A Gallup survey found that 20% of Colombian voters have been promised goods, money or work for their vote in national or local elections. Around one million voters reportedly received benefits after the elections in return for their support
The survey was sponsored by the International Republican Institute (IRI), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Colombian branch of Transparency International.
The three groups hosted a preliminary national inquiry in Bogota Thursday to examine the survey’s findings. The final results are expected to be officially published next week.
As well as reports of vote buying, the survey also found that Colombians have little confidence in the country’s political parties. It asked participants to rate Colombian institutions with a score out of 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest score.
Those surveyed gave political parties an average score of 4.4 out of 10, making them Colombia’s least trusted political and public entity. In comparison, the presidency scored highest with 7 out of 10.
The Colombian armed forces and media outlets also scored well with 6.8 and 6.3 respectively. The Colombian government received an average score of 6.3 out of 10.
Colombia’s Congress and local councils scored lower, with average ratings of 5.1 and 4.9 respectively.
The prosector general and the inspector general both scored an average of 5.8, while the Comptroller General and the police both received 5.6. The Supreme Court received 5.5.
The majority of Colombians surveyed feel that political parties are not really interested in their problems, and that they fail to address and relate to them, Gallup-researcher Jorge Londoño explained at the inquiry.
Moreover, the parties were perceived as failing to combat corruption and are seen as non-transparent, clientelist organisations that do not offer viable solutions for the country. Another important threat to the parties’ credibility mentioned by survey participants is the perceived absence of a clear ideology, and campaign promises being broken, Londoño said.
Questioned about their identification with a political party, 35% answered they did not identify themselves with any party, 23% said they identify with the Liberal party, 20% with Partido de la U Party, 9% with the Conservative party, 6.5% with Polo Democratico, 2.5% with Mira, 2% with Cambio Radical and 0.8% with the Green party.
The poll surveyed 1,500 Colombians from around the country between November 26 and December 9 last year.