results declaration

Kayode Idowu

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Focus Area(s)
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3
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Gabriel Kuris and Rahmane Idrissa
Name
Kayode Idowu
Interviewee's Position
Chief Press Secretary
Interviewee's Organization
Attahiru Jega
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Kayode Idowu describes his role as Chief Press Secretary for Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He explains the transparency and accountability that Jega has brought to INEC through changes such as maintaining open, honest communication with the media and taking responsibility for problems as they arise. For instance, Idowu recounts the delay in the April 2ndelections, explaining that INEC chose to postpone elections rather than use non-official result sheets that were not secure.  He also comments on how the rise of social media has changed media relations, making both INEC and the conventional media more accountable. Idowu discusses his experiences handling the public relations surrounding election violence, distinguishing the security aspects from the electoral aspects of the issue. In response to election violence, INEC initiated cooperative efforts with security agencies; Idowu describes this process as well as INEC’s communication and cooperation with other groups, including Parties, civil society, and the State Electoral Committees. Throughout the interview, Idowu explains how his background in print media helps him understand and relate to the media with whom he works. 

Profile

At the time of this interview Kayode Idowu was serving as the Chief Press Secretary to Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the commission. Jega recruited Idowu in July of 2010 from his post as deputy editor of The Nation. Idowu previously served as editor of the SaturdayPunch, deputy editor of the SaturdayThis Day, and chief sub editor ofThe Guardian. He is also a former Saturday editor of the now-defunct The Comet.

 

A Path to Peace: Liberia's First Post-War Elections, 2004-2005

Author
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform
Abstract
In 2005, Liberia held its first post-conflict elections, two years after a peace agreement ended 14 years of civil war. Navigating treacherous political waters and facing both time constraints and citizen skepticism, Frances Johnson-Morris, chairwoman of the newly installed National Elections Commission, oversaw a largely peaceful electoral process that ushered in a new legislature and president. A former Supreme Court chief justice, she knew that failure to hold credible elections could plunge the peace process into disarray and send the country back into conflict. To dampen the risk of violence, Johnson-Morris prioritized building citizens’ trust in the commission and took steps to ensure the elections were as inclusive as possible. She established a vetting process to hire qualified staff for the commission and conducted a thorough update of the voter registry that ensured people who lacked standard identification papers could still sign up to vote. Johnson-Morris also oversaw the design of a consultation committee that put political party representatives and elections commission staff in one room, where they could share important messages and formulate unified policy. Ordinary Liberians and independent observers expressed satisfaction with the free, fair and peaceful conduct of the elections.  
 
Michael Scharff drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Monrovia, Liberia, in July 2011 and using interviews conducted by Nealin Parker in August 2008. Case published October 2011.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Thomas Du, Senesee Geso Freeman

Khalfan H. Khalfan

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Focus Area(s)
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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Varanya Chaubey
Name
Khalfan H. Khalfan
Interviewee's Position
Executive Director
Interviewee's Organization
Organization of People with Disabilities
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzania
Town/City
Zanzibar
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Khalfan H. Khalfan, executive director of the Organization of People with Disabilities, talks about his and others' efforts in Zanzibar to enfranchise disabled people.  He addresses the challenges involved in ensuring disabled people can exercise their right to vote and explains the particular difficulties disabled people face in accessing polling stations, casting their votes in private, and avoiding election violence.  He also speaks briefly about his role as an election observer in Zanzibar’s first multiparty election in 1995 and some of the irregularities he noted during that election.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Khalfan H. Khalfan was executive director of the Organization of People with Disabilities, an advocacy group that he founded in 1985 in his native Zanzibar.  He became involved in disabled-rights activism after traveling to Singapore to attend a meeting for the disabled in 1981, the International Year of Disabled People.  Khalfan also founded the Eastern African Federation of the Disabled.  He was a member of the World Council of Disabled People International for more than 20 years, an elected vice chair for development and underrepresented groups of Disabled People International from 2002 to 2007, and chairperson of the Pan African Federation of the Disabled for 12 years.  Prior to his activism on behalf of rights for the disabled, he worked as a secondary-school teacher for almost 20 years.  He died in March 2009.

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50 MB
Full Audio Title
Khalfan H. Khalfan - Full Interview

Clarence Kipobota

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Focus Area(s)
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6
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Varanya Chaubey
Name
Clarence Kipobota
Interviewee's Position
Outreach Services Coordinator
Interviewee's Organization
Legal and Human Rights Center
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzania
Place (Building/Street)
Legal and Human Rights Center
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Clarence Kipobota draws on his experience working on pre- and post-election issues at the Legal and Human Rights Center to address various aspects of Tanzania’s electoral process.  He highlights problems with the independence of the Electoral Committee, updating the permanent voter registry, ensuring the enfranchisement of marginalized groups and combating voter fraud.  He also details how the center and its partners were pushing for reform, and he discusses the voter-education activities they were leading.

