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International IDEA receives the Cátedra a la Democracia Award for its contribution to electoral democracy in Costa Rica

November 22, 2017
Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr Daniel Zovatto, (left), receives on behalf of International IDEA, the

On the auspices of the 75th anniversary since the establishment of democracy in Costa Rica, International IDEA was honored with the "Cátedra a la Democracia Award". The award was received by the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr Daniel Zovatto, who also gave the keynote address entitled "The state of democracy in Latin America: current situation and challenges".

Este articulo se encuentra disponible en Castellano.


The Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr Daniel Zovatto, on behalf of International IDEA, received the "Cátedra a la Democracia Award" from the President of Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Costa Rica, Luis Antonio Sobrado, during the country´s 75th anniversary of the Day of Democracy celebrations. The award was conferred in recognition of two decades of fruitful relationship between International IDEA and the TSE. During his conferring speech, the President Sobrado highlighted the invaluable contribution of International IDEA in the different electoral processes in Costa Rica. He acknowledged, "The footprint of International IDEA and, personally of Daniel Zovatto, has been inscribed in our Electoral Law, in better regulated and more transparent electoral processes."

On being conferred, Dr Zovatto gave the Keynote Address entitled, "The State of Democracy in Latin America: Current Situation and Challenges". He conveyed, on behalf of the Secretary-General of International IDEA, Yves Leterme, words of greetings and gratitude for the award given to the institution, ratifying the commitment of International IDEA to continue supporting the strengthening of the democratic and electoral processes in Costa Rica. Likewise, the Regional Director congratulated the people of Costa Rica for their 75 years of democracy, one of the longest and most stable in Latin America.

During his address, Dr Zovatto offered an overview of democracy in Latin America, presenting a sketch of these first 39 years of the Third Democratic Wave in the Latin American region, providing a balance on the current state of democracies in the region and identifying the main challenges. He noted that democracy does not happen by causality, but is the result of a permanent construction. "In my opinion," he said, "the only way to guarantee the continuity of democracy and improve its quality is by working hard every day, and with firm democratic conviction."

He also highlighted that the work of International IDEA, led by the TSE of Costa Rica, began18 years ago. During this time, the main thematic areas in which International IDEA has developed its work in Costa Rica are: 1) political and electoral reforms, 2) the issue of financing of political parties, 3) gender parity and 4) the historic electoral reform of 2009, which modernized the Costa Rican electoral regime.

These actions, coinciding with the leadership of the President of the TSE, have contributed to improve the quality of democracy, a more transparent electoral system and in accordance with the demands and demands of the Costa Rican citizenship, elections with integrity and electoral authorities with high level of trust.

Additional readings:

Full speech by the President of TSE-Costa Rica, Luis Antonio Sobrado, on the presentation of "Cátedra a la Democracia Award" to International IDEA available here.

Press Release by the TSE-Costa Rica, announcing the conferring of the award to International IDEA and keynote address of Dr Daniel Zovatto, available here.

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