Promoting inclusive election observation in Mexico

In the framework of the Support Fund for Electoral Observation, UNDP organized a BRIDGE workshop on election observation in Mexico City, from 28 to 30 May 2018, in collaboration with the National Electoral Institute (INE), the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Electoral Offenses (FEPADE) and the Electoral Tribunal of the Judiciary Branch of the Federation (TEPJF). The workshop dealt with the topic of election observation, with a special focus on gender equality and access of under-represented groups to the electoral process.

The main goal of this workshop was to strengthen the capacities of domestic civil society in the field of election observation methodologies in the lead-up to the 2018 Mexican general elections, with a particular focus on gender equality and inclusion of under-represented groups, such as youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and the LGBTI community.

The training counted with a total of 30 participants, from which 13 were men (43,3%) and 17 women (56,7%). This workshop was mainly addressed to representatives from civil society organizations that currently take part in the Support Fund for Electoral Observation. Also, three participants representing UNDP and one coming from the TEPJF took part in this initiative.

The international facilitation team was composed by Alessandra Rossi (accrediting facilitator and the coordinator of the Support Fund), Lluís Juan Rodríguez (accrediting facilitator and consultant in UNDP) and Gabriela Nones (TtF complete and consultant in UNDP).

As regards the workshop’s program, the first day was dedicated to the presentation of the BRIDGE project, definitions and reflections on election observation and its main challenges, international standards for democratic elections, international principles for election observation and code of conduct, as well as a last session on the Mexican legal framework for elections, presented by Alejandro González, in representation of the TEPJF.

During the second day, participants discussed how to observe the electoral participation of women and other under-represented groups, from an electoral cycle perspective. The sessions developed during the second day covered how to approach electoral observation at different stages of the electoral cycle, as well as participation of women, people with disabilities, indigenous peoples and youth. To conclude, election observation forms from various organizations were analyzed and discussed in groups.

The third day of the training started with a brief reflection on how to observe the participation of LGBTI groups in the electoral process. Then, through collective work, participants were able to develop electoral observation forms for the Support Fund for Election Observation, with the purpose of building local capacities and harmonizing working methodologies within the Fund. To conclude, participants analyzed in groups a number of election observation reports, with a particular focus on recommendations. In light of this exercise, participants discussed the possibility of publishing a common preliminary statement after general elections.

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