Lobbying firm GJW has been called in to advise on elections in the Gulf
state of Yemen - one of a string of emerging democracies to benefit from
the firm’s latest export.
GJW has been hired by the European Commission to undertake various
projects in the run-up to the Yemeni elections in April 1997 - the first
since the country’s civil war in 1994. The agency has previously worked
on elections in Palestine and Bosnia,
The agency’s first project has been to assess and evaluate local
electoral monitoring efforts supported by EU funding. These include a
network of regional offices run by the Elections Monitoring Committee -
an independent body co-founded by Yemeni Times editor Abdulaziz Al-
Saqqaf - which will dispense free advice and investigate complaints
from ordinary voters.
The second is to work with the state-run elections committee itself,
providing both training and technical advice on running an election such
as how many ballot boxes to order.
Jurgen Koch, managing director of GJW’s Brussels office is one of two
staff working on the projects from the agency, which is itself a sub-
contractor to Italian company Euragi.
Also on the team is freelance consultant Maria Macchiaverna, whose past
work includes similar projects in Rwanda and Cambodia.