Did you know? It’s Global Elections Day on February 7th (the first Thursday).
And what should we do on this day? Well it’s a time to celebrate periodic and authentic elections that guarantee the expression of the voters’ will, which is meant to be the basis for governmental authority.
But if this makes the day a case for celebration then it also makes it a time to highlight the need to strengthen democracy around the world.
So say the Hungary-based Association of Central and Eastern European Electoral Officials (ACEEEO), who created Global Elections Day back in 2005.
According to the ACEEEO, some countries still lack democratic elections. The organization has also denounced how some electoral powers operate without impartiality.
Take Ukraine, for example. In October 2012, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OCSE) accused the Ukrainian ruling party of using state funds to finance its campaign. And the lack of transparency in the financing of political parties prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections.
In December 2011, there were also complaints in Russia. Tens of thousands of protesters demanded a new legislative election. The protesters voiced their anger at the results of the December, 2011 elections – the opposition claimed the voting was rigged. And this wasn’t the first time it’s been mentioned that Russia needs to modernize its electoral system.
And In Nicaragua, the observation mission of the European Union stated that the November 2011 presidential elections were not transparent. Among their findings was the lack of independence and fairness of the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council.
For the ACEEEO, the goal of experts and electoral administrators should be democratic elections – and making them a fundamental pillar of democracy in every country.
And Global Elections Day is a time not only to celebrate countries that hold them, but also to highlight those that don’t.