22 Pages

Post-Conflict Elections: Constraints and Dangers

Despite this, there has been a considerable variation in the relative success of elections in meeting the broader goals of democratization from country to country and case to case. In some cases, such as Namibia and Mozambique, elections clearly played a vital role in making a decisive break with the past. In others, such as Angola, flawed elections created more problems than they solved. In H a i t i , administrative inefficiencies undermined the credibility of the broader electoral process. By contrast, in Cambodia, technically successful electoral processes were soon overwhelmed by the realities of power politics. A n d in Bosnia, premature elections helped to kick-start the façade of democratic politics, but also helped nationalist parties cement an early grip on political power. While this mistake has been avoided in Kosovo and East Timor, it is still to be seen how elections influence the broader process of peacebuilding in these two critical cases.