Elections make a fundamental contribution to democratic governance by enabling the participation of voters to select leaders to represent them within the government and ensures the responsiveness of democratic governments to the will of the people. Elections also reinforce the stability and legitimacy of the political community thus facilitating social and political integration. Participation in an election serves to underpin the rights of citizens to have their voices heard. However, this is not always attained as restrictions may be initiated to limit fundamental rights that deny citizens a free, fair, credible and peaceful election.
Election monitors and observers play an important role in enhancing the transparency and credibility of elections and democratic governance. Human Rights Defenders (that include election monitors, observers, journalists and other civil society actors) continue to be at the forefront in advancing the civil and political rights of citizens by safeguarding the right of citizens to participate in the conduct of public affairs, to vote and to be elected and access public services.
Get more information in the booklet: NCHRD-K Elections Monitoring Interim Report
The Government has been told to secure the observers and journalists who will be will be monitoring the August 8 General Election. The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD-K) decried harassment of the civil society and the fourth estate during the party primaries and ongoing campaigns, despite the groups playing a critical role. According to a report released by the NCHRD-K yesterday, 13 cases of intimidation of human rights defenders, monitors and journalists have been reported since April.