Citizens’ trust in state institutions is directly proportional to their involvement in civic activities, study

The Central Election Commission (CEC) initiated a national information campaign “Know your electoral right” within which meetings with voters, representatives of the local public administration, nongovernmental organizations and also public institutions across the country will be held. CEC members, together with officials, will explain the particularities of organizing this autumn’s elections and the new aspects introduced by adopting a new Electoral Code. Dana Munteanu, secretary of the Central Election Commission, mentioned this at the presentation of a sociological study assessing knowledge gaps in the electoral field and the level of civic engagement. The CEC secretary stressed that the gaps identified in the electoral field will enable the Commission to adjust the messages of information campaigns carried out before the elections, IPN reports.

The secretary of the Central Election Commission said that 2024 is extremely important for Moldova. In October, a presidential election and a national constitutional referendum will be held, which will test the voter’s knowledge of all the electoral procedures, but also the level of civic engagement of citizens. “The correctness of the entire process depends largely on a good knowledge of electoral procedures and the active involvement of citizens,” stated the secretary.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova Andrea Cuzyova said that the sociological study highlights the knowledge gaps and the level of civic engagement of citizens in the electoral field, explores the field of civic engagement of Moldovan citizens, especially among vulnerable groups. Andrea Cuzyova expressed her conviction that this study will provide valuable information that will facilitate the process of shaping inclusive policies and initiatives aimed at enhancing democratic participation and social equity in Moldova.

According to the UNDP representative, those who will analyze this study can see the positive aspects that are addressed in the research, such as, for example, the democratic principles demonstrated by respondents. Andrea Cuzyova noted that UNDP, together with the partners, remains committed to promoting democratic principles, transparency, accountability, inclusion and human rights in the Republic of Moldova, contributing to the creation of a fair and participatory electoral system. 

The study aimed to assess the knowledge gaps and the level of civic engagement of the population with a focus on vulnerable groups. It focused on questioning three underrepresented target groups: the Roma people, persons with disabilities and the general population, on different samples. According to the authors of the study, in the part referring to knowledge in the electoral field, the three target groups were informed about the voting procedure and conditions of participation in voting, not yet about the fact that they can get involved in organizing elections. 69% of the respondents know that they can check the data from electoral lists displayed at polling stations, while 31% know that they can also do it online.

The research also shows that 88% of the respondents are determined to participate in elections, believing that their vote counts. The top three barriers, with an approximately equal weight, for not participating in elections are: skepticism towards changes for the better of the authorities’ policy (27%), being abroad (26%) and lack of interest (23%). In conclusion, the authors of the study noted that citizens’ trust in state institutions is directly proportional to their involvement in political and civic activities.

The research included face-to-face at-home interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,158 people in 160 localities. An additional sample of 192 Roma and 157 people with disabilities were interviewed. The research was carried out by the Centre of Sociological, Politological and Psychological Analysis and Investigations CIVIS, within the “Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections” project, implemented by UNDP, with the financial support of the British Embassy in Chisinau and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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