Documents

EPDE Publication

Fake election observation as Russia's tool of election interference: The Case of AFRIC

EPDE

In this report, Anton Shekhovtsov analyzes how the structures of "Putin's Chef" Yevgeniy Prigozhin interfere in electoral processes in African countries with the help of fake election observation. This report focuses on the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC), an organization that Shekhovtsov has previously investigated and found to be involved in politically biased election observation and pro-Kremlin efforts, and is linked to Prigozhin. 

 

Election alert

Russia election alert #3

EPDE
Photo: dw.com

On January 20, 2020, the president of Russia submitted to the State Duma a draft law on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. To pass these amendments, authorities have also proposed to call an "all-Russian vote". These attempts to amend the constitution by calling such a vote instead of through existing legal procedures like a referendum raise serious concerns among Russian election experts about the legality of the constitutional change.

 

Early Parliamentary Elections

Preliminary report on 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections

EMDS

EMDS recorded similar violations on E-Day that have occurred in previous elections - one person voting multiple times, bussing of voters, ballot-box stuffing, and voting without registration. These violations were widespread and deliberate. Turnout figures counted by observers were significantly lower than the figures the CEC officially released on their website throughout E-Day. EMDS believes that violations recorded during all stages of these elections made it impossible for the elections to be fair and free.

 

Early Parliamentary Elections

2nd Interim report of 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections

EMDS

EMDS notes that there have been cases of pressure against civil society, political activists, candidates, and their relatives in both stages of the Parliamentary elections. The government failed to demonstrate any political will to release more than 100 people who are in jail with politically motivated charges as a result of increased political repression over the last few years.

 

Early Parliamentary Elections

Interim report of 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections

EMDS
(Parliament of Azerbaijan) Source: European Parliament, Flickr

EMDS observed during its LTO that restrictions on political freedoms and the freedom of speech continue ahead of the 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections and that the current Election Code does not provide for a genuine competitive environment. Numerous violations concerning the nomination and registration of candidates, predominantly against opposition candidates, were also observed.

 

Local Elections

Preliminary report on the 23 December Municipal Elections

EMDS

EMDS's observation of the municipal elections demonstrates that the elections were held in an environment with severe restriction of political freedoms, lack of equal and authentic opportunities for competition, and widespread violations during voting and vote-counting processes. The elections were marred with the lack of alternative choices and therefore did not adhere to the requirements of the national legislation and international standards of free and fair elections and did not represent the true will of Azerbaijani public.

 

General Local Elections and By-elections

Final observation mission report

Promo-LEX

The major issues found by the Promo-LEX observation mission included: uncertainties as to determining the date of the elections; unequal treatment of independent candidates in relation to those nominated by political parties/ electoral blocs by requiring them to collect signatures; the lack of a clear legal mechanism to prevent “the artificial migration of voters”; the absence of explicit regulations on the date of commencement of the second round of elections.

 

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.

 
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