Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Because Accountability Counts - A Journalist guide for covering post-elections

Because Accountability Counts – A Journalist guide for covering post-elections in Ghana is one of the key building blocks for Ghana Post-elections Intervention Project whose main objective is to help overcome the challenges and problems affecting citizens' ability to hold elected representatives accountable for promises they make during pre-election campaigns. The guide's main objective is to empower journalists and other stakeholders
with an information and knowledge resource for playing the watch and guide dog role in holding elected officers accountable. It provides an overview of post-elections landscape of Ghana, covering governance, legislative issues, political parties and their manifestoes,ruling party, opposition and governing after an election and provides guides for covering:
1. Parliament, Political Parties, Ruling Government (mapping campaign promises
& manifesto), Opposition and Key Governance Issues
2. Investigative journalism and post-elections coverage
3. ICTs and Covering Post-Elections
4. Covering Budget and Extractive Industries and
5. Lessons to be learned from the post 2007 election crisis in Kenya

Download a copy of the the guide here

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eight Candidates to Contest Uganda 2011 Elections

According to The Electoral Comission of Uganda, eight presidential candidates are contesting Uganda 2011 Presidential Elections namely
  1. Mr Yoweri K Museveni,
    National Resistance Movement [NRM]
  2. Mr Jaberi Bidandi Ssali,
    People's Progressive Party [PPP]
  3. Dr Kizza Besigye,
    Forum for Democratic Change [FDC]
  4. Ms Beti Olive Kamya,
    Uganda Federal Alliance [UFA]
  5. Mr Norbert Mao,
    Democratic Party [DP]
  6. Dr Abed Bwanika,
    People's Development Party [PDP]
  7. Mr Olara Otunnu ,
    Uganda People's Congress [UPC]
  8. Mr Samuel Lubega,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Namibia : Briefing on African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

The IPPR in collaboration with Forum for the Future, Namibia Institute for Democracy, and the Institute for Democracy in Africa are organising a one-day briefing workshop on the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The Charter was approved by the AU several years ago but so far has not been ratified by many countries (Namibia has yet to ratify it).
The day workshop features various speakers including Ambassador Kaire Mbuende, former parliamentarian Tsudao Gurirab, and Jean Scrimgeour of the Institute for Democracy in Africa.
The venue is the Polytechnic Hotel School, Windhoek West.
To register please send an email to info@ippr.org.na including your name and any organization you represent.
 the date and time of the workshop is Tuesday November 30 from 9h00 to 16h00.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Carter Center Urges End to Negative Campaign Rhetoric

The Carter Center urges Cote d'Ivoire's presidential candidates to refrain from the use of negative campaign rhetoric, including personal attacks made in a threatening tone, and reminds candidates and their supporters of the code of conduct and other rules governing electoral behavior. The Center hopes that the two presidential candidates and their representatives will use the opportunity to participate in debates broadcast on Ivoirian Radio and Television (RTI) to share their political programs for Cote d'Ivoire.

 "I hope that both presidential candidates will encourage their supporters to respect the right of all Ivoirians to choose their leader without fear of intimidation or reprisal," said Carter Center delegation co-leader and former Ghana President John Kufuor.  "Africa and the rest of the world are watching with hope that this electoral process will be conducted for the benefit of its entire people and that Cote d'Ivoire will be restored to a path of peace and socio-economic prosperity."

 The Carter Center notes that press commentary often repeat rumors and reinforces polarizing viewpoints.  The Center supports the efforts of the National Press Council to restore more professional journalism.

 The Center also is concerned about increasing reports from its long-term observers that tensions are rising in several parts of the country as the campaigns heat up.  The security environment in Cote d'Ivoire still requires a commitment from all political actors, security forces, and citizens to participate in the election in the spirit of national reconciliation and respect for diversity.

 The Carter Center will deploy a delegation of 50 observers to the Nov. 30 presidential election run-off between current President Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Outtara.

 The Center has observed the election process in Cote d'Ivoire since 2008, and deployed observers on three occasions during voter registration and public inspection of the provisional voter list.  In October, the Center deployed a 40-person delegation, including long-term and short-term observers, led by former Ghana President John Kufuor and Dr. John Stremlau, vice president for the peace programs at The Carter Center.

 The Carter Center will release a public statement shortly after election day to share preliminary observations.  The Center's observation mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.




