Call for Applications: Expert on Capacity Building in Election Monitoring NGOs

EPDE aims to recruit an expert or a team of experts (Russian and/or English) to deliver a 2-hours “input session” and to ensure a support during several working sessions in the field of capacity building in election monitoring NGOs during a five-days summer camp which will be held on July 25-30, 2016 in Ukraine.

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EPDE held a seminar for election observers in Tbilisi

The two-day seminar which was held on June 18-19 in Tbilisi gathered 20 observers from different EPDE member organisations. The main focus of the seminar was put on establishing and maintaining contacts with journalists and mass media. The EPDE observers got an insight into the specific media formats in different countries. Also, they discussed how to effectively disseminate election findings among journalists and different media outlets.

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OPORA: Credibility of new Central Election Commission in Ukraine at risk

The submission of new members of the Central Election Commission by the President of Ukraine does not include candidates of three out of six parliamentary factions and therefore puts the credibility of the CEC at risk. Ignored were candidates of the all-Ukrainian Association “Batkivshchyna,” “The Opposition Bloc,” and Oleh Liashko’s Radical Party as well as of the MP group “Volia Narodu.”

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Belarusian EPDE members BHC and HRC Viasna publish first election monitoring' report

During the preparations for the parliamentary elections scheduled on 11 September 2016, Belarussian authorities ignored most of the recommendations made by citizens' observers and international mission of the ODIHR/OSCE. The government neither took measures to improve the human rights situation nor abandoned repressive practices against opponents of the regime.

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Serious restrictions of civic election observation in Armenia

Armenian Draft Electoral Code was adopted on 28 May 2016. Neither the amendments proposed by the civic election observers nor the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR nor Venice Commission of the Council of Europe have been implemented. The rights to observe elections by civic observers and mass media representatives have been seriously restricted.

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Armenia: Civic Observers' Opinion on the Draft Electoral Law

The Draft law was proceeded with violations of the procedures stipulated by the Armenian legislation. The authorities did not undertake sufficient steps to reach a broad consensus among relevant stakeholders. The Draft fails to meet the requirements of the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters of the Venice Commission and do not reflect the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR. It fails to safeguard efficient mechanisms to maintenance the electoral register, does not prevent electoral fraud and unduly restricts voters’ rights and limits the rights of civic observers.

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Pro-governmental United Russia candidates illegally financed by EU-based companies

In the run-up to the parliamentary elections in the Russian Federation, EPDE member Golos presented its first findings at the European Parliament on April 7, 2016. According to the Golos experts, candidates of the government-controlled United Russia party are often illegally financed by foreign companies whose owners are registered in the countries of the European Union. At the same time, civic election observers were unlawfully labeled as “foreign agents” and thus banned from monitoring the polling. Also, unprecedented restrictions were recently imposed on journalists.

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The Statement of civil society organizations on the procedure for nominating and selecting candidates for membership of the Central Election Commission

The civil society organizations state the delayed publishing, on the official web page of the Parliament,  of the list of the candidates for the membership of the Central Electoral Commission(CEC), appointed by the parliamentary majority and the opposition. The civil society and the general public did not have the opportunity to follow the process at issue and to analyze the compliance of the candidates with the requirements provided for in the Electoral Code and the Law NO. 199 as of 16.07.2010 „ on the status of the persons performing responsible state positions”. Signatory organizations are also concerned about the refusal of the Parliament to support certain previously presented legislative initiatives aiming at ensuring a selection process based on clear principles of meritocracy and transparency of the candidates to CEC membership.

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Invitation to the Round Table “Russian Duma Election 2016: Insights for Action”

Ahead of Russian Duma Election 2016 the organisations Golos, IESC, EPDE and Silc are together launching a new initiative -presenting the results of their long-term election monitoring in Russia on the international level. They aim at presenting as widely as possible the facts about the course of the Russian Duma election campaign: illegal campaigning, violations related to election campaign financing, new obstacles to the opposition candidate registration, restrictions of observers' and journalists' rights and other violations. The first presentation on the long-term election monitoring results will be held on 7 April at 15.00 in the European Parliament. To attend the Round Table please register by April 5, 2016 here: amanda.lovkvist@silc.se

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Training for EPDE observers in Tbilisi

From 21-24 March two EPDE trainings for more than 40 observers from seven countries have taken place in Tbilisi, Georgia. The trainings aims were to strengthen the capacities of the EPDE member organizations in the work with volunteers and to maintain security standards in the area of internet communication. The trainings were organized by the International Society for Free Elections and Democracy (ISFED) with the support of the European Union.

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