Dakar, Senegal. Photo Credit: Jeff Attaway@flickr
International IDEA’s Electoral Processes Programme launched the "Timing and Sequencing of Elections” project in 2016 to provide well-needed policy guidelines on the timing and sequencing of transitional elections.
Elections are central pillars in contemporary strategies to build peace and restore democracy after armed conflicts, periods of authoritarian rule and deep political crises. However, poorly-managed or hastily-held elections carry higher risks of yielding undesirable outcomes. The tensions that inevitably cluster around elections can sometimes endanger already fragile political stability, heighten security risks, or lead to the consolidation of “semi-democratic” regimes.
Holding elections at the right moment and designing an adequate roadmap to the elections are key issues to ensure smooth transitions toward peace and democracy. With a number of countries expected to break free from authoritarian grip and given instances of transitional democracies sliding into deep political crises that can be resolved only through transitional elections, it is crucial to enhance decision-makers’ ability to understand and assess the complex political, legal, technical, operational, participatory, and security-related circumstances in determining the optimal timing and sequencing of electoral events.
The “Timing and Sequencing of Elections” project will assist key national and international stakeholders who engage in the decision-taking process on these issues to make well-informed and context-sensitive choices that favor democratic development in the short and long run. The workshop will bring together high-level experts to exchange their personal experience and research findings to formulate policy options to address various trade-offs in the process of deciding on the timing and sequencing of transitional elections.
The workshop will be held on 13-14 September 2017 in Dakar, Senegal. It will focus on elections that follow periods of authoritarian rule or deep political crisis and build on case studies of Macedonia, Venezuela, Haiti, Myanmar, Madagascar, Lesotho, Burkina Faso and Tunisia.
This event will be followed up by the second workshop focusing on elections in countries transitioning from war to peace.
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