The IFES Podcast offers analysis on current elections and democracy issues, as well as insight into the electoral process and ways to improve it. The podcasts feature IFES election experts sharing their perspective in a concise and interesting way.
A Managed Transition: Yemen's Unique Reform Model
March 27, 2012
In January 2011, less than a month after the demonstrations that came to be known as the Arab Spring began in Tunisia, Yemenis took to the streets to protest their government. In this podcast, Grant Kippen, IFES Chief of Party in Yemen talks to us about Yemen’s transition’s process and the importance of the February 21 election.
Marking Political Progress in Zimbabwe
March 9, 2012
As Zimbabwe's Unity Government marks its third anniversary, Staffan Darnolf, IFES Chief of Party in Zimbabwe, tells us where the government stands on fulfilling the agreement that brought it into existence, how well the constitution that is being written protects civil liberties, and when Zimbabwe might hold elections.
Elections, Political Parties, Constitutional Law
Russia's Democratic Awakening
January 31, 2012
Irina Zaslavskaya, a native of St. Petersburg who facilitated IFES’ first interaction with Russia’s election commission, talks to us about helping empower the first post-Soviet election management bodies and the yearning for dignity before one’s government.
Democracy Assistance, Elections
Snap Elections and Kazakhstani Democracy
December 13, 2011
Kazakhstan will hold snap parliamentary elections on January 15, 2012. Anthony Bowyer, IFES program manager for the Caucasus and Central Asia, tells us how this will affect the parties running in the election and what it really means for democracy in the country.
ICC's Investigation into Post-Election Violence in Cote d'Ivoire
October 31, 2011
Earlier this month, the International Criminal Court authorized an investigation into the alleged abuses committed following the November 2010 presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire. Almami Cyllah, Regional Director for Africa, tells us how this investigation might impact Côte d'Ivoire and the rest of Africa
Kyrgyzstan's Upcoming Election
September 30, 2011
Since April 2010, Kyrgyzstan has made headlines with the protest that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the transition to the current government of President Roza Otunbayeva, and the referendum that established the country as the first parliamentary system in Central Asia. Anthony Bowyer, IFES Program Manager for the Caucasus and Central Asia, tells us why all eyes are once again on Kyrgyzstan as it heads toward general elections on October 30.
Democracy in Russia: Inching Toward Progress?
August 31, 2011
The August 1991 failed coup by a group of Soviet leaders opposing President Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika eventually led to the dissolution of the USSR. On the 20th anniversary of those events, Irina Zaslavskaya, Program Officer in IFES’s Europe and Asia division and a native of St Petersburg, shares her thoughts with us.
Elections, Democracy Assistance, Governance
South Sudan's Journey to Independence
July 31, 2011
South Sudan joyously celebrated its independence from Sudan on July 9. Yet, while a series of elections helped usher in this new era for the South Sudanese, the world's newest nation faces a number of steep challenges as it solidifies its democracy and develops as an independent country. Almami Cyllah, IFES Regional Director for Africa, talks to us about what lies ahead for South Sudan.
Elections, Post Conflict
Albania's Momentous Mayoral Election
June 22, 2011
The mayoral race for the city of Tirana is one of the most important electoral races in Albania. In addition to serving as chief executive of the largest city in the country, the mayor also wields significant influence over national affairs. The May 8, 2011 election for this post has left the country breathless not only in anticipation of who will hold this significant position, but also in exasperation as the resulting political gridlock and in-fighting has once again marred an Albanian election. At first, the news spread that Socialist Party (SP) leader and incumbent mayor Edi Rama had won by a mere ten votes. Soon after, the Central Election Commission announced a decision to count hundreds of previously disqualified ballots, which resulted in Democratic Party (DP) challenger Lulzim Basha as the winner. Two weeks after that decision, the Electoral College has somewhat surprisingly ordered a full recount. Anthony Bowyer, IFES Program Manager for the Caucasus and Central Asia, talks to us about this election.
What Made Nigeria’s 2011 Elections So Effective
June 06, 2011
This past April, Nigeria received accolades from national and international observers for the implementation of its national elections. Julia Hedlund, IFES Program Manager for Nigeria, talks to us about the improvements to the electoral cycle made by Nigeria’s Independent National Election Commission that resulted in such well-run polls, and the electoral violence that made headlines all over the world.
Haiti’s Much Improved Second Round of Elections
April 04, 2011
On March 20, Haiti held the second round of presidential and legislative elections following the close and controversial first-round presidential vote in November. As part of its technical assistance to the CEP, and in close cooperation with other partners, IFES organized a public information campaign, called “Where to Vote”, which reminded voters to check their registration information, confirm the location of their polling station and cast their ballots on Election Day. Sophie Lagueny, IFES chief of party in Haiti, talks to us from Port-au-Prince about the runoff, the improvements that were seen between the first and second rounds of these elections, and the success of the “Where to Vote” campaign.
Elections, Voter Registration
Popular Protests Might Pave Way for Women's Rights in Yemen
March 08, 2011
The protests that have swept across the Middle East and North Africa are creating an opening for political dialogue, which could potentially benefit women by resulting in reforms that increase gender equality. This is especially the case in countries where the population is amenable to improving the status of women. A recent IFES survey found that the majority of Yemeni men and women are open to reforms that could improve women's standing. Lauren Serpe, research officer at IFES' Applied Research Center, talks to us about the status of women in Yemen and what the current anti-government protests could mean for the advancement of women's rights.
Elections Do Not Make a Democracy
February 16, 2011
Over the past 25 years, we have seen an increase in the number of countries holding elections. Going through the exercise, however, does not mean the will of the people is being reflected or that countries are establishing democratic processes. Michael Svetlik, IFES vice president for programs, talks to us about the trend of holding sham elections and the reasons why the practice is increasing.
Kazakh Leader Comes Closer to becoming 'President for Life'
January 26, 2011
Fresh off completing its year as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)'s 'Chair-In-Office', Kazakhstan's two-chamber parliament recently approved a referendum for a general vote on changing the constitution to allow President Nazarbayev to serve another nine years. The referendum, which would cancel the next presidential election scheduled for 2012, was started by a forum of 900 people in the eastern city of Ust-Kamenogorsk.
Ruling of the Palestinian High Court on Cancelling Elections in the Territories
December 22, 2010
On December 13, 2010, the Palestinian High Court issued its final verdict on the lawsuits challenging the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) of the Palestinian Authority decision to cancel the local elections scheduled for July 17, 2010. The Court ruled that once the cabinet calls for elections, it does not have authority to cancel them.
This long-awaited decision puts an end to the judicial process that began on July 18, 2010 when four electoral lists responded to the Cabinet's decision to cancel the elections by filing a lawsuit challenging the Cabinet's right to do so.
Elections, Election Disputes
Kyrgyzstan's Democratic Experiment
November 17, 2010
On June 27, 2010 Kyrgyzstan adopted a new constitution via nationwide referendum. Introducing a new or revised governing charter was nothing new for the Central Asian republic—they have seen many since their independence in 1991. This new constitution, however, ushered in a new era for the country as it established a parliamentary system that would allow power to be decentralized and shared among different political parties.
Elections, Election Procedures, Election Disputes, Election Law, Constitutional Law