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Democracy Promotion & Election Observation

Electoral Observation today

With generous support from Global Affairs Canada, from 2022 & over the next two years, CANADEM will deploy both Short Term Observers (STOs) and Long Term Observers (LTO) to multilateral electoral observation missions organized by partner agencies such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU), the Organization of American States (OAS), and others. 

Support for Democracy

Democracy has been facing challenges worldwide in the recent decade, with the resurgence of populism and the increase in popularity of leaders with autocratic tendencies.

 

The international community has an important role to play in supporting transparent, equal and genuine electoral processes around the world, in which all citizens are able to exercise their freedom to choose their governments, irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and political affiliation.

 

International electoral observation missions are internationally recognized as an important aspect of the process of establishing open and accountable political systems. They contribute by observing, reporting and making recommendations on all aspects of electoral processes, including the participation and rights of minorities, Indigenous peoples and women; disinformation and cybersecurity; electoral fraud and electoral justice; the role of civil society and the media (traditional and online); and electoral violence and repression of democratic expressions by authorities.

These electoral observation missions also contribute to Canada's efforts to strengthen the ability of multilateral institutions to assess elections against national and international commitments and to increase the awareness/engagement of Canadians in these efforts. By ensuring that eminently qualified and experienced observers are deployed to international observation missions, the credibility of the mission and of the election, along with the effectiveness of the aid associated with deploying these experts to the field, are greatly enhanced. Free and fair elections are one of the pillars upon which democracy is based, and electoral observation is an essential component to ensuring the fairness of the democratic election process. 

How are Canadians observing elections?

International election observation is conducted by a range of multilateral organizations. Canada is a member of many - UN, OAS, OSCE, Commonwealth, OIF; others we support, - EU, AU, etc. These organizations depend on member states and supporters to mobilize their citizens to act in an impartial and professional manner as international observers dedicated to the goals of democracy promotion. The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional stress and a shortage of available international election observers due to the risk of infection and travel restrictions. As some of these challenges are starting to alleviate and Canadians are increasingly vaccinated, Canada is well placed to respond to the immediate demand and provide qualified and dedicated observers to election observation missions (EOMs) around the world.

For more info on how to participate, please visit the electoral FAQ

Want to hear what it's like to observe elections? Visit our Stories from the Field - Elections

Hungarian Parliamentary Election and Referendum

CANADEM deployed six STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Hungarian Parliamentary Elections and Referendum on 03 April 2022. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. 

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

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STOs from left to right: Andrei Stoicu, Janet Nortey, James Balasch, Basia Puszkar and Miranda Huron (Not pictured: Jacques Raleish Moise)

Bosnia and Herzegovina General Election

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CANADEM deployed fourteen STOs and two LTOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Bosnia and Herzegovina General Election on October 2nd, 2022. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. The LTOs observed the political environment before the STOs arrived, then coordinated a team of STOs in their assigned region.

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

LTOs Gulnara Medeubekova and Juan Barranco

Bulgaria Early Parliamentary Elections

CANADEM deployed twenty-five STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Bulgarian early Parliamentary Elections on October 2nd, 2022. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. 

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

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STOs pictured: Florence Larkin, Ashifa Jiwa, David Mulligan, Jeff Mackey, Fatima Hassan, Lloyd Dalziel, Cynthia Wagner, Pierre Soussou, Vanessa Mickevicius, Steven Van Groningen, Mathieu Arsenault, Liesl Mulholland, Jessica Zeroual, Claude Larocque, Khadijah Suleman, Scott Mills, Evgeny Ermolenko, Ines Nkanira, Aliya Jiwa, Nic Ryan, Arwen Barr, Paul Black, Güllü Safarli, Olena Kit, Julia Smith. 

Kazakhstan Early Presidential Election

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CANADEM deployed fifteen STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Kazakhstan Early Presidential Election on November 20th, 2022. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. 

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

The Canadian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Alan Hamson kindly hosted our STOs upon their arrival in Astana.

Montenegro Presidential Election

CANADEM deployed four STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Montenegro Presidential Election on March 19th, 2022. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. 

Click the image above to read the ODIHR Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions report. 

Kazakhstan Parliamentary Elections

CANADEM deployed nineteen STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Kazakhstan Parliamentary Elections on March 19th, 2023. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. 

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

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STO Briefing in Astana before deployment to their areas of observation

Bulgaria Parliamentary Elections (2023)

STOs pictured: Oleh Feday, Jack Welsh, James Balasch, Janet Nortey, Nicole Penney, Lowella Kagaoan, Megan Jefferey, Laurie Ann Hossein, Patrick Kabuye. Not pictured: Omid Aeinehchi. 

CANADEM deployed ten STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Bulgarian Parliamentary Elections on April 2nd, 2023. This election followed the Parliamentary election in 2022 as no government was approved. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. 

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

Albania Local Elections (2023)

STOs pictured: David Milne, Martha Sellu, Claude Larocque, Maria Ghazzaoui, Meghan Riley

CANADEM deployed one LTO and five STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Albanian Local Elections on May 14th, 2023. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results. The LTOs observed the political environment before the STOs arrived, then coordinated a team of STOs in their assigned region. 

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

Montenegro Early Parliamentary Election (2023)

CANADEM deployed three STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Montenegro Early Parliamentary Elections on June 11th, 2023. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

Uzbekistan Early Presidential Election (2023)

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CANADEM deployed two STOs to the OSCE ODIHR mission to observe the Uzbekistan Early Presidential Election on July 9th, 2023. The STOs participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the OSCE's Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, please click here.

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Guatemala General Elections (2023)

CANADEM deployed two STOs and one LTO to the EU mission and six STOs to observe the Guatemala General Elections on June 25th, 2023 with a second round on August 20th, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the EU's Preliminary Statement please click here, and for the report on the second round please click here.

To read the OAS's Preliminary Report please click here.

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Paraguay General Elections (2023)

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CANADEM deployed two STOs and one LTO to the EU mission to observe the Paraguay General Elections on April 30th, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the EU's Preliminary Statement please click here.

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Sierra Leone General Elections (2023)

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CANADEM deployed two STOs and one LTO to the EU mission to observe the Sierra Leone General Elections on June 24th, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the EU's Preliminary Statement please click here.

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Zimbabwe General Elections (2023)

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CANADEM deployed two STOs and one LTO to the EU mission to observe the Zimbabwe General Elections on August 23rd, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the statement by the High Representative on the election please click here.

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Liberia General Elections (2023)

CANADEM will deploy one STO and one LTO to the EU mission to observe the Liberia General Elections on October 10th, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

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Ecuador General Elections (2023)

CANADEM deployed five STOs to the OAS mission to observe the Ecuador General Elections on August 20th, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the Preliminary Statement of Findings please click here

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Poland Parliamentary Elections (2023)

CANADEM deployed three LTOs to the OSCE mission to observe the Poland Parliamentary Elections on October 15th, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the Preliminary Statement of Findings please click here

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Moldova Local Elections (2023)

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CANADEM deployed two LTOs to the OSCE mission to observe the Moldova Local Elections on November 5th, 2023. The observers participated in observing voting, counting and tabulation of results.

To read the Preliminary Statement of Findings please click here

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