A survey by a Kabul institution of 4,912 Afghans taken by phone conversations across the country indicates that 75 percent of the respondents prefer a republic-style government as an outcome of the ongoing peace negotiations in Doha.
Issues related to the intra-Afghan peace negotiations were discussed with respondents in this brief mobile phone survey by the Heart of Asia Society.
The survey was conducted with respondents in 31 provinces (20% female and 80% male) except Nuristan, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces.
Respondents were asked to list their top three priorities for intra-Afghan peace negotiations.
According to the survey, the 79% of the respondents cited peace/security, 28% cited human rights issues, 21% cited economic development, 19% cited women’s rights, 9% cited freedom of speech and youth rights, 7% cited rule of law, and 7% cited education as their top priority for the intra-Afghan negotiations that started last week.
In this survey, respondents were asked which governance system they prefer as an outcome of the peace negotiations: Islamic emirate, an Islamic republic, a mixture of the two, or if they had no preference?
75% of the respondents said they prefer a republic system, 7% said they prefer an emirate, 6% said a mixture of the two, and 11% said they have no preference.
After controlling for age, education, and income, analysis shows that men were significantly more likely than women to prefer an emirate, and those with high school or university level education were more likely than those with less education to prefer a republic, the survey shows.
When asked whether the current constitution should continue to be used as the basis of legal structures and laws following the peace agreement, 32% of respondents said yes, 25% said no, and 32% said that it should be used, but needs to be changed or amended; 10% said they don’t know, the survey indicates.
On the use of Afghanistan’s current constitution to be used as basis of the legal structures of the country, men (32%) were slightly more likely than women (29%) to say yes, and women (14%) were more likely than men (9%) to say they don’t know, but men and women had relatively similar responses to “no” (26% and 23% respectively) and “yes, but needs changes” (31% and 33% respectively).
Opinions on whether or not the constitution should remain in place do not clearly align with preferred system of government, and those who state a preference for an emirate do not necessarily reject the current democratic constitution, the survey says.
Almost half of respondents (47%) said foreign troop presence is not necessary to guarantee the implementation of a peace agreement, the survey says.
The survey also indicates that 37% of the respondents said foreign troop presence is not necessary to guarantee the implementation of a peace agreement, 9% said it may be helpful, and 6% said they don’t know.
When controlling for other factors, older respondents were more likely to think the presence of foreign troops is necessary to guarantee peace, while younger respondents think their presence is unnecessary, the survey says.
Female respondents were more likely to think the presence of foreign troops may be helpful, while male respondents were more likely to report the presence of foreign troops is not necessary, according to the survey.
Overall, respondents were most likely to say that Taliban fighters should be integrated with the national security forces (45%) or that they should be disarmed (42%), with 7% saying they don’t know and 5% saying they should stay as they are.
Multivariate analysis shows that older respondents and women were more likely to say the Taliban fighters should stay as they are after a peace agreement, while men were more likely to say the Taliban fighters should be integrated into the national security forces, the survey indicates.
According to the survey, when asked about their preference for women’s role in politics after a peace agreement, respondents were significantly more likely (58%) to say women should have a greater role than to say they should have the same role (19%) or a lesser role (14%).
Female respondents were more likely to support a greater or the same role for women in politics after a peace agreement, while younger male respondents were more likely to oppose a greater role for women in politics, the survey says.
The survey also says that respondents with high school or university education were more likely than those without any education to think the role of women should stay the same, while those with university education were more likely to support an even greater role for women in politics, after controlling for the effects of age, gender, and income.
The survey comes as the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is in Doha and has held few meetings with the Taliban’s negotiating team to discuss the rules and regulations of the peace talks.