COVID-19 and Election Management in the Caribbean: Challenges, Innovations and Opportunities
The Commonwealth Caribbean is home to a cluster of the most stable democracies among developing countries. Most countries in the region have been independent for at least 40 years and they have, with certain exceptions, displayed the main elements of free and democratic societies.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has presented conditions that challenge adherence to the principles enshrined in the regional
and international democratic instruments and guidelines to which Commonwealth Caribbean countries subscribe, including freedom of association and the right to genuine and periodic democratic elections. In some instances, member countries have chosen to postpone elections in light of the serious public health concerns the pandemic has posed. Where elections have taken place, election management bodies (EMBs) and public health bodies have had to give serious consideration as to how to undertake activities such as voter registration and vote-casting in a manner that balances fundamental political rights on the one hand and public health exigencies on the other.
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