From Protest to Politics: New Ukrainian Leaders Honored at NDI Democracy Dinner
Speaking at NDI’s annual Democracy Award dinner in December, Vice President Joe Biden praised three young Ukrainian activists for their steadfast commitment to democracy in the face of adversity.
The three -- Hanna Hopko, Serhiy Leshchenko and Oleksandr Solontay -- were honored with the Institute’s Democracy Award for their efforts to further the cause of democracy in Ukraine.
Each of the honorees had achieved prominence in their respective fields before the political situation in Ukraine prompted them to take part in the Euromaidan demonstrations that led to the fall of the country’s autocratic government last year. They have now transitioned to the political arena. Two of them -- Hopko and Leshchenko -- were elected to parliament on political party lists on Oct. 26.
“These people have braved snipers’ bullets and freezing cold to win for themselves a chance to fundamentally alter their country for the better,” said Vice President Biden. “Although what they’ll face now is not snipers on top of a building. What they’ll face now in a sense is harder -- undoing 24 years of the vestiges of corruption in a system that was supposedly democratic. Ukraine is fortunate to have some of the bravest, most patriotic men and women I’ve ever seen. It’s a good thing because there’s so much for them to do,” he said. Read more »
Presidential Run-Off in Tunisia Lays Foundation for Transition to Representative Governance
The Dec. 21 presidential run-off election was not only the third round of polls in Tunisia this fall but also the culmination of a constitutional and electoral phase that has lasted nearly four years. For the first time, Tunisians freely selected their president. According to the preliminary conclusions of an NDI delegation, the electoral process was orderly and well-organized. Read more »
Get to Know NDI: Sandra Pepera, Director for Gender, Women and Democracy
In an interview with NDI, Sandra Pepera, new director for NDI's Gender, Women, and Democracy program, discusses the importance of women’s political participation around the world. “You know, some of us who do this work long enough, we’re lucky,” Pepera said. “Every now and again, we know that we’ve made a difference. And I know that NDI makes a difference around the world, and I’m very excited to be part of that.” Read more »
NDI Releases 2015 Arabic Publications Catalogue
NDI released its 2015 Arabic Publications Catalogue (available in English and Arabic) with an assortment of resources for people and organizations working to support and strengthen democratic institutions. Read more »
NDI/IRI Field Joint Pre-Election Assessment Mission For Nigeria's Presidential Election
As Nigeria gears up for its presidential election on Feb. 14, a delegation of international experts fielded by NDI and the International Republican Institute visited the country to assess election preparations.
The delegation spent five days meeting with election officials, candidates, political party leaders, civil society and others to assess the overall political environment and anticipated challenges. In a statement, the mission issued numerous recommendations including a number aimed at increasing voters' confidence in the process and deterring the violence that has marred past elections. Read more »
Online Library Gives Syrians Access to Democracy Information
As the Syrian civil war heads into its fourth year, formal government institutions are no longer present across much of the country. The responsibility for community services, such as health care, education and humanitarian assistance, has fallen upon newly-elected local councils or other decision makers not affiliated with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
While Syrians are eager to learn about democratic practices, few resources are readily available on topics such as elections, citizen participation and local governance. To aid homegrown civic participation efforts that are cropping up across the country, NDI has developed an online portal, in cooperation with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), that provides easy access to democracy training materials on a broad range of topics. Read more »
Putting Voting Within Reach in Nepal's Farthest Corners
In remote and mountainous regions of Nepal, news comes slowly and it can take days to travel short distances. These conditions pose numerous challenges, including making voting problematic, both because it’s difficult to register and because voter education is limited. To overcome some of these hurdles, the election observation group Democracy and Elections Watch Nepal (DEW-Nepal), with the support of NDI, organized a targeted voter information campaign earlier this year to increase registration. “We are taking the information directly to the people in the rural areas, which are relatively inaccessible,” said Saru Adhikari, a DEW-Nepal Kaski district volunteer. Read more »
Report on Electoral Reform Mission to Cote d'Ivoire Released
Despite enduring tensions after a crisis of election-related violence in 2011, an NDI-led delegation to Côte d'Ivoire found that Ivoirians are committed to rebuilding their electoral system and share a common desire for a consensus-driven electoral process. Read more »