Elections are milestones in the transition from an authoritarian to a democratic regime.

The administration of elections during a transition from an authoritarian to a democratic regime is fraught with challenges. At the same time, the transition offers decision-makers and election administrators opportunities to strengthen electoral management bodies as independent, impartial, credible and professional institutions.

The electoral management body (EMB) that supervises, administers and manages free and fair elections fosters trust in the electoral process and improves the prospects of democratic consolidation.

This Policy Paper outlines the questions to which consideration should be given in supporting EMBs during transition to enable them perform their role. Recognizing the importance of policy choices to be made during democratic transition, it also suggests recommendations to support policymakers and practitioners in this area.


Publication date
10 September 2012
Sean Dunne, Scott Smith
Number of pages
978-91-86565-57-2 (Print)

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Key Recommendations

Executive Summary


1. Essential Considerations

EMB models and independence
Legal framework
Mandate and functions
Membership and staffing
Trust and confidence
Other institutions

2. Case Studies


Annex. Statistical Indicators

References and Further Reading

Acronyms and Abbreviations


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Electoral Management during Transition: Challenges and Opportunities

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