Documents

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.

 

Policy Alert

Public outcry and excessive use of force amid flawed Parliamentary Elections

EPDE
Source: euractiv.com [Zurab Kurtsikidze/EPA/EFE]

In our latest policy alert, we analyse how District Election Commissions failed to adequately respond to the substantive violations detected in the summary protocols aggravating public distrust over the electoral process. This, and other recorded violations sparked a public outcry calling for the resignation of the Chairman of the Central Election Commission and snap elections. Amidst these developments the Georgian authorities have unlawfully dispersed crowds using water cannons, amounting to an excessive use of force.

 

Policy Alert

Georgia to investigate physical attacks and intimidation of political party candidates, women, and journalists

EPDE
Souce: Twitter of Anna Dolidze

Georgia’s 2020 Parliamentary pre-election period is marked with high polarization amid constantly emerging allegations of physical violence and intimidation against political party candidates and its supporters. Orchestrated attacks include threats against journalists, who are being unlawfully prevented from doing their job, and intimidation of female candidates disproportionately targeted based on their gender.

 

Election Alert

Local elections in Ukraine - a challenging context and a test for Zelensky’s party

EPDE
Photo: unian.info (REUTERS)

The upcoming local elections in Ukraine will take place in a very challenging context: newly introduced electoral legislation with little time for participants in the election to familiarize themselves with it, lacking clarity on COVID19 measures and funding for equipment may pose a threat to the election process, cancelled elections in constituencies in Donetsk and Luhansk have left voters disenfranchised. For President Zelensky, this election is key to win back some popular support lost since his election.

 

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. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Presidential Election

Belarus Election Alert #6

EPDE
Photo: www.newsabc.net

Following the presidential election on August 9 and the declaration of Lukashenka's victory, protests broke out across Belarus. They were dispersed violently by law enforcement agencies, resulting in numerous injuries, at least one casualty, and thousands of arrests. In this post-election edition Election Alert, we share the preliminary report and post E-Day statements of the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections and of other election monitors and experts.

 

Presidential Election

Belarus Election Alert #5

EPDE
Photo: Sergei Gapon / AFP

On August 9, 2020, presidential elections take place in Belarus, in which the incumbent Aleksander Lukashenka is standing for the sixth time. Early voting took place from August 4 to August 8. Election observers complain about criminal and administrative prosecution of opposition politicians and their supporters, pressure on voters to cast their votes ahead of time and the massive restrictions on independent election observation.

 

Presidential Election

Belarus Election Alert #4

EPDE

The CEC has declined to register Viktar Babaryka and Valery Tsapkala, making two of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s key rivals ineligible to run for President. Following this decision, protests broke out across Belarus which were accompanied by a wave of arrests. Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections (HRDs), now the only independent observers of this election, report on this and the entire nomination and registration phase of the election campaign.

 

Election Alert

Amendments to election law risk undermining conduct of free and fair elections

CALC

A draft law to amend electoral legislation, which election experts and observers have criticised for including provisions that could restrict both voter rights and activities of election observers, is likely to be adopted at breakneck speed, barely a month passing between its registration and likely adoption during its second reading in parliament this week.

 

Presidential Election

Belarus Election Alert #3

EPDE
Source: tellerreport.com

The Central Election Commission has until 14 July to complete the registration process of candidates for the presidential race. Observers from the "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" campaign report that further measures were taken to disadvantage rival candidates in recent days: locations where election activities can lawfully take place have been restricted, further members of campaign teams have been detained, and nearly all opposition nominees to PECs were blocked.

 

Presidential Election

Belarus Election Alert #2

EPDE
Source: tut.by

Lukashenka attempts to eliminate his competition. 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 of candidates last week. Presidential election being held “in an atmosphere of fear, constant threats and intimidation” - Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections.

 
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