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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

Further restrictions against citizens’ election observation in Russia

In the run-up to the parliamentary elections in Russia which are to be held in mid-September 2016, the government controlled parliament introduced new amendments to the election related legislation which further limits the rights of citizens’ observers to freely monitor the voting process. According to the new amendment, domestic observers are not able to conduct observation at several polling stations on the voting day but can be deployed only to one particular polling station. They have to be accredited at least three days before the start of the voting thus allowing the authorities to identify polling stations with and without election observers in advance.

Read more ...

Ukrainian EPDE members CVU and Opora publish expert reports

Civic Network Opora and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine together with the international EPDE experts published four analysis on the conditions for democratic elections in Ukraine. Arkadii Lubarev from the Association Golos, Moscow, analyzed the implication of the new local election law. Steffen Halling from the Berlin based German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) monitored the election campaign in the Donbass region controlled by the Ukrainian government.

Read more ...

Citizens’ observers demand transparent drafting of new election law in Armenia

Citizen’s election observers urge the Armenian authorities to safeguard transparency of the process of drafting the new election law and to include all relevant experts, representatives of the civil society and the political parties in the process. The authorities should establish an updated voter register and provide proper voter lists, cancel undue restrictions of the observers’ rights and introduce cameras at the polling stations with live stream on internet. Citizens’ observers should be given the right to file complaints against the voting results if serious violations of the election law were documented.

Read more ...

Anar Mammadli pardoned after almost 2,5 years in prison

On 17 March, Anar Mammadli, EPDE board member and the Director of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS), based in Baku, Azerbaijan, was pardoned by the president Aliev along with a number of high profile political prisoners. Mammadli was imprisoned on 16 December 2013 following the EMDS critical report documenting massiv fraud during presidential elections held on 9 October 2013. He was sentenced to 5,5 years in prison on 26 May 2014.

Read more ...

Belarus: HRDFE offers support to the CEC on the implementation of the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations

In a proposal presented to the Central Election Commission of Belarus (CEC), the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections (HRDFE), an initiative of the EPDE members Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center Viasna, suggest a number of steps to implement the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR to ensure democratic conduct of the future elections in Belarus. 30 detailed instructions on implementation  proposed by HRDFE were apparently considered by the CEC working group. The HRDFE urges the authorities to ensure the transparency of the amending the electoral legislation by involving of independent experts, election observation NGOs and political parties in the process of drafting of election law.

Read more ...
Newsarchive