What makes a good election? Elections are the backbone of democracy and an important window on politics.
Regulations govern how they are done, but with so much at stake – access to the public purse and setting the legislative agenda – not everyone always plays by the rules.
The elections this week in Sub-Saharan Africa and last week in Venezuela highlight the different challenges citizens face at the polling booth.
In Rwanda incumbent leader Paul Kagame secured a landslide victory, winning 98 per cent of the vote, even amid accusations of human rights abuses, and suppression of freedom of speech and political opponents.
Kenyan elections were tense but mostly peaceful until five people were killed in post-election violence after the opposition group claimed that the elections were hacked in favour of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.
On 30 July, Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly was elected into power amid widespread reports of electoral fraud, facing condemnation because only candidates loyal to President Nicolás Maduro stood.
At Transparency International many of our chapters take part in election monitoring, before, during and after voting. They ensure that campaigning is fair, monitor polling stations to note irregularities, and watch vote counting.
Here’s one example of the election monitoring work from Georgia in 2016. And in the hotly contested Kenyan elections, Transparency International Kenya had its identity stolen in one of many campaigns to spread fake news about the elections.