Polling Afghan Opinions on the Wolesi Jirga and the Upcoming Vote

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By James Long and Mike Callen, Democracy International Research Team

As part of our observation of Afghanistan's rapidly-approaching parliamentary elections, DI sought to supplement the qualitative assessments of our field observer teams with a quantitative survey of Afghan public opinion.

Despite widespread concerns about security, 76% of respondents told our pollsters that they would vote on election day — although there were noticeable regional variations in response, with more respondents indicating that they would participate in the north than in other parts of the country. Over 70% of respondents said they believed their neighbors would vote, as well.

Respondents showed somewhat mixed views on whether their country qualified as a democracy, but 59% still believe that it is. Nearly 90% of respondents said they believe the Wolesi Jirga plays an important role in improving life in their neighborhood, and 60% say they believe the opportunity to vote leads to an increase in the quality of services, although skepticism is higher among those who say they are not likely to vote.

Given security concerns involving the ongoing insurgency, we limited the survey sample to 19 provincial centers. We used random selection of households and respondents within households. This means that our results are representative of the provincial centers that we visited, but not the country as a whole. There were 2,094 respondents to the survey; half of respondents were women, all respondents were at least 18 years of age, and all interviewers were conducted within the respondent’s household.

You can see highlights below; we will be releasing additional survey response data in the coming days.


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