A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ugandan Journalists Get Election Coverage Guidelines

Ahead of Uganda's February 2011 general elections, the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) has launched a set of elections reporting guidelines that were developed in consultation with local media houses and journalists' associations.
visit http://www.acme-ug.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=19&Itemid=  to download copy of the guide

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Burkina Faso : Voters Heads for the Polls on Sunday 21st November

Voting is underway in  Burkina Faso Presidential Elections 2010, with the rulling president Blaise Compaore, who is one of African's longest serving leader with 23 years rule under this belt. Provisional results are expected by 25th November 2010 

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Carter Center Urges Calm, Restraint in Guinea

The Carter Center appeals to Guinea's political party leaders to allow the Supreme Court to resolve any disputes over election results and to reiterate their appeals for calm. At the same time, the Center welcomes pledges made by both candidates to constitute a government of national unity as a gesture of reconciliation regardless of who is declared winner by the Supreme Court.

The Center is deeply concerned about acts of violence, persecution, and vandalism that occurred prior to the elections and in many areas of Guinea since the announcement of provisional election results on Nov. 15. The Center unequivocally condemns such acts and calls on the government to prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.

While it is appropriate that State and security forces assume their responsibilities, it is essential that they avoid excessive use of force.

The Center endorses the role of the International Contact Group in encouraging restraint and reconciliation and reminding leaders of both parties that they will be held accountable for any violence by their supporters.

Observers, both domestic and international, found that the run-off election was transparent and credible, despite some weaknesses. The electoral process should be permitted to continue free from interference.

The people of Guinea must not allow isolated acts of violence and unsubstantiated rumors to undermine the progress made this year in bringing more accountable government to their country. Guinea can be justly proud of the historic national achievement of the elections and the transition to civilian rule so far – this is a critical juncture to ensure that the steps that have been made are not undone.

At this moment of great promise, the party leaders must show exceptional leadership in uniting the nation and ensuring a smooth transition to a more democratic future. 


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.  Please visit www.cartercenter.org to learn more about The Carter Center.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guinee Second tour Présidentielle 2010 - Résultats provisoires


Alpha CONDE (RPG)1,474,973 (52.52%)

Cellou Dalein DIALLO  (UFDG) 1,333,666 (47.48%)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monitoring Guinea's Election from Laptops in New York

In the West African nation of Guinea, officials are still counting ballots in a very close run-off election for President. This vote could transform Guinea into a democracy after decades of dictatorial rule. And here in New York, a group of international volunteers called Alliance Guinea has found an unusual way to support the country's transition. They have asked Guineans to use their cell phones to send a text if they experience an election-related problem. And they are mapping the results at GV10Witness.org.

It's the Guinean equivalent of, "If you see something, say something." But there, the official language is French. So the public information campaign in Guinea was this: Je vois et j'envois. I see and I send. 

"Je vois, if I see something, j'envois a text, an smsm, to the sytem," said Jennifer Swift-Morgan while taking a break from her day job raising money for Columbia University's Earth Institute.

Anyone in Guinea observing voting problems -- or successes -- can send a text that goes to the Alliance's Web site. Then the Alliance's members use a crowdsourcing program called Ushahidi to sort through and map the responses on a public Web site. Ushahidi was created in the violent aftermath of Kenya's 2007 election to track incidences of violence on a Google map.

Guinean graduate student Al-Houssaine Bah helped start Guinea's election monitoring project here in New York. On a recent visit to Swift-Morgan's office to talk about how the effort is going, he explained, "When you live outside the country, it's easier for you to fight." Bah said when he left Guinea in 2006, this project would not have been possible, and not just because of an oppressive government. Guinea is rich in minerals, such as bauxite and iron. But most of the people are poor. "It was very difficult to have cell phones in Guinea," Bah said. 

In 2010, people are still poor, but Bah said more have cell phones than don't. And the five service providers in Guinea even agreed to promote the vote-monitoring project: they sent texts to all customers encouraging them to participate.

Alliance Guinea got a $13,000 dollar grant from the U.S. State Department through the Embassy in Guinea, but that went mostly to technology, billboards and banners, and radio and television spots. The people running the Alliance are all volunteers. When Swift-Morgan took a break from work and stepped into a conference room with her laptop, she found other volunteers already logged in, on computers in France, Albuquerque and Philadelphia.

The voting was Sunday and international monitors have said it went relatively smoothly, but Swift-Morgan says she's still getting some allegations of fraud. Reading from a text message about allegations of ballot-stuffing, she said in one village someone claimed you could buy a blank ballot, fill it out, and put it into the ballot box ahead of time.

