Electoral Justice Principles for Trust in the Electoral Process in Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone
The Electoral Justice Principles for Trust in the Electoral Process project sought to raise the integrity standard of the electoral processes in Africa by addressing the relations between the key electoral justice institutions and their relevance and accessibility to the electorate. Its main objectives were to: produce a set of electoral justice principles drafted by a group of chief justices and senior electoral and political leaders from Africa and other continents; and support the implementation of these principles in two African countries. Its intended outcomes were to increase trust in electoral justice authorities; reduce violence related to electoral dispute settlements, and to have political parties, candidates and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the pilot implementation country able to claim, advocate and defend rights for public integrity consultations. The project undertook minimal consultations with the large and dynamic electoral assistance sector and missed opportunities to tap its experience, explore collaboration and develop synergies with other efforts, such as the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security that promote the integrity of elections. The norms themselves were not disseminated as planned so awareness of them is extremely limited and they were not endorsed by any international organization as anticipated. Most of those interviewed felt the principles needed wider consultations and did not have the weight required to make significant changes. The project was not Africa-specific and African involvement was limited primarily to the launch in Ghana and the APEJ-SL. The principles and guidelines were global in scope, and were not tailored to Sierra Leone for the pilot. It also focused on general electoral integrity issues and lacked a clear focus on electoral justice and how specifically this could be achieved through the creation of a steering committee.