Côte d'Ivoire Holds Legislative By-Elections - A woman casts her ballot in the legislative by-election in Grand Laho, Côte d'Ivoire. By-elections were organized in eleven of the country's constituencies after irregularities were found in the original vote held on 11 December.

get involved

You have a right to say how you want to change or reshape your life, your community and country. Whether you're a voter or an elected office-holder, use IDD 2013 to re-engage more positively with political change.

5 democracy champions have been picked and awarded for the Democracy Contest


Five champions who have spoken out for democracy

About the contest

We asked: What have you done to make your voice heard? How are you involved in politics or civic life at the local level? Have you formed a campaign group? Do you represent your co-workers? Are you involved in student politics? Are you a voluntary member of your local council? Tell us what you do, what you've achieved. Nominate yourself or nominate someone else.


Winning entries received an Amazon Kindle loaded with e-books about democracy. Congratulations to:

Ayesha Rao is a democracy activist in Pakistan who stood up for her rights READ MORE >>

Donna Scott petitioned the Scottish parliament to provide equal access to donor breast milk READ MORE >>

Jaya Mulyanto reported on his experience in a democracy school in Indonesia READ MORE >>

Mildred Samboy advocates in the Dominican Republic for citizens' awareness of their rights READ MORE >>

Morris Matadi manages campaigns in Liberia to rehabilitate child soldiers in refugee camps READ MORE >>

Six ideas to get you started


Embrace digital technology

As a legislator, you can strengthen your voice and express yourself more frequently through social media and other digital channels where more and more of your voters are so active. In many countries now, you can learn quickly about the nature and benefits of new communications technologies and how to use them to connect with your constituents.


Seek out your elected representatives

As a voter, you can get tips from your MP on how to strengthen your voice. Parliamentarians are well-versed in many practical and useful matters of political organization. Your city or region will have several representatives in parliament who are likely to respond positively to requests for advice and assistance from constituents like you.


Request advice on political organization from the experts

When asked, many parliamentarians will help citizens develop political platforms and the skills to campaign democratically for the causes and issues they support. Voters can use more and more online resources to help study how this is done, through real-life examples from different countries and cultures.


Illuminate some basic issues of democracy

15 September 2013 is a good day to discuss key issues challenging democracy. These include how to promote mutual respect and dialogue with opponents, honest governance, accessible and accountable parliamentarians and parliaments, the effective participation of women, the young and minorities in local, regional and national politics, and how to make elected officials more responsive to voters' demands and expectations.


What and where: Be creative

Strengthen your voice by speaking up at public events. Sporting events with big crowds are good places for a short IDD message. Radio and television broadcasts are especially effective at reaching large audiences, but local print media can also work well. You can raise IDD's profile in your town or village meetings, or perhaps stage a play with song and dance at a festival. Popular concerts are another good way to promote an IDD event, especially if the performers themselves mention it during their performance. You can do this anywhere: out in the open, in schools and other public buildings, in village squares, universities, markets and shopping centres.


Make it relevant

IDD is best when it reflects the reality of your country, culture and society. Express yourself and your aspirations in your IDD event, ideally through specific messages, posters, broadcasts, and publications that speak to your fellow-citizens and that you may have even helped produce. Please also see our Resources page for materials that could be adapted to your situation and distributed as you see fit.

Issues of gender were addressed at a meeting on parliamentary representation in Manchester, United Kingdom. © Parliamentary Copyright, UK Parliament Timor-Leste Holds Parliamentary Elections. Polling officers aid a voter cast her ballot in Timor-Leste’s parliamentary elections. 7 July 2012. UN Photo/Martine Perret
Parliamentarians can help citizens develop political platforms and the skills to campaign democratically for causes and issues.

democracy fact


parliaments have celebrated the International Day of Democracy since 2008


How strong is your voice?


Speak up and speak out


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About democracy