Democracy does not solve all the problems in the world, but democracy is always better than dictatorship. To promote credible elections, the EU, OSCE, Carter Centre, AU, OAS and many other organizations field international election observers. These observers are a special kind of people. They go where nobody else goes. To the local people in far-off provinces they are a shining light. To (semi)dictators it means that there are limits as to what they can get away with. In this book, journalist Jos Tesselaar describes the twenty observation missions in which he participated in Africa, Latin America and Asia over a period of 25 years. The book is not only about elections, but also about interpersonal and intercultural relations as well as physical hardships, like extreme heat, extreme cold and life threatening situations. After all: each mission is an adventure.
Jos Tesselaar was born in Tuitjenhorn and grew up in Warmenhuizen, two villages in the north-west of Holland. After graduating as a development economist at the Free University of Amsterdam, he worked ten years as an aid worker in Mozambique, Bolivia, Ecuador, Pakistan and The Gambia. Back in Holland, he worked 23 years as a journalist for the Westfries Weekblad. He has been an elected member of the town council of Enkhuizen for eight years and he has been an international election observer since 1994.