International IDEA will organize an Interactive Panel Discussion on Timing and Sequencing of Transitional Elections on Thursday, 12 September 2019, at the Press Club Brussels Europe.
The holding of elections is always a critical moment for any democracy. When elections take place in countries transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy, from deep political crises to stability or from war to peace, their significance is greater than usual. In addition to bringing legitimacy to the government, they are expected to contribute to the consolidation of democracy, peace and stability. In some instances, these expectations are difficult to realize. In this respect, the proper timing and sequencing of transitional elections may be critical.
Hastily held elections may take place in unconducive environments, be technically disorganized and are therefore often destabilizing. Delayed elections may miss good momentum for reform and allow authoritarian regimes or warlords to regain strength. Sequencing of different electoral phases and sequencing of electoral processes in relation to other transitional processes (such as constitution-building, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, reconciliation, etc.) can make all the difference.
To contribute to the debate on this topic, International IDEA commissioned fifteen case studies and convened three expert workshops (2016–2017) on the timing and sequencing of transitional elections. These involved high-profile electoral, peacebuilding and negotiation experts. Findings were published in International IDEA’s Policy Paper on the Timing and Sequencing of Transitional Elections in April 2019.
The Interactive Panel Discussion will aim at raising awareness regarding this important topic and to exchange views on the relevance of the key findings of the Policy Paper to current EU policies and practice.
The event will be opened by Sam van der Staak, Head of Europe Programme, International IDEA Europe Office, followed by the keynote introductions of Isabel Martinho, Deputy Head of Division, EEAS Global 3 (Democracy and Electoral Observation) and Chiara Adamo, Head of Unit "Gender, Human Rights and Democratic Governance", DG DEVCO at European Commission.
Sead Alihodzic, Senior Programme Officer, International IDEA's Electoral Processes Team and co-author of the publication will make a brief presentation of the paper and the discussions will be initiated by Peter Vanhoutte, Former EU mediator in the Republic of North Macedonia and Monique van Es, Specialist conflict mediation and reconciliation.
For further information and media inquiries on the event, kindly contact Jean-Charles de Cordes at J.Cordes@idea.int