Increasingly aware of the risk of strife presented by elections in countries affected by conflict, governments and civil society need more effective approaches to prevent election-related violence. The U.S. Institute of Peace conducts research, training and fieldwork to develop evidence that will improve knowledge in this field and inform initiatives such as codes of conduct developed by police and elections officials to avert violence. USIP’s Academy also conducts extensive training and education on election violence prevention in Africa.
Indonesia’s defense minister, Prabowo Subianto, is set to become the next president of the world’s fourth-largest country and third-largest democracy. Prabowo will take the reins of power at a tense moment for regional and global security and as president will have to contend with a persistent, low-grade conflict in West Papua. Continuity will likely hold sway as prevailing winds in Indonesia’s foreign policy chart a well-worn course for navigating geopolitical competition and global conflicts, this time with what appears to be a willing captain at the helm.
Days after Pakistan’s February 8 general election, the Election Commission of Pakistan released the official results confirming a major political upset. Contrary to what most political pundits and observers had predicted, independents aligned with former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the most seats at the national level, followed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). No party won an absolute majority needed to form a government on its own. The resultant uncertainty means the United States may have to contend with a government that is more focused on navigating internal politics and less so on addressing strategic challenges.
El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, celebrated a landslide electoral victory on Feb. 4, far outstripping his nearest competitor. “The opposition was pulverized,” Bukele told jubilant crowds outside the National Palace on election night. In reply to critics who warn that El Salvador is moving toward authoritarianism, he proclaimed, “we are not substituting democracy because El Salvador has never had democracy.” The leader who once called himself the “world’s coolest dictator” now boasts of being his country’s “philosopher king.”
The Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance is a joint initiative between USIP and senior leaders from Nigerian civil society to promote good governance practices that strengthen the foundations of peace and security for all Nigerians. Using a cohesive, strategic approach to engage in and advocate for peace and security, the working group fosters relationships between citizens and governors, ensuring that citizens' voices impact crucial decisions.
The Network of Nigerian Facilitators (NNF) is a group of professional peace mediators trained and advised by USIP to mitigate and resolve local conflicts through nonviolent means in Nigeria. Since 2018, USIP has supported the NNF with the aim of preventing conflicts from escalating beyond the community level by piloting dialogue-based approaches and connecting local peacebuilders with policymakers to inform government responses to conflicts.