One in five elections worldwide is marred by violence—from burned ballot boxes to violent suppression of peaceful rallies, to assassinations of candidates. A USIP study of programs to prevent violence suggests focusing on improving the administration and policing of elections. The study, of elections in Kenya and Liberia, found no evidence that programs of voter consultation or peace messaging were effective there.
Building peace is a challenge we should all accept; how do you think we can achieve peace in your community and in Nigeria? On September 21, USIP held a Twitter chat on the International Day of Peace to participate in the #PeaceDayChallenge. Ideas were shared on how we can achieve sustainable peace in Nigeria by using #NGPeaceChat.
On September 6th, USIP hosted two panels that explored the election results, the factors that influenced them, and looked forward towards their implications for the new government - its opportunities, challenges, and the future of Pakistan’s democracy.
To discuss the outcome of the elections, the shape of the next government, and the complaints and challenges to the outcome, USIP held a conversation with senior representatives from Pakistan’s top three political parties (PTI, PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party) via Skype along with experts Daniel Markey and Moeed Yusuf in Washington, D.C.
After two five-year terms and multiple delayed elections during the controversial presidency of Joseph Kabila, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has scheduled presidential elections for December 2018. Although hopes are high, and several Congolese contenders have publicly announced their intentions for candidacy, popular frustrations and distrust of President Kabila, whose term expired in December 2016, continue to fuel fears of rigged elections.
With the composition of Colombia’s next Congress set, jockeying and coalition-building among the main candidates is fully underway ahead of the May 27 presidential polls. The outcome will have important implications for the precarious implementation of the 2016 FARC peace accord, which has yet to tackle key political and agrarian reforms, and the next president will also have to chart a way forward for the dialogues with the ELN as talks in Quito race against the clock to design a new indefinite bilateral ceasefire and cement the parameters for public participation in future negotiations.
The U.S. Institute of Peace was pleased to co-host a public event with the Friends of Liberia to discuss the 2017 Liberia elections, and its importance for peace and development in the country. The panel included country experts and election practitioners, including Linda Thomas-Greenfield former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Ambassador to Liberia.
On October 23, leaders from citizens’ campaigns in Guatemala, Ukraine and Burkina Faso explored how international actors can find synergy—and better curtail corruption—with grassroots movements.
On March 23, the U.S. Institute of Peace held a half-day event to discuss past and upcoming elections that illustrate the risk of violence, with the aim of identifying promising ways to realize peace at the polls. Panelists included ambassadors to the U.S., leading election scholars, and the contributing authors of Electing Peace, a new USIP book that examines the effectiveness of common practices to prevent election violence.
The U.S. Institute of Peace held an online conversation via Twitter to discuss past and upcoming elections at risk of violence. Participants included the contributing authors of Electing Peace, a recent research volume that examines the effectiveness of common practices to prevent election violence.