Genuine and legitimate democratic elections are a key pillar of sustainable peace, security and stability. It is the free expression of sovereignty that belongs to the people of a country, and which provides the physical foundation of government legitimacy. Put differently, democratic and genuine elections are the vehicle through which the people of a country can freely express their interests, based on principles that establish who shall have the mandate and legitimacy to represent them.
BIC’s democratic development project focuses on the supporting the promoting the pillars of democratic governance, including freedom of expression, the integrity of electoral processes, and rule of law. Our researchers actively monitor developments ahead of, during, and following key elections in the Middle East and Africa, with the objective of noting potential obstacles to further democratic development. BIC aims to support stronger compliance with key international treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. This project envisions dedicating resources and capacity to an international election observation component, which would focus on reinforcing the integrity of electoral processes, exposing possible irregularities, and providing recommendations and best practices.
ELECTION OBSERVATION METHODOLOGY
Building on this understanding and recognizing the interest in an objective, impartial and professional way, BIC works globally, focusing primarily on the MENA region, to advance and promote public confidence, respect for human rights and rule of law. Always respectful of national sovereignty, BIC’s electoral observation missions are only deployed following an explicit invitation from the host country election authorities. In this way, BIC contributes to particular electoral processes through comprehensive, systematic, accurate and impartial reports, which constructively aim to further compliance with national laws and relevant international treaties, such as the universal declaration of Human Rights and the international covenant for civil and political rights. The electoral cycle identifies the key stages and components in an electoral process as well as the three main periods: the pre-election preparatory period, the operational election period and the strategic post-election period. Moreover, clearly identifiable roles and responsibilities for different mission members is a key for the success of an electoral observation mission.
The ultimate goal of BIC’s Democratic Development initiatives is to assist in assessing to which extent electoral processes around the MENA region complies with international standards for democratic elections, while also analyzing whether a country’s national legislation adhere to these commitments.