Documents

Presidential Election

Television & Social Media Media Monitoring - Interim report

MEMO98

President Lukashenko has tried to play down the upcoming election as an unnecessary distraction from business, but an active social media movement has shown that the public is no longer prepared to go along with an alternate reality. Here you can read the findings of the interim report, produced by MEMO 98, EAST Center and Linking Media, which examines media and social media in Belarus from the end of April until 23rd June.

 

Parliamentary elections

2020 Parliamentary elections - first interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

During the reporting period, ISFED identified 19 cases of possible vote buying, including 16 by majoritarian members of the Georgian Parliament and 3 by the Movement for Future, 2 cases of possible use of state resources, 1 case of exerting pressure on ISFED observer, 2 cases of interference in political activities and one case of political pressure/intimidation.

 

Parliamentary elections

Evaluation of the pre-election environment for the 2020 Parliamentary elections

ISFED

This report evaluates the political and media landscape in the country ahead of the 2020 Parliamentary elections. Although the adoption of constitutional amendments on the electoral system avoided further tension and protests, political polarization remains as a challenge. The media environment, as well as political environment, is very polarized and continues to face challenges related to media freedom and pluralism. It is likely that these factors will also influence pre-election campaigning.

 

EPDE Publication

Dossier: Impact of COVID-19 on election processes in the EaP and Russia

EPDE

COVID-19 spread rapidly across the world in early 2020, with most governments instituting far-reaching pandemic mitigation measures, including nationwide lockdowns. This dossier compares the lockdown regimes and extraordinary measures taken in response to COVID-19 and how these have impacted election processes in the Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - nomination and signature collection phase

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections (HRDs) stated in their latest report on the entire nomination and signature collection phase of the election campaign that this was marred by serious violations of the standards of free and democratic elections. The nomination groups of some candidates were subjected to significant pressure from law enforcement agencies and the verification of signatures by the Central Election Commission (CEC) was not transparent.

 

EPDE Publication

European politicians to legitimize constitutional changes in Russia

EPDE

Kremlin-friendly foreign politicians, journalists, lobbyists and activists have once again been invited to praise the disputed “all-Russian voting” on the constitutional amendments proposed by President Putin. The main motivation behind inviting foreign politically biased observers to the “voting”, which has no basis in Russian legislation, is to provide a semblance of international legitimacy to constitutional amendments that have already been approved by the Russian parliament.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - formation of precinct election commissions

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

On June 24 authorities completed the formation of Precinct Election Commissions (PECs) which are an important element of the electoral process directly engaged in the administration of voting and counting of votes. Observers note that the formation of PECs clearly discriminated against representatives of opposition parties: 1.1% of the total number of elected nominees are from opposition parties while 96.7% are from pro-government parties.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - end of signature collection and further arrests of candidates

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The end of the signature collection phase for contenders seeking to be nominated as a Presidential candidate was accompanied by a wave of further detentions, this time targeting the perhaps most popular participant of the election, ex-banker Viktar Babaryka. Observers also report on abuse of administrative resources in Lukashenka's campaign and that TECs have refused observers to observe signature verification procedures.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - mass arrests and detentions of opposition activists

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

In this weekly report, observers from HRDFE report that mass arrests and detentions of opposition activists, including members of Tsikhanouskaya’s nomination group, took place in different cities of the country during the week. Observers also note that the CEC interpreted electoral law selectively in the favor of certain candidates, e.g. complaints filed against Lukashenka’s nomination group for abuse of administrative resources in the collection of his signatures were rejected.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - crackdowns and discrimination against opposition

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

This week's observation report states that this year's campaign is marked by an increase in election-related protests, triggered also by public discontent over the handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Crackdowns and provocations by authorities against activists and members of other candidates' nomination groups have continued, and observers report an abuse of administrative resources in collecting signatures in support of incumbent President Lukashenka. 

 

Policy Alert

Georgia’s electoral system agreement should be implemented without further delay

ISFED
Image: Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock

COVID-19 and the subsequent state of emergency has halted the process of constitutional amendments to introduce a new mixed electoral system ahead of the 2020 Parliamentary election in Georgia. However, now that the state of emergency has been lifted and some of the opposition leaders have been released, which was an important condition of the opposition to support any constitutional amendments to change the electoral system, amendments should move forward.

 

Policy Alert

Armenia explores alternative to referendum on Constitutional Court

EPDE
Photo: massispost.com

Armenia was supposed to hold a referendum on April 5, 2020, on whether to replace 7 of its 9 Constitutional Court judges. The referendum was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now seen as too great a risk to public health to go ahead. Instead of terminating the 7 judges immediately, the government is now considering waiving their exemption to the current 12-year term limit and has applied to the Venice Commission for an official Opinion on the modified approach.

 

Presidential Election

Report on the formation of territorial election commissions

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

Observers were unable to attend meetings on the establishment of territorial election commissions (TECs), which were livestreamed in response to COVID-19, but were still difficult for observers to monitor due to the poor quality of some of the livestreams. Most TEC nominees represent six pro-government parties and compared to the previous Presidential election the number of opposition representatives in TECs has decreased by 15 times and the ‘success rate’ to be selected has halved.

 

Presidential Election

Report on the registration of nomination groups

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The CEC has registered 15 groups formed to support the nominations of future presidential candidates. However, it came under attack after it turned down 40 applications, mostly by opposition activists associated with former political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich. Well-known blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, was arrested and thus deprived of the opportunity to apply for the registration of his nomination group.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly report: Human rights situation deteriorating ahed of election

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The Presidential election is scheduled for August 9 in Belarus and so far, authorities have ignored proposals to amend electoral procedures to minimize risks relating to COVID-19. Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections found that basic civil and political freedoms are hampered by significant legislative restrictions and report that the general human rights situation has deteriorated shortly before the election.

 
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