Survey: 97.5% of voters are ready to participate in presidential elections

The Centre for public opinion studies “Ijtimoiy Fikr” has conducted the second phase of the sociological survey on the theme “Presidential elections of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2016”.

In the first phase, researchers of the center identified trends in the electoral moods and attitudes of the citizens, their awareness about the campaign.

The second phase of the survey was held on 2 and 10 November, when election preparations entered the active phase. Overall, the survey involved 2,200 people. Among them, 50.9 percent – the townsmen and 49.1% the rural population, 49.5 percent men and 50.5 percent women. The study was conducted using a random-probabilistic method in terms of territories. It showed that the vast majority of respondents – 97.5 percent are intended to take part in the upcoming 4 December 2016 elections, while in the first stage the figure was 95 percent.

This indicates the stable growth potential of electoral activity of the population, reflects the growing civil position of voters, means that the upcoming elections are a crucial event for everyone, and the electoral campaign enjoys the high trust of the citizens.

Respondents believe that participation in elections is a civic duty of each and they are interested that a worthy contender, able to justify the confidence of the people will take this highest office. Voters are not indifferent to the processes in the political and economic life of the country. They realize that the future of Uzbekistan depends on their choice, their civic engagement. Going to the polls and vote for a worthy candidate, according to citizens, is a manifestation of sincere feelings for own country, the constant care about its future.

Public opinion survey also revealed a steady growth of awareness of the population about the upcoming elections. So, 87.3% of the respondents are well aware that the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan in accordance with the Constitution and the Law “On elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” shall be elected by universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot for a term of five years. Whereas in the first stage, the awareness of citizens was 85.2 percent.

The growing awareness of the citizens about the Presidential candidates is explained by the wide provision of free access of voters to information about the electoral campaign. In accordance with the Law “On elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” presidential candidates, political parties granted an equal right to use mass media in the procedure established by the Central Election Commission, and the equal right to hold meetings with voters.

The survey showed that for the vast majority of citizens, the media are a key source of information about events in the socio-economic and political life of the country. The progress of the election campaign is constantly monitored by 69.9 percent of respondents, while 28 percent monitor it to the extent possible. Moreover, in the first stage, these figures were compared to 68.1 and 22.3 percent, respectively. The survey showed that with the growth pace of the election campaign, the popularity of television, radio and the press is growing steadily. For a majority of respondents, the television in the most expeditious, and most importantly accessible source of information on the election campaign. Every second respondent believes that the national media are rapid in providing information concerning characteristics of the organization of elections and the legal framework of the election campaign, the election platforms of the candidates. Citizens believe that the media provides publicity and openness in the electoral process, and appreciate the objectivity and accuracy of the information related to the election campaign. According to citizens, to a large extent, the media determines the transparency of the elections, their authenticity and justice.

Researchers were also interested in the public opinion of citizens about the personal qualities that should be possessed by the candidate. Analysis of the results of the two phases of the study showed that the preferences of voters are given to professionalism and knowledge of modern management skills, comprehensive education, commitment to democratic principles, national and universal values, aspiration and desire to consider the interests and aspirations of different social strata, active citizenship. The citizens attach great importance to such human qualities as honesty and decency, personal – high intelligence and strength of a character. In addition, respondents stressed that candidates should have a massive public thinking and experience in political leadership.

The results of the two phases of the survey respondents showed consistency in their responses that indicates the unity of the expectation of the future President of the country. People have noted that the electoral campaign is held in a qualitatively new socio-political and socio-economic conditions that contribute to the cohesion of the people of Uzbekistan on the path of building a democratic legal state and strong civil society, deepening of economic reforms, aimed at improving the welfare and prosperity of the Motherland.

The study clearly showed that ahead of the elections, the citizens are positive and full of optimistic hope. 96.7 percent of respondents believe that the presidential elections are very important and are a significant event in their lives. According to respondents, the active participation in the elections is a manifestation of patriotism and pride for their country, the high level of legal culture, active citizenship and personal responsibility for the fate of their homeland.

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