The Guinean Alliance was born a year ago, after a pro-democracy rally in Guinea resulted in a government massacre of more than 150 people. A 2009 Human Rights Watch report said security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters at a stadium in the capital and sexually assaulted dozens of women.

Al-Houssaine Bah was here in New York, and planning a protest at the UN the same day, September 28.

"At 8 in the morning, I'm leaving my house," he recalled. "They called me, they said, oh, they killed many people in Guinea."

Swift-Morgan says the next day everyone was calling each other.  "We just said, we've got to do something," she said. Swift-Morgan was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea ten years ago and continues to do research there. With Bah, she and other Guineans and non-Guineans started the Alliance to support the fight for democracy in Guinea. Their aim: to help ensure a free and fair election. "That's why the people died," Swift-Morgan said. "They sacrificed themselves so there would be democracy in Guinea." 

Guinea's elections this year have been plagued by violent conflict. The two main candidates are from different ethnic groups, and the campaigns have played up their differences. So suspicion between the groups is common. 

Between the general election in May and the run-off on Sunday, Guineans have texted more than 20,000 messages to the Guinean Alliance's Web site. Some accuse their opponents of fraud. But many of the messages have been positive. Another core Alliance member, Raul Rothblatt, says he wishes those had gotten more attention.

"I mean it's not exciting to talk about, 'oh nothing really happened here,'" he said after a check in with Swift-Morgan. "People are feeling kinda good," he said, "that's not very newsworthy."

Some of the texts cannot be mapped.  They may be love-letters to the Project's Guinean spokesperson, Ms. Guinea. Some are expressions of gratitude for being able to vote, or plugs for one candidate or another. It is the job of about 30 dedicated volunteers around the world to sort through the messages and map the 5 percent or so that actually identify a specific observation in a specific place. On election day, Rothblatt says, Alliance Guinea volunteers were able to tell their team members in Guinea's capital, Conakry, about specific problems and get them fixed.

In one district there weren't enough ballots, someone texted. The team in Conakry verified, and Guinea's electoral commission delivered more. In other areas, Swift-Morgan says, there were reports of tampering -- again verified and corrected by an electoral commission delegate. 

Swift-Morgan uses Skype to call her project coordinator in Conakry and try, on a fuzzy line, to arrange a steering committee conference call to plan their next move. With votes still uncounted in Guinea and the race very close, the Guinean Alliance is figuring out how to address the next challenge: what happens when the results are announced. 

"Either way, the losing side is going to react," Swift-Morgan said. "So that's what we're bracing for. We're hoping for the best, and we're bracing for the worst." The worst would be outbreaks of violence, and Swift-Morgan said she wants to make sure the site is able to carefully monitor any conflict, via text messages from Guinea's citizens.

Swift-Morgan and her team have decided to ask the country's cell phone companies to send out another mass text message, this one asking cell phone users to text if they see any instances of violence after results are announced. Al Houssaine Bah has been hoping the Alliance's civilian vote-monitoring project will ultimately help Guineans accept the election's outcome. "The best way is to show them here if you lose it's because people don't vote for you," he said. "If you win, it's that you have the majority of the population who voted for you."

Members of the Alliance Guinea say they can always use more help from anyone with an interest in promoting democracy, a computer and a little French. And they say, strangely enough, it often helps that many of their members are not from Guinea themselves. Bah said Guineans resist the idea that any of their countrymen, coming from one or another of the rivaling ethnic groups, can be politically neutral. But when Swift-Morgan reaches out to Guineans, she said, they are not so skeptical. "They don't question our motives," she said. "They know that we're not trying to get a job. We're doing it because we believe in it and want to provide this service."

Alliance Guinea is dreaming up ways to use crowd-sourcing technology in the future, maybe to monitor the delivery of public services as Guinea's democracy gets started. Or maybe the group can help track corruption, though Swift-Morgan predicted that would be tricky. Their plan, she said, is to ask the Guinean people: 'This is a tool. How would you like to use it?'



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kenya Elections : MPs rule out August 2012 poll date

But, even as they ruled out the August poll date, they were not clear on when the next polls will be held, with some of them saying December 2012 while the others insisted it will have to be "sometime in March 2013".

The MPs cited Clause 10 of the Sixth Schedule of the new Constitution to back their position, saying the term for the current Parliament had been "saved".

The clause reads: "The National Assembly existing immediately before the effective date shall continue as the National Assembly for the purposes of this Constitution for its unexpired term."

