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CPA Survey: Public Trust in Parliament and Political Parties Hits Record Low

A recent survey conducted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has revealed that public trust in parliament and political parties has plummeted to an unprecedented low, with only 22 percent of respondents expressing trust in parliament and a mere 19 percent in political parties.

Titled ‘Survey on Democracy and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka,’ the survey involved 1,350 participants across 25 districts in January. It illuminated declining trust in democratic institutions and a growing inclination toward authoritarianism among the populace.

According to the survey, the Army and Courts emerge as the most trusted institutions in the country, while the police lag behind in public trust compared to them.

However, trust in legislative institutions such as parliament and the entities involved in legislative processes, namely political parties, not only falls short compared to the Army and Courts but has also experienced a significant decline over the past decade. In 2011, 63% of Sri Lankans trusted parliament, a figure that has plummeted to a mere 22% in 2024.

Of all the institutions examined in the survey, political parties garnered the least trust. Public confidence in political parties has dwindled from 56% in 2011 to a dismal 19% in 2024.

Furthermore, approximately one in ten Sri Lankans expressed a preference for authoritarian rule, marking a notable increase in this trend since 2018.

Despite the majority favoring democratic governance, the survey underscored a concerning sentiment suggesting that “In certain situations, a dictatorial government can be preferable to a democratic one.”

The CPA, a renowned policy think-tank based in Colombo, highlighted that the surge in support for authoritarianism coincided with the political tumult during the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in 2018. Source

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