Working Group on Elections
In recent decades, the world has seen a significant expansion in the number of democracies across all continents. Countries in all parts of the world are embarking on a process of democratization, embodying the principles states by the Warsaw Declaration, first and foremost:
"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government, as expressed by exercise of the right and civic duties of citizens to choose their representatives through regular, free and fair elections with universal and equal suffrage, open to multiple parties, conducted by secret ballot, monitored by independent electoral authorities, and free of fraud and intimidation."
Recalling its commitment to strengthen democracy and assist countries in their process of democratic consolidation, the Community of Democracies has established a Working Group on Elections to serve as a platform for dialogue and action on election-related issues, bringing together government representatives and national electoral institutions, as well as regional and international organizations active in the field.
Objectives and Areas of Work
The Working Group focuses on three main areas:
Strengthening the capacity of Electoral Management Bodies (EMB) and electoral stakeholders, including political parties, observers, civil society and international organizations active in the field of elections.
Increasing electoral accessibility and participation, with a specific emphasis on out-of-country voting.
Improving electoral processes, with a focus on emerging democracies and countries with little electoral experience, paying attention to the entire electoral cycle, from pre-elections phase to post-election period.
Membership and Participation
The Working Group is co-chaired by Mexico and the Philippines. The Working Group's members also include India, the Republic of Korea, Romania, and regional and international organizations- the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, International IDEA, , the National Democratic Institute, Open Society Foundation, and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
The Working Group, established in 2014, has already initatied projects to fulfill its objectives. The first of its projects is "Practical Approaches to Improve Electoral Processes", a comparative study identifying best practices in the conduction of electoral processes, particularly in the areas of professionalism of EMBs, regulation of political finance, and promotion of equal participation and representation of women and of marginalized groups.
Within the framework of the Working group, a specialised course to share experiences among Electoral Management Bodies on the use of information and communication technology in electoral process was organized in Mexico City between November 10 and 14, 2014, in collaboration with the National Electoral Institute of Mexico and the International Centre for Electoral Training and Research.
For further information about the Working Group, membership and activities, please contact WGElections@community-democracies.org