"That unexpired term cannot have any other meaning," Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo told the Nation at the sidelines of a meeting at the Kenya Institute of Administration Tuesday.

The minister said that as long as the coalition government continued to operate, then Parliament's mandate will hold until the next elections in December, and the August poll date will only apply to the next Parliament.

"We can have the elections in December," said Mr Kilonzo. He said the old Constitution still applied and that's why they have to be in office until December 2012.

Mr Abdikadir Mohammed, the chairman of Parliament's Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, said it "wouldn't make sense" to have the elections in August 2012, because that will "shorten" the implementation period.

Mr Mohammed told the Nation that if the August 2012 poll-date was to apply, then Parliament will have to dissolve itself in May to give room –the mandatory 60 days—within which the electoral commission has to prepare and conduct elections.

However, like the Justice minister, Mr Mohammed too cited the "unexpired term" tag in the transition and consequential clauses of the Constitution to say that the election date has to be in December 2012.

"The date for the next elections," Mr Mohammed said, "has to be exactly five years from the date of the last election, and that is December 2012".

He said the heavy schedule in setting up institutions, laws and infrastructure for the new dispensation, needed time, and that's why the 10th Parliament – the current one — will not dissolve itself in May 2012.

"We have so much on our plate, especially the work to do with counties and devolution. It is a lot and we need time," said Mr Mohammed.
While the powers of the current Parliament are extended until the next elections, the President's powers to dissolve Parliament –the very powers that he held in the old Constitution—are not in the new Constitution.

Mr Ababu Namwamba, the chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, also ruled out the August poll date, but then explained the "unexpired term" to mean that the MPs have to be in Parliament until January 15, 2013 –that's the day they were sworn in.
Mr Namwamba's interpretation means that the next elections will come up on or before March 2013, taking into account the 60-day time limit for the electoral body to organize the poll.

However, the Justice Minister was categorical: "Those saying August 2012 and those saying March 2013 are all wrong. The polls have to come in December. I showed them this Clause (10 of the Sixth Schedule) and I think they agreed with me that December is the date. We can't have them (the polls) in 2013. That will be more than five years."

The two-day retreat ended with MPs agreed that their term will last until December 2012. They also agreed that all public officers will have to be vetted, regardless of whether they were elected by professional bodies or nominated by the President and the Prime Minister.

"We'll vet everyone, whether they are elected by a few hundred professionals or nominated by the President. Because in any case, the President draws his mandate from the votes of close to four million Kenyans. So really, there shouldn't be a difference in the way we treat the nominees," Mr Namwamba told the Nation.

The House team pledged to stick to the Constitutional deadlines and put in place laws to quickly roll out the new Constitution.
Mr Mohammed, the chair of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, said that MPs will agree based on the need --whether to take their December recess and come back early (before March) from the recess.

The retreat ended with MPs promising to uphold the spirit of the Constitution --that of upholding transparency in all Public appointments.



credit : http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/MPs rule out August 2012 poll date/-/1064/1050014/-/u522gdz/-/

Friday, November 5, 2010


La Commission Electorale Indépendante a examiné les résultats recueillis dans les 20 073 bureaux  de vote. Après délibération, elle a validé les résultats globaux suivants :

·       Nombre de bureaux de vote : 19 945

·       Nombre inscrits : 5 725 720

·       Nombre de participants : 4 837 579

·       Nombre de suffrages nuls : 221 655


Nombre de suffrages obtenus par les candidats :


1.    Akoto Yao Felix: 4767 (0, 10%)

2.       Anaki Kobena Innocent Augustin: 10661 (0, 23%)  (MFA)

3.       Bedié Konan Henri Aimé: 1 165 219 (25, 24%) (PDCI)

4.    Dolo Adama: 5 967 (0, 13%)

5.    Enoh Aka: 5 311 (0, 12%)

6.        Gbagbo Laurent: 1 755 495 (38, 3%)  (FPI)

7.        Gnamien Konan: 1 7151 (0, 37%)  (UPCI)

8.     Konan Kouadio Simeon: 12 355 (0,27%)

9.    Lohouès Jacqueline épouse Oble: 12 333 (0,27%)

10.    Mabri Toikeusse Albert : 118 664 (2.57%)  (UDPCI)

11.    Ouattara Alassane : 1 480 610 (32,08%) (RDR)

12.            Tagoua Pascal : 11 672 (0,25%)

13.            Tohou Henri 2 422 (0,05%)

14.    Wodié Romain Francis : 13 397 (0,29%)  (PIT)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cote d'Ivoire Presidential Election Marks Historic Milestone in Peace Process

 The Oct. 31 presidential election in Cote d'Ivoire was conducted in a calm environment with a high-level of voter participation. These elections marked a crucial step in Cote d'Ivoire's peace process and gave voters the opportunity to elect their next president in the country's first truly open contest.  The Ivoirian people have exercised their right to vote; they also have the right to have their vote accurately recorded and ultimately respected by all candidates.


