Documents

Presidential election

Social media monitoring of 2020 presidential election

PAF

Restrictions imposed on freedom of movement and freedom of assembly due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first round of the election forced presidential candidates to run their campaign mostly via traditional and social media. PAF found that media outlets were far more active on Facebook than candidates. Candidates had a relatively limited ability in reaching wider audiences and will have to diversify their channels of communication beyond social media to reach other voters.

 

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #6 - New law on political parties introduces stricter regulation on party financing

EPDE

On 29 December 2020, amendments to Armenia’s Law on Political Parties were passed with widespread consensus following a period of extreme polarization which provide for a substantial increase in public financing of political parties, while increasing the transparency of party donations, prohibiting corporate donations, and decreasing the upper limit for individual donations. The amendments include minimal requirements of internal democracy within the organization of political parties. Alert available in English (Doc1) and Russian (Doc2).

 

Policy Alert

Russia election alert #8 - Duma elections 2021

EPDE
Russia
Source: ft.com / © AP

Russia’s next State Duma elections are scheduled to be held in September. A number of recent developments offer a glimpse of how they may be conducted. Early indications are that the authorities will take unprecedented efforts to keep the non-systemic opposition out of the State Duma and to undermine independent election observation. Alert available in English (Doc1) and Russian (Doc2).

 

Presidential election

Final Report on the 2020 Presidential Elections

Promo-LEX

Concerning last year’s presidential election in Moldova, Promo-LEX Association concludes that election contenders avoided reporting all campaign expenditures, there was a record number of hate speech, use of administrative resources, bribing of voters, and a high rate of complaints not accepted by the CEC and courts. In some instances, observers were restricted from accessing voter lists and there were isolated cases of observer intimidation by law enforcement and electoral officials on election day.

 

Presidential Election

What are the minimal conditions under which a free and fair presidential election could be conducted in Belarus?

EPDE & DRI

In the context of Belarus’ current political crisis, demands for minimal conditions needed for the holding of free and fair presidential elections in Belarus could be made by the Belarusian public and the opposition if snap elections were to be called. This paper proposes recommendations for all stages of the election cycle and concludes that a competitive election could be held in Belarus without changes to existing laws if the government demonstrates the necessary political will to safeguard certain minimal conditions.

 

Policy Alert

Foreign agents law expanded ahead of 2021 State Duma election

EPDE
Russia
Source: hrw.org (Reuters)

Recently passed amendments to the ‘foreign agents’ law in Russia increases the number of organizations at risk of being labelled as ‘foreign agents’ and would force election candidates who received funding or other resources from an organization or person registered as a ‘foreign agent’ to also label themselves as a ‘foreign agent’. There is serious reason to assume that the recent proposed amendments target specific individuals and organizations and have been drawn up at least in part with a view to the 2021 State Duma election. 

 

Policy Alert

Electoral code amended, concerns about further changes remain

EPDE
Hungary
Source: nytimes.com (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Ahead of the upcoming 2022 parliamentary elections, the Hungarian governing coalition passed an amendment to the country’s electoral code introducing stricter conditions for parties to register national lists in the elections, which in practical terms seems to be forcing the parties of the democratic opposition to run on one joint party list. While adjustments to the electoral map were anticipated and are slowly overdue, the governing parties voted against the politically neutral proposal filed by the opposition that addressed the issue. This raises concerns about prospective gerrymandering.

 

Policy Alert

Post-Election political standstill, flawed electoral complaint practices, and the one-party parliament

EPDE
Source: REUTERS /Irakli Gedenidze

The second round of elections cemented the victory of the Georgian Dream (GD). Despite the opposition boycotting the elections, violations persisted. The first session of the Parliament convened in absence of the opposition and parties saw some annulling of their mandates. The DG pledge for an early election if there was one percent deviation in its favour, did not go forward. The statistical analysis corroborated some of the observers’ findings, highlighting trends of discrepancies. The court practices also indicated political bias and undue consideration of complaints and appeals.

 

Presidential Election

Final observation report shows electoral process did not comply with international standards

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The electoral process at all its stages did not comply with a number of basic international standards for holding democratic and fair elections and was accompanied by numerous violations of these principles and provisions of national legislation. Significant violations, including the deprivation of observers of the opportunity to observe the counting of voting results, does not give grounds to trust the election results announced by the CEC.

 

EPDE Publication

Controversial 'International Observation' of the 'All-Russian Voting' on Amendments to the Constitution in Russia and Russia-Annexed Crimea

EPDE
Source: Twitter account Lechanteux

The “all-Russian voting” on President Putin’s proposed constitutional amendments, which would allow him to stay in power until 2036, was held between 25 June and 1 Jul 2020. Since the “all-Russian voting” lacked legal provisions and a constitutional status, a new legal framework was created, which, among others, did not foresee any international monitoring. However, “international experts” were invited to effectively endorse the “all-Russian voting”.

 

EPDE Publication

Money and politics – need for new rules of the game

EPDE

In recent years, election experts observed significant increase of spending on election campaigns. The transparency of party and campaign financing became one of the key requirements to ensure the integrity of today's election processes. To raise awareness about the urgent need to increase transparency, our newest comparative study analyzes the regulation and oversight of political party and campaign financing in the EU - Eastern Partnership and Russian Federation.

 

Presidential election

2nd round election day report

Promo-LEX

Moldova's presidential election runoff had a high voter engagement. During voting day, certain polling stations abroad ran out of ballots and thus did not allow voters to cast their vote. Organized transportation of voters from Transnistria and intimidation of election observers was also again present during the second round of the election. Promo-LEX’s parallel vote count largely correlated with the official results announced by the CEC and the vote count was conducted in a quick and calm manner.

 

Policy Alert

Concerns over Hungary’s pending electoral code amendment

EPDE
Hungary
Source: dailynewshungary.com (MTI)

Ahead of Hungary’s next parliamentary elections scheduled for 2022, the Orbán-government submitted a new amendment to the electoral code on 10 November 2020. Along with a series of technical adjustments, the amendment seeks to change the conditions under which parties can register national lists for the election. The proposal comes as the main opposition parties are in negotiations about their strategy for 2022 and, if passed, would limit their current options for cooperation.

 

Presidential Election

Presidential election only 'partially correct and free'

CALC
Source: kyivpost.com (AFP)

The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections in Moldova, to which EPDE member Promo-LEX contributes its election observation findings, has stated that the presidential elections of 1 and 15 November were "partially correct and free". This coalition of Moldovan CSOs and media organizations further state that several voters were unable to exercise their right to vote; the election campaigns was marked by hate speech and disinformation, as well as an unbalanced media coverage.

 

Election Alert

Moldova before the runoff elections: smear campaigning, disinformation, and accusations of voter fraud

EPDE
Source: politico.eu

The presidential election result in Moldova was greatly influenced by voters living outside of the Republic of Moldova, with two completely divergent election results emerged from this voter group, with voters in Transnistria overwhelmingly supporting Igor Dodon (74,24%), while only 4% of diaspora abroad voted for the incumbent. The run-off campaign was overshadowed by an unprecedented smear and disinformation campaign against Maya Sandu, and anti-civil society campaigns were also launched.

 
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