Reports

Policy Alert

Outlook ahead of Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections

EPDE

As Georgia prepares for its upcoming parliamentary elections on October 26, 2024, significant changes are underway. This election marks a historic shift to a fully proportional electoral system, with all 150 members of parliament set to be elected in a single nationwide constituency under a 5% threshold. A notable feature is the widespread adoption of electronic voting technologies at most polling stations, a first for country-wide elections. However, amidst these advancements, questions linger over the mandate of key members in the election administration, creating a deadlock in the parliamentary process.

Independent international consultant Tamara Sartania provides insight into electoral system, election administration, electronic voting technologies, undecided voters and heated rhetoric.

 

Policy Alert

Electoral reform in Armenia: Always room for improvement

EPDE

The Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia, has proposed amendments to the electoral code and other legal acts to enhance existing regulations.

In the recently published Policy Alert, expert Tigran Mughnetsian sheds light on the draft bill on amendments to the electoral code and provides recommendations for improvements.

 

Parliamentary elections and referendum 2023 - preliminary report

PAF

EPDE Member the Political Accountability Foundation (PAF) published a short translation of their preliminary election and referendum report. It encompasses a summary of their observation both during the election campaigns as well as voting day itself. In the report, PAF recommends to improve and standardise the training system for members of electoral commissions, introduce mechanisms to ensure respect of the secrecy of the vote, increase and harmonise the rights of observers, revise the number of mandates allocated to electoral districts, reduce the upper limit of the number of inhabitants per voting precinct, and develop mechanisms that seek to prevent the introduction of legislative changes to the regulations governing the electoral and referendum process in a period shorter than the 6 months required by the Constitutional Court.

For the full report in Polish, click here.

 

Policy Alert

The upcoming 2023 referendum and parliamentary elections in Poland: key concerns about the “double celebration” democracy day

EPDE

The recently published Policy Alert voices concern about the decision of the Polish government to hold a national referendum alongside the elections for Sejm and Senat, citing the short time for public debate, the wording of questions of the referendum, its binding effect, campaign finance regulations, and general organizational issues. The authors propose several recommendations to address these concerns.

By Magdalena Musiał-Karg and Fernando Casal Bértoa.

 

Challenges for election campaign finance in Georgia

ISFED

EPDE member ISFED published a study on financial challenges for Georgian political parties and election campaigns. The study aims to identify the financial challenges for the election campaigns of the political parties during the elections, as well as invisible barriers for regional politicians, women, representatives of ethnic minorities, and independent candidates.

 

Electoral systems for Georgia's representative bodies

ISFED

EPDE member ISFED published a policy paper which evaluates electoral systems for three levels of representative bodies in Georgia – the Parliament of Georgia, Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, and Municipal Councils - and proposes solutions to their shortcomings. The policy paper is produced with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

 

Policy Alert

Law on Foreign Agents in Georgia is an attack against civil society

EPDE

The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) voices its severe concern over the draft bill “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” in Georgia. The stigmatization of non-governmental organizations as "foreign agents" marks the next stage in the Georgian parliamentary majority's fight against civil society. The draft law is based on the Russian example, where a similar law was introduced a decade earlier and led to the de facto liquidation of NGOs involved in monitoring political and social processes and, first and foremost, monitoring elections.

 

Policy Alert

Single Voting Day 2022 held amid war and restrictions of fundamental freedoms

EPDE

The Single Voting Day in Russia was conducted amid the ongoing war against Ukraine and restrictions on fundamental freedoms at home. Freedom of speech and expression are under attack as independent voices and sources of information have been systematically shut down. Simultaneously, the election conditions were fundamentally unfair, as candidates were blocked from participating.

 

EPDE Publication

Media and Freedom of Expression in the EU – Eastern Partnership and Russian Federation

EPDE

This report is published at a time of Russian invasion of Ukraine. It underscores the central role of freedom of expression in the maintenance of democracy at home, as well as international order and security abroad. This report provides the analysis and conclusions on the state of freedom of expression and the work of the media in seven countries of the EU Eastern Neighborhood, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia.

 

EPDE Publication

Puzzling rules-equal game?

EPDE
EU in focus

This study compares political finance regulations across the EU and identifies common challenges and possible responses to those. The recommendations of this study seek to enhance EU-level regulation of political finance with the aim to replicate this at the national level.

 

Election report

Referendum 2022: Final report

BHC & Viasna

Significant violations of national legislation and the fundamental principles of holding fair and democratic elections during the referendum, including depriving observers of the opportunity to witness the vote count, does not give grounds to trust the election results announced by the CEC.

 

Policy Alert

A tilted playing field favors the government in Hungary’s April 3 parliamentary elections

EPDE

Parliamentary elections are taking place in Hungary on April 3 and will be decided among two political blocks in an unprecedentedly polarized environment. Several concerns raised regarding the elections relate to the legal environment, while others to the uneven playing field, especially regarding the media landscape and campaign financing, which all tilt the playing field toward the incumbent government.

 

Belarus

Constitutional referendum – findings and conclusions

BHC & Viasna

The constitutional referendum took place against the backdrop of a profound socio-political crisis that began immediately after the 2020 presidential election and the pervasive atmosphere of repression targeting those disloyal to the authorities, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections issued their preliminary report of their expert mission to this referendum, examining the lack of any electoral reforms since the 2020 post-election crisis; the intransparent manner in which the draft amendments were presented and discussed publicly without outside critical involvement; the numerous violations of international standards and national legislation in preparing and conducting the referendum. There was no independent monitoring of all types of voting or the vote count due to the CEC restrictions on the number of observers at polling stations.

 

Hungary

Legalized vote tourism threatens next year’s parliamentary election in Hungary

EPDE
Hungary

An amendment passed by the Hungarian parliament in November introduced a new legal definition of ‘residence’: instead of the place where the citizen lives, it now stands for little more than a contact address in official communication. Though the change may appear minor and administrative, it could have far-reaching consequences for the upcoming parliamentary elections. 

 

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #10 - Two Down, One To Go: Armenia’s 2021 Local Elections

EPDE

In the wake of the early parliamentary election on June 20, 2021, 54% of the electorate will have a second chance to vote during the autumn 2021 local elections. Several communities have already held their city council elections on October 17 and November 14, but the biggest wave will take place on December 5.

 
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