More than 500 political and civil leaders, Nobel Laureates, and organisations have signed an open letter to defend democracy, warning that the freedoms we cherish are under threat from governments using the COVID-19 crisis to tighten their grip on power.
Since COVID-19 first arrived in Sierra Leone, the Government has taken key measures to counter the pandemic including declaring a state of public emergency, issuing a ban on public gatherings, and travelling, and suspending all religious activities. In Parliament, the Speaker asked political party leaders to only have half of their members in the chambers, [...]
There’s no ‘right’ way to adapt elections to COVID-19 – but there is a right way to make those decisions
As governments decide to postpone elections or alter electoral processes because of COVID-19, it is crucial that they have a transparent debate about doing so. Importantly, they must consult key stakeholders or public trust in the electoral processes can be severely damaged and democracy weakened.
"We want to be involved in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa." 90% of young East Africans who responded to a survey on how COVID-19 has impacted their lives agreed with this statement. COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways. In East Africa, where over 70% of the population are young [...]
In Kenya, WFD is carrying out its Inclusive and Accountable Programme (IAP) in partnership with Senate and National Assembly. The programme aims to improve the ability of the Parliament of Kenya to effectively address corruption and promote inclusion and accountability, helping it become a more open and efficient institution that responds to citizens’ needs. Through [...]
By Victoria Hasson, WFD's Senior Parliamentary Adviser Around the world parliaments are going virtual. But what this looks like, and its implications for the institution’s democratic standing, varies as widely as the impact of COVID-19 on any given country. The dangers of going digital are easy to anticipate and beginning to surface. What is clear [...]
In Nigeria, in addition to funds mobilised by government to fight the pandemic and support citizens, the private sector and the international community has contributed money and materials to support the fight against COVID-19. However, it is important that democracy is promoted, by ensuring accountability and transparency in the use of the funds, inclusion, equality, [...]
A balance between ensuring the safety of people and safeguarding their rights ought to be possible by keeping human rights standards at the forefront of the public health agenda and any national, regional, or global strategy to fight the pandemic.
By Chris Levick, WFD Regional Director, Europe & Central Asia Governments around the world have introduced emergency measures to fight the coronavirus, often alongside significant financial support packages designed to cushion the economic impacts of the virus and ensure livelihoods. Within Europe we have seen some extreme examples: The Hungarian parliament – with its hefty [...]
The Government of Nepal has invoked the Infectious Disease Act 1964 to battle coronavirus, including through enforcing quarantine. The Legislation Management Committee of the National Assembly has announced that it will conduct post-legislative scrutiny of the 57-year old law as part of its role to scrutinise government.