Documents

Election Alert

Polling stations abroad – a controversial and non-transparent process

EPDE
Image source: ipn.md

On November 1, 2020 Moldova will hold the first round of presidential elections. Like in 2016, the final election results will considerably depend on the voting of two groups of constituents – Moldovan diaspora and Moldovan citizens residing in the Transnistrian region. The undue increase of polling stations especially in the Russian Federation, as proposed recently by the Central Election Commission, raises concerns over its independence.

 

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #5 - Armenia’s Stable Majority Constitutional Provisions Under Review

EPDE
Photo: vestnikkavkaza.net

The 2015 Constitution promised that Armenia would move toward a fully proportional parliamentary model. However, a number of other provisions serve to distort the translation of votes to seats in practice. They include provisions for various bonus seats and the exclusion of political parties from campaigning if no government can be formed and a “second round” vote is held. 

 

Local Elections

How to organize local elections during the pandemic

CVU

Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) co-published this report with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on how to organize elections safely during the pandemic with specific recommendations for the local elections in Ukraine.

 

Presidential Election

Belarus Election Alert #7

EPDE
Photo: Viasna

A volunteer coordinator of EPDE’s member organization, the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, as well as her husband were detained yesterday over charges of causing mass riots. Meanwhile, her husband has been released. There is a growing pressure on civil society in the country as authorities' repressions continue. Human rights organizations as well as the European Parliament and UN experts call for a cessation of violence by authorities against protestors and for the release of now over 80 political prisoners in the country.

 

Parliamentary elections

Third interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

According to ISFED, signs of possible vote buying and use of administrative resources during the reporting period continues to be the main challenge of the election environment. ISFED found use of administrative resources in involvement of the ruling party’s majoritarian candidates in events funded by the State and local budgets. It appears that the ruling Georgian Dream party is trying to use all available administrative resources for electoral purposes.

 

Presidential election

2. Interim observation mission report

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX’s second interim report includes the following key observations: there is an uneven increase in the number of voters, unequal opportunities for potential candidates and for certain categories of voters, unreported campaign expenses amounting to at least MDL 735,021 (37,456 EURO), and contestants taking credit for activities funded by public money. The live broadcast of the press conference presenting this report is available with English interpretation here.

 

Election alert

Election Alert #6 - Trend against established parties. Candidates under undue pressure.

EPDE
Photo: dw.com

Last weekend’s regional and local elections in Russia represented a final rehearsal ahead of next year’s federal parliamentary elections. This was also the last election to be managed by the acting composition of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) and its chairperson, Ella Pamfilova, whose term in office is to expire in March next year. According to independent election observers, the elections displayed two strongly conflicting trends.

 

Election alert

Election Alert #5 - Unlevel playing field in regional and local elections

EPDE
Photo: news.sky.com

The regional and local elections scheduled on 13 September 2020 are to be the first major electoral campaign in Russia to take place following the passing of the Constitutional amendments and the introduction of the epidemiological restrictions. A total of 9071 campaigns are taking place incl. State Duma by-elections in four districts, elections of 18 regional heads (governors), 11 regional parliaments and 22 city councils in administrative centres. More than 78 thousand deputy mandates and elected positions are to be filled.

 

Local & regional elections

Pre-election campaign Russia Single Voting Day 2020

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

During the election campaign period, a level playing field for candidates has not been secured. Candidates who were supported by the authorities could also count on support from local authorities, courts, and electoral authorities and often did not have to face the restrictions associated with the Covid 19 pandemic when conducting their campaigns. State controlled media dominated the public sphere and manipulated public opinion in the mass media by obstructing opposition candidates and creating advantages for "administrative" candidates.

 

Local & regional elections

Legal aspects of the 13th September Russian Single Voting Day 2020

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

Analyzing the legal framework of the elections, domestic election experts conclude that the current legal conditions are the worst in the last 25 years. Recent changes to the electoral law on the federal level as well as short-term amendments to the regional election campaign regulations have been introduced to further restrict the electoral rights of citizens, limit the opportunities for citizen election observers and the overall public control over elections.

 

Local & regional elections

Summary of the nomination and registration of candidates for the 13th September 2020 elections

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

The analysis of the process of candidates’ registration in self-government elections shows an unproportionally high dropout rate of opposition candidates. In the main elections to regional parliaments and councils, parties supported by the authorities could nominate 98 % of their candidates, self-nominated candidates could register in over 60 % of cases, and parties without „administrative support” were rejected in almost 90% of cases.

 

Local & regional elections

Briefly about the course of the candidate registration SVD 2020

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

The main features of the 18 gubernatorial races held on the Single Voting Day were the restricted access for opposition candidates to the elections and the replacement of promising candidates by “technical” sparring-partners nominated by new “technical” parties which have been created with strong support of the authorities. Even candidates of parliamentary parties were massively excluded from gubernatorial elections, while candidates with low approval ratings from “United Russia” began to run as self-nominated candidates.

 

Local Elections

1. Interim observation mission report

OPORA

Opora issued their first interim report of the pre-election campaign period for the local elections. Officially, election campaigning began 05 September, however, political parties, their local organizations, and potential candidates de facto already launched their active campaigning in August. This stage of early campaigning is unregulated by any electoral legal framework and there are no controls over campaign spending. The uncontrolled spending on political ads on social media is also a concern highlighted in the report available on OPORA's website here.

 

Presidential election

1. Interim observation mission report

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX issued its first election observation report for the presidential election, which will be held on 1 November 2020. They report the following during the pre-election period - party switching, especially within parliamentary parties, indicating a lack of an institutionalized party system; a lack of a stable and constant parliamentary majority; a noticeable impact of the pandemic on the effectiveness of governmental policies; geopolitical issues feature in the electoral agenda.

 

EPDE Alert

EPDE calls for authorities to refrain from interfering in the activities of the CEC ahead of local elections

EPDE
Image source: RBK-Ukraine

In recent days there have been reports that officials from the President's Office in Ukraine insisted that members of the Central Election Commission resign. EPDE, OPORA, and CVU are concerned about such efforts by the President’s Office to threaten CEC members and interfere with the work of the CEC and call on authorities to refrain from exerting pressure on the CEC and ensure the independent and effective working of election management bodies.

 
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