By Ivan Ssenabulya
Commonwealth countries in Africa have been tipped on managing election processes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The guidance is contained in a new paper commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat listing the emerging good practices and lessons on how electoral activities can be delivered safely during the pandemic.
Martin Kasirye, Adviser and Head, Electoral Support Section, Governance and Peace Directorate says this discussion paper is an important contribution to the knowledge emerging from practitioners as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The paper, entitled COVID-19 and Election Management in Africa: Challenges, Innovations and Opportunities, aims to help election management bodies (EMBs) and other relevant stakeholders to mitigate the impact of the public health crisis on elections and secure the political rights of citizens.
Drawing on interviews, webinars, survey data and desk research, it captures the experiences of Commonwealth countries in Africa working with limited resources in order to guide election officials that are preparing for upcoming polls.
The paper also explores the impact of COVID-19 on different stages of the electoral cycle, and covers election financing, legal frameworks, pre-election operations, voter registration, stakeholder coordination, public communication, voting and post-election processes.
This is the second paper in the Commonwealth Elections and COVID-19 Briefing series, following a pan-Commonwealth study published in September.