The election process was initially marked by a number of planning and operational challenges for the Independent Election Commission (IEC), most notably as they related to the timely distribution of voter cards, the delivery of essential election materials throughout the country, poll worker training, and the effective distribution of voter information regarding election day procedures.


The international community has strongly supported the Ivoirian electoral process with a range of deep investments in the provision of security, as well as diplomatic, financial, logistical, and technical assistance.  Presidential candidates and their supporters, the IEC, and Ivoirian civil society organizations cooperated at many levels in the face of a long-standing political crisis in the effort to ensure a credible, transparent, and peaceful election process.


As the counting process and proclamation of results are awaited, The Carter Center urges all candidates to adhere to their commitment to a peaceful transition of power, including utilizing appropriate legal challenges for the filing of complaints as necessary. The IEC and the Constitutional Council must recall their commitment to ensuring transparency throughout the process of proclamation and dispute resolution.  In the meantime, all presidential candidates and their supporters must exercise patience and respect for the credible election results.


Key Carter Center recommendations include:

·      In the event of a runoff election, IEC provision of a clear and detailed electoral calendar to ensure transparency in all steps of election administration;

·      Sustained commitment to the Code of Conduct by presidential candidates and their supporters;

·      Continued presence and non-interference of security forces to support a peaceful election environment;

·      Retention of good poll workers and strengthened  training;

·      IEC cooperation with political parties and civil society organizations to provide more visible voter education materials; and

·      Timely distribution of accreditation for domestic and international election observers.

The Carter Center will continue to observe the completion of the tabulation and official results process as well as any electoral disputes that may arise.  Should there be a second round of elections, the Center urges the final contestants to remain committed to a peaceful and inclusive process, including through debate of their differences in an open forum accessible to all Ivoirians.


Carter Center Announces Guinea Runoff Election Observation Team


Media Contacts: In Conakry, Randall Harbour, +224 68 62 57 06; 67 34 41 56; also Deborah Hakes, dhakes@emory.edu; phone until Nov. 3, 225 57 64 07 58; after Nov. 3, 231 (0)880731971.


Conakry Former Nigeria Head of State General Yakubu Gowon and Carter Center Vice President for Peace Programs John Stremlau will lead the Carter Center's international observation of Guinea's Nov. 7 runoff election. The Center's mission will deploy throughout the country 30 observers representing more than 13 nations.

The Carter Center election observation mission has been in Guinea since May 2010, at the invitation of CENI and MATAP. Long-term observers deployed throughout the country to assess election preparations were joined by a delegation of short-term observers for the June 27 first round of elections. 


The Carter Center appreciates the ongoing determination and leadership of Interim President General Sekouba Konaté to pilot the transition process in the spirit of the agreement signed in Ouagadougou on Jan. 15, 2010. We also note the important work being done by the monitoring committee set up by President Konaté and Guinean republican institutions, as well as numerous other Guinean and international partners.


We commend CENI, MATAP, and their partners for including the political parties at every stage of the electoral process. We believe this inclusive approach to decision-making will help ensure that election results will be accepted by both candidates and their allies. 


Guineans stand at the threshold of a new era. As this historic runoff election approaches, the Center urges the candidates and all Guineans to remain committed to a peaceful and inclusive process.

 "A well-organized, transparent, and credible runoff election, with results accepted by all parties, will be a major step toward a promising future for the people of Guinea," said General Yakubu Gowon.


While this election represents an important political opening for the people of Guinea, future elections – legislative and municipal elections in the near future – will allow Guineans to continue along the path of democratization and ultimately to fulfill the potential of this beautiful country.


Our mission wishes to thank the Guinean authorities and people, who have warmly welcomed our observers in all regions. We stand by you on this historic occasion.


The Center's observation mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct adopted by the United Nations and endorsed by 35 election observer groups. The Center's assessments of the electoral process are made against Guinea's domestic law and international obligations for democratic elections.