Coinciding with the release of the 15 case studies that accompany it, International IDEA presented the material from a new policy paper entitled “Timing and Sequencing of Transitional Elections” on 8 May 2019 at the UN Headquarters. The event was attended by colleagues from UN Bodies, Member State missions, and academia alike, to hear the panelists discuss how elections are affected by different types of transitions.
Massimo Tommasoli, the Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the UN, moderated the discussion, emphasizing the need to address the term “Transition” in all its political complexities. The international community recognizes that transitional elections are never perfect linear processes, and International IDEA’s new policy paper and case studies underline the necessity of taking this into account. International IDEA’s analysis is relevant to different types of complex political change that the UN addresses in its daily work: transitions from war to peace; transitions from authoritarian to democratic regimes; and transitions from deep political crises to stability.
Two authors and researchers provided an overview of the results of the policy paper: Sead Alihodzic from the Electoral Processes team at International IDEA, and Sarah Johnson from the Carter Center. They were then followed by a panel of UN and former UN peers to discuss how different the international body can best use such report findings. The panel included Craig Jenness, the Director of the Electoral Assistance Programme in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs; Anne-Marie Goetz, formerly of UN Women and now a Clinical Professor at New York University; and Niall McCann, who is the Lead Electoral Advisor in the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support in UNDP.
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