This directive sets out UN policy for providing support to the design or reform of an electoral system, or parts of an electoral system.
Given that the issue of representation goes to the heart of democratic governance, this policy directive is highly relevant not only for UNDP electoral assistance practitioners, but also for all working on gender, human rights, parliamentary development, conflict prevention, state-building, constitution-drafting, etc., in post-conflict and non post-conflict contexts. It is the first UN system-wide policy paper that addresses, for example, the issue of guaranteed parliamentary representation for traditionally marginalized groups such as indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, youth, language minorities, etc. The issue of guaranteed parliamentary representation of women is also addressed as well as the likely effects that the choice of electoral system (e.g. first past the post, proportional representation, etc.) has on a country’s governance structures and political culture.
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