In January this year, the International Republican Institute (IRI) designed and commissioned a national public opinion poll through its “Strengthening Democracy through Polling Data and Peacebuilding” programme.
The face-to-face interactive poll which was conducted by CID Gallup throughout all regions of Guyana is the first IRI public opinion poll to ask for opinions and perceptions of Guyanese on governance issues.
According to a summary of the findings, the poll found high interest in electoral reforms with 81% of those interviewed believing that such reforms are necessary.
The majority of adults in Guyana (58%) think the reforms are “very” necessary.
The IRI said a wide range of actors across government, civil society organizations, Indigenous community organizations, trade unions, and the private sector were consulted in developing the content of the poll.
On the question of elections; the Poll asked respondents about voting at the next General Elections and the majority of the respondents said they do not have confidence in the electoral process.
On the questions about freedom of elections and ballot box security, the highest number of respondents expressed concern about the freedom of the electoral process and safety of the ballot boxes, but noted that free elections in the country are still possible.
“Elections in our country today are not free and ballot box security is not ensured,” the majority of likely voters further noted according to the poll.
The majority of the persons who took part in the face to face poll also said they are not satisfied with the system which decides who serves on the Guyana Elections Commission and therefore expressed the need for urgent constitutional reform, with 60% of respondents saying that a comprehensive review of all election laws was “very necessary”.
The IRI said its work in Guyana aims to help ensure reforms are based on the participation of Guyanese, who design their own solutions while benefiting from regional expertise and best practices.