Profile

Clarence Kipobota joined the Legal and Human Rights Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after graduating from law school in 2003.  At the time of this interview, he held the position of outreach services coordinator, working to coordinate nine different programs focusing on mass education, human rights monitoring, gender, legal aid, public engagement, election watch, Parliament watch, justice watch and government watch.  He was involved in the pre- and post-election activities of the center.

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61.8MB
Full Audio Title
Clarence Kipobota- Full Interview

Humayun Kabir

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Focus Area(s)
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3
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Varanya Chaubey
Name
Humayun Kabir
Interviewee's Position
Secretary of the Election Commission Secretariat
Interviewee's Organization
Bangladesh Election Commission
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Bangladeshi
Town/City
Dhaka
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Humayun Kabir, a secretary at the Bangladesh Election Commission Secretariat, shares his experience in the 2008 Bangladeshi election.  He talks about many aspects of the electoral process and how the newly constituted Election Commission dealt with them between February 2007 and December 2008.  He details the voter-registration and boundary-delimitation processes and the multiple challenges the commission faced in accomplishing these tasks.  He also highlights successful innovations such as the photographic voter registry and the use of transparent ballot boxes, which he credits with limiting post-election violence in 2008.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Humayun Kabir was a secretary of the Bangladesh Election Commission Secretariat.  He joined the commission in 2007, shortly after it had undergone a significant restructuring exercise in response to the postponement of the 2007 Bangladeshi election.  Prior to joining the Election Commission he was the managing director of the national insurance corporation, Sadharan Bima Corp.  He also worked as joint secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, as deputy secretary of the Cabinet and in various capacities at other Bangladeshi ministries.

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39.2MB
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Humayun Kabir- Full Interview

Raphael Trotman

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6
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Varanya Chaubey
Name
Raphael Trotman
Interviewee's Position
Member of Parliament; Party Leader
Interviewee's Organization
Alliance for Change, Guyana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Guyanese
Town/City
Georgetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Raphael Trotman gives a detailed account of the role of the Alliance for Change party in the 2006 Guyanan elections, which were hailed by the Carter Center as the most peaceful that Guyana ever had. In addition to the mediating force of the AFC in the elections, Trotman credits the United Nations Development Programme, the heavy presence of election observers and the actions of civil society institutions with helping assure peaceful elections. He recognizes the strides the Guyana Elections Commission made in the area of election results, but he tempers that praise with criticism of the organization's partiality in matters concerning funding for the payment of scrutineers (political party-based poll workers), recruitment of poll workers, and ensuing legal battles with the Alliance for Change. Trotman offers a sobering account of results from the 2006 election that were still being contested at the time of the interview.

Case Study:  Cooling Ethnic Conflict Over a Heated Election: Guyana, 2001-2006

Profile

At the time of this interview, Raphael Trotman was a member of the Guyanese Parliament and leader of the Alliance for Change political party. A lawyer by training, Trotman describes himself as "in the middle" racially, with roots in both the East Indian and African ethnic groups that stratify much of the political and social thinking in Guyana. His background in conflict studies and resolution led him to help form the AFC as a third-party alternative to the dominant People's Progressive Party and the People's National Congress.

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60.3MB
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Raphael Trotman- Full Interview

Calvin Benn

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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Varanya Chaubey
Name
Calvin Benn
Interviewee's Position
Deputy Commissioner of the National Registration and Deputy Chief Election Officer of Operations
Interviewee's Organization
Guyana Elections Commission
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Guyanese
Town/City
Georgetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Calvin Benn of the Guyana Elections Commission recounts the depth and breadth of his experience in the administration and management of Guyana's national elections, particularly focusing on the successes of the 2006 election process.  In his capacity with the commission, Benn oversaw the registration of voters and administration of polling places, including the distribution of polling supplies, recruitment and training of poll workers, and vote counting and verification.  Benn shares some relatively straightforward approaches to resolving voting day challenges, including simulation exercises, acquainting poll workers and security forces with polling places, the training of political party polling "scrutineers," the shipment of polling supplies, and the procedure for vote counting.  The interview can be broken into two related but distinct parts: Benn's role as the administrator of the polling process and his related but separate responsibility overseeing a continuous registration process for national identification cards for purposes that include but are not limited to voting registration. 

Case Study:  Cooling Ethnic Conflict Over a Heated Election: Guyana, 2001-2006

Profile

At the time of this interview, Calvin Benn was the deputy commissioner of national registration and deputy chief election officer of operations at the Guyana Elections Commission.  He became a full-time employee of the commission secretariat in 2000, having served the organization since 1975 in various part-time positions.  He previously taught and worked for the the Ministry of Education.  His experience with administration of elections in Guyana includes local, district, and national elections.  He oversaw the continuous registration process as well as a house-to-house registration verification exercise. 

