Sixteen years ago the BRIDGE –Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections– project was initiated. This is a joint initiative between the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The BRIDGE project has four main objectives:
- To promote internationally accepted principles of democracy and good electoral practice.
- Enhance the skills and confidence of stakeholders in the electoral process.
- Increase the awareness of tools and resources available for the building and maintaining of a sustainable electoral culture.
- Develop a support network for stakeholders in electoral processes and encourage a culture of sharing information and experiences.
One of the latest accomplishments of the project was the organization of a series of training courses in Haiti to increase the participation of young people, people with reduced mobility, the diaspora and, most of all, of women. In parallel, UNDP, IFES, and UN Women organized the forum ‘Haitian Women in Politics: Strategies for Winning’, focused on analyzing the benefits of women’s political engagement. The October 25 General Elections should have respected the 30% quota for women in the candidate list, in accordance with the Constitution and the electoral law; however this quota has not been applied by political parties for presidential and legislative posts. On the contrary, women only represented 8% of the candidates for the legislative elections. Regarding the presidential election, there were 50 male candidates and 4 female candidates. The Provisional Electoral Council declared that Jovenel Moïse obtained 32.8% of the preferences and Jude Célestin 25.3%. Only Moïse, however, accepted the results, while the rest declared that the results were not democratic. Protests were initiated after this results were known by supporters of Célestin and other candidates. The complete provisional results can be accessed in this link.