In April this year the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Electoral Integrity Initiative (EII) network was concerned about the impact of the pandemic on democracy and elections. There were several cancelled or postponed elections, which led to several questions on certain governments’ legitimacy. The Foundation decided to draw international attention to the political dimension of the Covid-19 pandemic by:
- providing guidelines to governments, international organisations, media and civil society, to enable them to appropriately frame policies that strike the right balance between responding to the pandemic and upholding democratic values
- mobilising international and civil actors to keep governments accountable for their decisions
As such, the work carried out to achieve these objectives included: sending out an open letter, which reached over 90 million readers worldwide; organising three webinars on Covid-19 and Democracy with a focus on Africa, Latin America and South East Asia; and writing a blog piece and an op-ed in The Economist with Mo Ibrahim.
The Kofi Annan Foundation continues to work with multiple stakeholders to ensure that governments remain democratic throughout the pandemic and thereafter.