Documents

Policy Alert

Political Deadlock After Broken Promise on Electoral System Change

ISFED
caucasuswatch.de

To provide an outlook for the upcoming 2020 elections in Georgia, ISFED describes in this policy paper the current political deadlock in the country caused by the ruling party failing to vote for the introduction of a proportional electoral system. ISFED analyzes a potential solution for this deadlock surrounding the electoral system and necessary changes in the Election Code and political party finance regulations to ensure that the 2020 parliamentary elections are conducted in a democratic, free and fair manner.

 

EPDE Publication

Foreign Observation of the Illegitimate Elections in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2019

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he analyzes how the presence of “foreign observers” during the “parliamentary elections” in the so-called “Republic of South Ossetia” and of the “presidential elections” in the so-called “Republic of Abkhazia” in 2019 was underpinned not by the actual need to observe the “elections”, but rather by the intent to mimic legitimate international election monitoring in order to create an impression that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were legitimate independent states. 

 

EPDE Policy Alert

Electoral Reform in Ukraine #15

EPDE

The parliamentary vote on the draft Electoral Code planned for this week has been postponed. Earlier, EPDE members Civic Network OPORA and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine raised serious concerns about some provisions of the draft and pointed to a number of shortcomings resulting from last minute amendments to the draft. This policy alert analyses these shortcomings and calls on the Verkhovna Rada to present the final draft Electoral Code to the public in a timely manner in order to ensure transparency.

 

Presidential Elections

Divisive Narratives on Facebook During the 2018 Elections

ISFED

ISFED released its latest social media monitoring report which focuses on Facebook pages that spread specific value-based narratives such as nationalistic, xenophobic, islamophobic, homophobic, illiberal, and openly anti-western messages. Narratives and propaganda methods used by these Facebook pages are identical to those used by Kremlin across Europe.

 

Parliamentary Elections

Full analytical report

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

According to the “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”, these elections do not meet international standards of democratic and free elections for a number of reasons: lack of equal access to state media for all candidates, lack of impartial election commissions, use of administrative resource in favor of pro-government candidates, numerous cases of coercion of voters to participate in early voting, and intransparent vote counting procedures. 

 

Parliamentary Elections

Report on early voting

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The official turnout for early voting is reported at 35.77%, which is the record high for the parliamentary elections since 2008. Official turnout figures were much greater than those reported by the observers. Participation in early voting was encouraged by the authorities. Administrations of government-owned enterprises and institutions, as well as universities strongly advised voters to participate in early voting, maintained records of early voters and reported on the progress of early voting to local executive authorities. In some cases early voting was characterized by coercion, under threats of reprisals for refusing to vote early.

 

Parliamentary Elections

Report on election campaigning

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

In general, local executive committees created favorable conditions for election campaigning and the number of places for holding public events increased in comparison with the elections of 2016. However, election campaigning was low key and administrative resources were widely used to promote the pro-government candidates, while non-affiliated and opposition candidates reported that their political campaigns were censored and there were cases of bans on broadcasting the campaign speeches of opposition candidates.

 

Policy Alert

Consolidating Democratic Transition in Armenia

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly - Vanadzor

In March 2019, the Parliamentary factions started a dialogue on the priorities of the electoral reforms and established a timeline that included changes to various laws. HCAV have summarized what the expected amendments will be in this new policy alert. They furthermore call on the EU to strongly denounce the attacks against genuine civil society, including HCAV, in light of the growing discrediting campaigns against reputable organizations and donors.

 

General Local Elections and By-elections

E-Day 2nd round - Observation Mission Report

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX observed that the opening and closing of polling stations on 03.11. was regular. One issue observed multiple times was that 27% of the PEBs continued to ignore the rule that stipulates that one member of the bureau is to display the ballots to all the participants in the counting process. Observed incidents were once again not of a significant nature, but included cases of unjustified and unauthorized persons being present within 100 m. of the PS as well as in the PS (25); presence of advertising materials, posters, electoral displays within 100 m. of the PS (21); and difficulties for the operation of the SIAS Elections system (20); organized transportation of voters (13). The results of parallel vote counting for the post of general mayor of Chisinau municipality confirmed the percentage offered by the CEC.

 

Parliamentary Elections

Interim Reports - Candidates' registration revoked and banned from public broadcasts

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

There are continued cases in the run up to the Parliamentary elections of candidates' registrations being revoked over alleged violations of Art. 47 and ongoing cases of bans on broadcasting the campaign speeches of opposition candidates; the DECs and the public media have demonstrated an extremely loose treatment of restrictions on campaigning activities, as established by Art. 47 of the Electoral Code, which in most cases constitutes censorship and unacceptable restrictions on freedom of expression.

 

General Local Elections and By-elections

Elections of October 20 – November 3 2019 were generally free and partially fair

Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections

This coalition of election monitors in Moldova, including our member Promo-LEX, observed the following issues throughout the General local elections and by-elections: limitations of the freedom of voter information, the hindering of work of election management bodies, inconsistent candidate registration practices, a lack of impartial media, and the obstruction of the work of national observers.

 

General Local Elections and By-elections

Interim period between E-Days - Observation Mission Report

Promo-LEX

The Electoral Code does not contain general or special rules regarding the conduct of the second round of local elections, except for the CEC's responsibility to ensure the conduct of the second round and the conditions for the conduct of the second round. Promo-LEX has observed that there are cases of suspicious artificial migration of voters on voter lists, a significant decrease of campaign activities ahead of the second round of elections.

 

Parliamentary Elections

Interim Reports - Censorship and penalties against candidates

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

Opposition candidates have been censored during their campaigning and have had their registrations revoked for criticising authorities, reports the election observation campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”. Many appeals of candidates whose registration was refused have yet to be considered despite the period for this having already passed and only one appeal was successful. Cases of abuse of administrative resources for election campaigning by the pro-government candidates have been recorded, as well as creating obstacles to independent and opposition candidates in their campaigning events.

 
 

General Local Elections and By-elections

E-Day 1st round - Observation Mission Report

Promo-LEX

The observation mission on Election Day reported that in general the opening of polling stations (PS) went smoothly on E-day. 407 incidents have been analysed by Promo-LEX, most frequently reported incidents, but not significantly numerous, were: deficiencies in voters’ lists, unjustified presence of unauthorized persons in or around the PS, presence of advertising materials within 100 m of the PS, interrupted filming during the opening of the PS and vote counting process. In general the parallel vote count did not find major discrepancies to the data provided by the CEC and the share of erroneous protocols completed by precinct election bureaus has decreased compared to the Parliamentary elections of February 24, 2019.

 

EPDE Publication

Comparative study on conditions for citizen election observation in the EU–EaP and Russia

EPDE

This comparative analysis by Tatyana Hilscher-Bogussevich of conditions for citizen election observers in the Eastern Neighborhood has found that Russia ranks the worst since there are no legal provisions allowing for civil society to be directly accredited as election observers. There is a similarly restrictive environment in Azerbaijan and Belarus. Other countries of the region rank better and generally facilitate citizen observation, however issues still remain. This study is a first in a series based on the newly launched Catalogue of Recommendations on Electoral Reform.

 
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