Civil_society_as_resource_in_managing_electoral_disputes

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CIVIL SOCIETY AS RESOURCE IN
MANAGING ELECTORAL DISPUTES
Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on Peaceful
Elections and Transition in Nigeria- A MultiTrack Diplomacy Approach
March 12 to 13, 2014-Abuja-Nigeria
Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director WANEP
Scope of Presentation
• Broad Context of the Professional Resources and
Skills needed for efficient and good governance
• What is Civil Society?
• Elections as Integral to Good Governance
• A Conceptual Framework for Conflict Transformation
• The WANEP Experience
• Dialogue Design and implementation of J-PERM
• Follow on up commitments to peace
• Lessons Learned
Professional Resources and Skills
STATE
o
Military
(Security Agencies)
Strong Political Parties
based on values
r
Submitted to
Civilian Au.
f
Liberal
e
Conservative
Social
Democrat
Etc.
s
PRIVATE
SECTOR
I
Sustainable, independent
and diverse
Good infrastructure
commercial / financial
Regulatory
environment
s
o
n
Independent & strong
CIVIL SOCIETY
a
Well - resourced
l
S
K
I
L
L
S
and
R
E
S
O
U
R
C
E
S
P
Segregation of Powers
Executive
Judiciary
Legislature
Diverse interest groups
What is Civil Society?
– Exists in the ‘space’ between the state, the market, and the
private life of families & individuals.
Manifested through different forms of association that:
 give expression and direction to social, religious and cultural
needs
 enable the mobilisation, articulation and pursuit of interests
and aspirations of elements within society
 Creates social capacities and institutions to monitor &
constrain arbitrary exercise of state power and, increasingly,
the behaviour of private businesses.
CSO therefore….
– Refers to the associations of citizens (outside their families,
friends and businesses) entered into voluntarily to advance their
interests, ideas and ideologies.
– The term does not include profit-making organisations (the
private sector) or government (the public sector).
– Of particular relevance to the United Nations are mass
organizations (such as organizations of peasants, women or
retired people), trade unions, professional associations, social
movements, indigenous people ’ s organizations, faith based
organizations etc.
GOOD GOVERNANCE
Good governance according to Nsibambi, a
former Prime Minister of Uganda is: “the
exercise
of
politico-administrative
and
managerial authority and order which is
legitimate,
accountable,
transparent,
democratic, efficient and equitable in resource
allocation and utilization and responsive to
the critical needs of promoting human
welfares and positive transformation of
society.
GOOD GOVERNANCE
It manifest itself through benchmarks which include a
constitution, pillars of the state derived from the
constitution, mechanisms for checks and balances on
government, efficient mechanism of delivery of
services by government, security, good leadership,
the rules of law, participation by the people, freedom
of expression, transparency, accountability, legitimacy,
devolution of power, informed citizenry, strong civil
society, protection of basic human rights, regular free
and fair election, good local and international
relations, political stability, protection of property and
life.”
Concept of Governance and Elections
Conflicts
“Governance” means: the process of decisionmaking and the process by which decisions are
implemented (or not implemented)
Governance focuses on formal and informal
processes and actors involved in decisionmaking and implementation of the decisions
made.
How are decisions that affect the conduct of
elections taken? The illustration of Senegal
(2011-2012)
Transformation of Protracted Social Conflicts
(Miall and Azar)
Context
Needs
ACCEPTANCE
NEEDS
Recognition of
identity &
culture
CONTEXTUAL
BACKGROUND
e.g. colonial
legacy,
multiethnicity,
historical social
formation
met
un
ACCESS NEEDS
met
e.g. political &
economic
participation
SECURITY
NEEDS
Nutrition,
Housing,
physical
security
Capacity
Pattern of
international
economic /
political
linkages
supportiv
e
exploitative
Actors
STATE ACTORS
accommodat
e
suppress
NATURE OF
CONFLICT
GOVERNANCE
& the STATE
legitimate
capacity
Illegitimacy
incapacity
Role of
MILITARY
civic
politicsmilitarised
politics
Conflict
constructive
COMMUNAL
GROUPS
confront
violent rebellion
destructive
WANEP Experience
• Election disputes are critical “questions” arising from the conduct
of elections which individuals and groups would want election
administrators and other relevant stake holders to answer.
• Election disputes are inherent to elections; they cannot be totally
eliminated even in advanced democracies, and must therefore be
dealt with.
• Challenging an election – its conduct and – should not be
perceived as a reflection of the weakness of the political system
but as a proof of its strength, vitality, and openness.
• Well managed disputes strengthen the political system while
poorly handled ones demonizes democracy.
Linking Election Conflicts and Cycles of
Conducting Elections
Election is not an event but a process that
unfolds in three phases:
– Pre-election
– Election day
– Post election
An election dispute can occur at any of the three
phases
Elections have the potential to mobilize people very quickly to
react violently
KAIPTC - TED
15
13 April 2015
CSO Collaborative Approaches
• WANEP operates under the undergirding
philosophy of collaborative approaches to
Peacebuilding
• In the context of elections, creating an
enabling electoral environment before
elections is critical
• Drawing from the Ghana example, WANEP
worked directly while providing expertise and
resources at two levels of collaborative
approaches
Civic Forum Initiative
• The CFI is a broad platform of CSO that
includes the Trade Unions and Interfaith
communities
• It allows for an inclusive engagement with
political parties, institutions of the state, the
EC and other relevant stakeholders to ensure
peaceful elections
• The CFI monitors all preparations,
developments and trends leading to elections
CFI continued
• During elections, CSO observers are deployed
across the country to monitor and intervene in
any development that may lead to violence
• CODEO which is the Coalition of Domestic
Election Observers coordinated by CDDGhana pays particular attention to the
credibility and international standards of the
elections
Joint-Political Parties Elections Results
Monitoring-J-PERM
WANEP’s dialogue design /implementation:
the J-PERM experience
• Pre-J-PERM consultation with the political
parties and other stakeholders,
• Agreement for mediation
• Agreement on WANEP as facilitator
• Identification of stakeholders;
• UNDP, WANEP, Catholic University, The National
Peace Council etc.
