Documents

EPDE Publication

European politicians to legitimize constitutional changes in Russia

EPDE

Kremlin-friendly foreign politicians, journalists, lobbyists and activists have once again been invited to praise the disputed “all-Russian voting” on the constitutional amendments proposed by President Putin. The main motivation behind inviting foreign politically biased observers to the “voting”, which has no basis in Russian legislation, is to provide a semblance of international legitimacy to constitutional amendments that have already been approved by the Russian parliament.

 

Election alert

How corona thwarts Putin's plan to change the constitution

EPDE
Photo: dw.com

The pandemic has interrupted Putin’s fast-track constitutional amendment project that would have allowed him to stay in power beyond 2024. An understanding that his popular support may be waning was likely behind the haste. What started as a fail-proof political project is now an uncertain race against a natural calamity. Whenever the vote will take place it will be happening in a post-crisis Russia and the government’s effectiveness in fighting the pandemic will surely be factored into the voters’ decisions.

 

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.

 

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 Publication

Comparative study on conditions for citizen election observation in the EU–EaP and Russia

EPDE

This comparative analysis by Tatyana Hilscher-Bogussevich of conditions for citizen election observers in the Eastern Neighborhood has found that Russia ranks the worst since there are no legal provisions allowing for civil society to be directly accredited as election observers. There is a similarly restrictive environment in Azerbaijan and Belarus. Other countries of the region rank better and generally facilitate citizen observation, however issues still remain. This study is a first in a series based on the newly launched Catalogue of Recommendations on Electoral Reform.

 

EPDE Publication

Controversial "International Observation" at the 2019 Regional elections in Russia

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he analyzes how Russian officials invited "international experts" with known involvement in various pro-Kremlin efforts to observe the regional elections in Moscow and how they were used by officials, pro-regime media and organizations to legitimize the electoral process and neutralize the negative effect of refusing to register independent opposition candidates for the elections to the Moscow City Duma.

 

Catalogue of recommendations on electoral reform

Analysis on conditions for citizen observation

EPDE

Analysis including recent reports and recommendations by citizen observer organizations, open source information, and the newly developed Catalogue of Recommendations. Overall findings: Conditions for election observation, both in legislation and in practice, and attitudes towards it vary considerably from country to country. An observed rise in politically-motivated domestic observation can be noted, seriously damaging any credible non-partisan election observation.

 

 

Election alert

Russia election alert #2

EPDE
Photo: Dmitri Lovetsky/DPA

More than five thousand elections on different levels were held in Russia on September 8, on the so-called single voting day. The average turnout was 41.2%, which slightly exceeded last year’s turnout. In gubernatorial elections, all candidates designated and supported by the Kremlin have won in the first round. However, in the elections to the regional and city councils, where there was relative competition between parties, United Russia scored much less than in previous elections – 16% less on average.

 

 

Election alert

Russia election alert #1

EPDE
Photo: DW/E. Barysheva

The situation on the eve of 2019 regional elections, 8 September 2019, shows several important trends. On the one hand, Russian electoral system is becoming extremely politically biased and repressive. On the other, there is growing social demand for participation in decision-making and rising protest activity, including protest vote and participation in street protests.

 

EPDE Publication

Russian Interference, and Where to Find It - Anton Shekhovtsov (German version)

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he identifies different factors that influence the occurrence of Russian interference in international elections. This article discusses elections in France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Sweden that took place in 2017-2018, and shows how different combinations of these factors produced different outcomes in terms of Russian meddling.

 

EPDE Publication

Russian Interference, and Where to Find It - Anton Shekhovtsov

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he identifies different factors that influence the occurrence of Russian interference in international elections. This article discusses elections in France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Sweden that took place in 2017-2018, and shows how different combinations of these factors produced different outcomes in terms of Russian meddling.

 

IESC's Paper

A Guide to the Russian Tool Box of Election Meddling

IESC

The International Elections Study Centre, an EPDE member from Lithuania, has published a paper, focusing on Russia’s election meddling as a measure of political warfare. For Putin’s regime, meddling in elections is only part of a bigger campaign in the Kremlin’s war against the West, carried out non-stop for a long time and using a variety of methods in its malign activities. It is therefore impossible to analyse this meddling in separation from a general strategy of Putin’s regime or to undertake measures of protection only against election meddling without an effort, comprehensive enough, to fight back against the Russian threat as such.

 

Regional Elections

Politically Biased International Election Observation at the 2018 Regional Elections in Russia

Photo: omskportal.ru

The majority of the international experts, who attended the regional elections in several Russian oblasts during the so-called single voting day, have a history of participating in various pro-Kremlin efforts. Although they were not officially accredited by Russia’s CEC as election observers, the Russian media and individual members of the CEC often referred to them as such. See the analysis of media publications on the elections and profiles of the international experts in our latest report.

 

EPDE publication

Politically biased election observation—a threat to the integrity of international institutions

In recent years, we have witnessed the increasing phenomenon of “biased observation”. EPDE reacts to this trend with the new publication "Politically biased election observation—a threat to the integrity of international institutions". The booklet comprises analyses and recommendations that help to identify and react to any kind of politically influenced election observation.

 
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