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IAPC DEMOCRACY MEDAL

Since 1982, the International Association of Political Consultants has been a pioneer in awarding an organization or an individual who in the judgement of its membership has worked courageously to foster, promote and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world through our Democracy Medal, the first international award of its kind.

The Democracy Medal was awarded for the first time at the 1982 IAPC Berlin Conference to Lech Walesa, Polish Solidarity leader. Since then winners have included a diverse group including President Bill Clinton and the leaders of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement. Below is a list of past winners.

The criteria for selection can be broad to best reflect the times. We have awarded both individual politicians and leaders, political organizations, and political movements. The ideal is to recognise and celebrate those that (at the time of being nominated) have contributed to the world of campaigns and elections through their leadership and commitment to democratic ideals.

The medal itself is a burnished rendering of the Acropolis is etched in relief on the face of the large bronze medal. The reverse side contains the engraved name of the recipient and the year it was awarded. Appropriately, the certificate which accompanies the Medal includes this universally recognized definition of democracy.

The Democracy Medal winner is announced each year during the IAPC World Conference.

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International Association of Political Consultants Awards 2021 Democracy Medal to Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny

 

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny has been announced as the winner of the prestigious 2021 Democracy Medal awarded by members of the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) which is the global peak professional body for democratic election strategists and pollsters.

 

IAPC president Mauricio De Vengoechea said Mr. Navalny’s award recognized him for fighting for democracy in Russia, often at great personal risk to his own life.

 

“Mr. Navalny has long been the most prominent voice calling attention to democratic abuses and corruption under the regime,” Mr. De Vengoechea said.

 

“His bravery has come at a high cost to him, including an attempt to poison him with a nerve agent and periods in jail. He remains imprisoned in Russia at this time following the latest in a series of impeding legal maneuvers against him by officials.

 

“Since becoming leader of the Russia of the Future Party in 2013, Mr. Navalny has been subjected to a range of tactics to prevent him from participating in election processes. Instead, he has sought to engage Russian citizens through social media activism that has attracted many followers.

 

“As a non-partisan organization that defends and celebrates free elections, IAPC believes Mr. Navalny, like all those who seek high office, should be able to put his case to voters in a free and fair election. The simple act of choosing your candidate is a foundational privilege of democracy. It should be defended and never taken for granted.

 

“The challenges to democratic principle and human liberty that we see in Mr. Navalny’s case are disturbing. By presenting this award to him, IAPC is articulating its support for the principle that all people everywhere have a right to free elections.”

 

IAPC is the global professional organization for people who work in democratic election campaigns and processes, often for head of states races across Europe, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific and Africa. It provides a forum for campaign strategists and pollsters to share and deepen professional knowledge around elections and to monitor trends in election practice globally.

 

Since 1982, IAPC has been a pioneer in awarding an organization or an individual who in the judgment of its membership has worked courageously to foster, promote and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world through our Democracy Medal, the first international award of its kind.

 

This is the 39th time since 1982 that the Medal has been awarded. Nominees are proposed by members who then vote on the nominee shortlist. Awardees have included individual politicians and leaders, political organizations, and political movements that have contributed to free elections through their leadership and commitment to democratic ideals.

Other 2021 nominees shortlisted for the Medal were Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for asserting only Taiwan's people can decide their future; journalist Maria Ressa, for breathtaking courage in challenging the Duterte government in the Philippines; and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for being an island of sanity in a growing sea of demagogue leaders.

 

Past winners include Hong Kong Umbrella Movement founder Joshua Wong, the Women of Belarus, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, US Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Philippines President Corazon Aquino, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Presentation of the 2020 Democracy Medal to the Women of Belarus, accepted by Swetlana Tichanowskaya, Maria Kolesnikov and Veronika Zepkalo

A message from 2019 Democracy Medal winner, Ekrem İmamoğlu, Mayor of Istanbul, Turkey​

A message from 2018 Democracy Medal winner, Hong Kong Student Activist, Joshua Wong, co-founder of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

DEMOCRACY MEDAL WINNERS

  • 2021 Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny

  • 2020 The Women of Belarus

  • 2019 Ekrem İmamoğlu, Mayor of Istanbul, Turkey

  • 2018 Hong Kong Student Activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

  • 2017 Kemal Kilicdaroglu

  • 2016 Committee To Protect Journalist

  • 2015 Leopoldo Lopez

  • 2014 Ben Goddard

  • 2013 Co-Winners: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad & Tobago); Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller (Jamaica)

  • 2012 Presidents George H.W. Bush & Bill Clinton

  • 2011 The Arab Spring

  • 2010 Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe

  • 2009 Dr. Mir Hossein Mousavi, Iranian Prime Minister

  • 2008 Datuk Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia

  • 2007 The People of Indonesia

  • 2006 Evelyn Dubrow, Director Emeritus IAPC

  • 2005 Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine

  • 2004 Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Founder National Association in Support of Children’s Rights, Iran

  • 2003 Joe Napolitan & Michel Bongrand, Founding members of the IAPC

  • 2002 Morgan Tsvangirai, Chairman, Movement of Democratic Change, Zimbabwe

  • 2001 Hugo Banzer, President of Bolivia

  • 2000 George Mitchell, Former US Senator

  • 1999 Milo Djukanovic, President of the Republic of Montenegro

  • 1998 Martin Lee, Chairman, Hong Kong Democratic Party

  • 1997 International Foundation for Election Systems

  • 1996 Yitzhak Rabin (posthumous), Prime Minister of Israel

  • 1995 Aung San Suu Kyi, National Leauge for Democracy in Mayarmar

  • 1994 Jimmy Carter, Former President of the U.S.

  • 1993 F. W. de Klerk, State President, Republic of South Africa And Nelson Mandela, President, African National Congress

  • 1992 Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 18 years Foreign Minister

  • 1991 Boris Yeltsin, President of the Russian Republic

  • 1990 Vaclav Havel, President of Czechoslovakia

  • 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev, President of USSR

  • 1988 No Medal awarded

  • 1987 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain

  • 1986 Corazon Aquino, President of the Philippines

  • 1985 Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany

  • 1984 Raul Alfonsin, President of Argentina

  • 1983 Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat

  • 1982 Lech Walesa, Polish Solidarity leader