• Selection criteria of participants: WANEP
negotiated for credible representation among the
political parties
• Consensus on venue; dates and Protocol of
Commitment
20
WANEP Direct Expertise and Resources to
Collaborative Platforms
Electoral Dispute Indicators for Ghana 2012
Elections
With the objective of Transforming the Culture of
Political Violence, WANEP engaged in Building
Capacity for Response
This involved developing a set of 39 indicators in
order to monitor and report on the Ghana 2012
electoral
processes
with
a
view
to
preventing/mitigating electoral and political violence
thereby contributing to a peaceful election and
consolidating democracy in the country.
Electoral Dispute Indicators for Ghana
2012 Elections
The indicators were clustered into three main sub-headings: 1)
indicators on social issues, governance and election
management bodies and other stakeholders; 2) indicators on
media, publicity and negative statements and 3) indicators on
security concerns. WANEP carried out its internal monitoring
process for over two months.
A stakeholder’s meeting comprising of Civil Society Actors with
background and experiences in electoral disputes was
organized to analyze the indicators and validate the pattern
and trends of the electoral disputes. Based on the opinion of the
CSOs, scenarios were generated and an action plan developed
to facilitate coordinated responses.
Example of an analysed indicator
Indicator
Analysis
Options for Response
Remarks
Disagreement
over
demarcation of
borders and
delimitation of
constituencies
-Controversies
surrounding
the
creation of 45 new
constituencies.
-High tendency of
disagreement if ruling
party wins in majority
of newly created 45
constituencies
-Protest of results in
the new constituencies
-Provocative reactions
upon proclamation of
results
-Alert local police
command to control
the protest
-Engage
the
candidates
and
leadership to talk to
their supporters to
avoid use of violence
-Engage local opinion
leaders
-Explore joint party
election
result
monitoring
mechanism
Once
through
active
engagement
and
dialogue,
parties
understood
that the
constitution
informed
the
delimitation
of
constituenci
es the level
of tolerance
WANEP Mediation Role at J-PERM
All five major political parties accepted to be part of
the project
Agreement: Facilitated by WANEP, a Protocol of
Commitments was developed and signed by the
political parties and endorsed by the Electoral
Commission and National Peace Council of Ghana
Political parties committing to peaceful
elections at the siging of the MoU
Operationalization of J-PERM
After Protocol of Commitment developed and signed,
two Platforms were established;
1)for monitoring election results and
2) for mediation of discrepancies that are disputed.
A software was developed that could allow each party
to enter polling station results for all contesting
parties. This made it possible for discrepancies to
appear on the consolidated election monitoring screen.
These figures were then referred to platform two for
mediation facilitated by WANEP.
Operationalization of J-PERM
The Protocol of Commitments defines the ground rules that
guided the process of mediation of election dispute results
under platform II of the J-PERM project.
The protocols are the outcomes of discussions amongst political
parties and the ownership of these protocols is with the
political parties.
In submitting to these protocols, the political parties undertake
to commit themselves to mediation of election results disputes
in an atmosphere of tolerance, respect for one another and
maintaining the principle of non violence while contributing to
peaceful elections in Ghana’s elections 2012.
Expanding mediation capacities
In order to link response to alerts, committees of
eminent persons were trained by WANEP in August
2012 from each of the 10 regions of Ghana.
These eminent persons received information
generated from the monitoring process and intervened
through dialogue and mediation in their respective
communities.
WANEP’s role at Track one Mediation
Under the auspices of the National Peace Council, WANEP
provided mediation support to the NPC at track one level
between the political parties and electoral commission at a
critical moment just before the declaration of results on 9th
December 2012 when tensions were begin to rise.
The main opposition party was contesting the declaration of
results from some constituencies.
Rather than delay the proclamation of results which could have
created new challenges, mediation efforts led by the NPC with
WANEP resource inputs allowed the EC to state its position
and proceed to declare the results while encouraging the law
courts for the resolution of any dispute that any party may
wish to bring to the courts.
Supreme Court Verdict
• From January to August 2013, the Supreme Court of
Ghana heard the election petition of the main
opposition party and proceeded to make a definite
ruling
• Ghana throughout the period was gripped in anxiety
and fear exacerbated by reckless and unguarded
political statements and speeches of politicians from
the ruling and opposition party.
• The efforts to ensure peaceful elections continued with
a monitoring and response to sustain peace
• .
•
Lessons Learned
Establishing a national infrastructure for peace is
critical as a preventive mechanism to deploy efforts of
mediating and promoting peace especially during
contested elections while sustaining a culture of
conflict prevention
Africa needs the space to engage in its own initiatives
and efforts of peacebuilding. Partners of Africa
outside the continent should be sensitive to this.
CSOs with expertise and professionalism add value to
sustain and build peace
THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND
ATTENTION!
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