58% -- about the same level as in 2006.

• Seven in 10 South Africans (72%) say their May 2014 election was “free and fair, with minor problems” or “completely free and fair”.

• Two-thirds (68%) say South African voters are “often” or “always” given a genuine choice in elections. This is well above the average of countries surveyed.

Listen to the interview below:

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