Full Audio File Size
68.6MB
Full Audio Title
Calvin Benn- Full Interview

Alex Paila

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Focus Area(s)
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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Ashley McCants
Name
Alex Paila
Interviewee's Position
Voter Education and Public Relations Officer
Interviewee's Organization
National Electoral Commission, Sierra Leone
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Sierra Leone
Town/City
Bo District
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Alex Paila discusses various aspects of national and local election management in Sierra Leone during 2007 and 2008. These areas include the recruitment, training, evaluation and monitoring of election staff; election security; voter registration, audits and curtailment of voter fraud; information dissemination, media relations and enfranchisement of marginalized groups; and financial and logistical constraints and concerns.  He also emphasizes cooperation with community-based civilian organizations as key for information dissemination and higher voter turnouts, and he stresses relations with international organizations to improve workers’ training and monitoring, and secure funding. Paila also speaks about the issues of districting and determining electoral timetables.  Finally, he reflects upon some of the challenges faced by Sierra Leone during the elections in 2007 and 2008, as well as possible hurdles that the country may face in the future.    

Profile

At the time of the interview, Alex Paila was the voter education and public relations officer at the National Electoral Commission in Sierra Leone. Prior to that, he worked as a journalist for various newspapers, including the Ceylon Times and the Spectator. He was also employed, first as a reporter and then as deputy news editor, at the Sierra Leone Broadcast Service. Paila holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. 

Full Audio File Size
84 MB
Full Audio Title
Alex Paila - Full Interview

Victoria Stewart-Jolley

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14
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Nealin Parker
Name
Victoria Stewart-Jolley
Interviewee's Position
Legal Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
United Nations Development Programme Electoral Assistance Team, Sierra Leone
Language
English
Town/City
Freetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Victoria Stewart-Jolley discusses electoral management and electoral law and procedures in Sierra Leone in 2007 and 2008. She analyzes the significance of choice of electoral system, including simple plurality, proportional representation, and block representations, especially in post-conflict states; and she discusses the Constitution of Sierra Leone with regard to election law. Stewart-Jolley speaks about the process for legislating operational procedures, the various challenges faced by the National Electoral Commission in this regard, and the outcomes of these enactments. She considers the nature and functioning of the commission, and discusses the tradeoffs between independence, transparency and political concerns that an electoral management body faces. She reflects upon issues relating to resolving electoral disputes, and the repercussions of various strategies on confidence building in post-conflict countries. Stewart-Jolley also touches upon Sierra Leone’s efforts to enfranchise marginalized demographic groups, and to represent them in government. Finally, she reflects on the role that international organizations play in domestic electoral matters, and the balance that they must strike between offering advice and implementation.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Victoria Stewart-Jolley was a legal adviser for the United Nations Development Programme's Electoral Assistance Team in Sierra Leone, a position that she had held since March 2007. She worked during the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections as well as the 2008 local elections to create legal frameworks for electoral management. Prior to working in Sierra Leone, she was a lawyer for the Electoral Complaints Commission in Afghanistan. Stewart-Jolley also worked in international criminal law in Timor-Leste, and in World Trade Organization law in Indonesia. She holds a law degree and has a background in international public law and constitutional law.

Full Audio File Size
61MB
Full Audio Title
Victoria Stewart-Jolley Interview

Vincent Crabbe

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Focus Area(s)
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10
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Ashley McCants
Name
Vincent Crabbe
Interviewee's Position
Co-Chairman
Interviewee's Organization
Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Vincent Crabbe discusses his experience confronting the many challenges of ensuring transparency in the conduct of elections. One of the chief obstacles to transparent elections is the compilation of a reliable voter registry. For instance, in the absence of birth certificates and other forms of identification, he notes the difficulty of ascertaining whether a voter is of legal voting age. Other obstacles to compiling the lists include the fact that multiple individuals have the same name. Crabbe explains key reforms to Ghana’s elections process that he believes are transferrable to other countries, including see-through ballot boxes and counting ballots at polling stations to reduce the likelihood of tampering with while en route to counting centers. Finally, Crabbe sheds light on what he believes are the key attributes required for an electoral commissioner.   

Case Study:  Keeping the Peace in a Tense Election: Ghana, 2008

Profile

At the time of this interview, Vincent Crabbe was the co-chairman of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers, which monitored all aspects of public elections in Ghana. Decades earlier, Crabbe established the country’s Electoral Commission. In 1968, he was appointed interim electoral commissioner. In this role, he oversaw the 1969 democratic elections that brought an end to military rule. Crabbe's status as interim electoral commissioner was equivalent to that of a judge on the Court of Appeals. He also served as the chairman of the Constituent Assembly for the drafting of Ghana's 1979 Constitution, as parliamentary counsel and constitutional adviser to the Ugandan government, and as director of the Commonwealth Secretariat Scheme for Legislative Draftsmen for the West, East, Southern and Central Africa Regions and the Caribbean Region. He also drafted the Guiding Principles for UNESCO in the field of Education, Scientific and Cultural Exchanges. He taught at the International Law Development Centre in Rome, Italy, and was a professor of legislative drafting at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

Full Audio File Size
82 MB
Full Audio Title
Vincet Crabbe - Full Interview