Documents

2018

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.

 

Presidential Elections

Election Day Final PVT Results

ISFED

Based on the observation, ISFED can conclude that the tabulation of votes was mostly conducted in compliance with relevant electoral procedures. Similarly to the voting process, number of violations were reported during counting of votes, such as, improper filling of summary protocols and other procedural shortcomings. Incidents of violence were identified in Marneuli and Lagodekhi after closing of polling stations.  ISFED filed 53 complaints with Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) and 76 complaints with District Electoral Commissions (DECs).   

 

Presidential Elections

ISFED 4th Election Day Statement - 2018 Presidential Runoff - Voting Process and Voter Turnout by 23:00

ISFED

Near the closing of polling stations, ISFED observed isolated serious incidents, such as: loss of table version of the voters’ list, unauthorized intrusion at precinct with an attempt of kidnapping a mobile ballot box. Other violations observed at this stage were mainly connected to the procedural shortcoming.  At this time, ISFED observers have filed 46 complaints with Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) and 54 complaints with District Electoral Commissions (DECs). 

 

Presidential Elections

ISFED 3rd Election Day Statement - 2018 Presidential Runoff - Voting Process and Voter Turnout by 19:00

ISFED

According to ISFED observers, the disturbing trend of mobilization of Georgian Dream party activists and so called coordinators outside of polling stations with the purpose of tracking the voters still continues. In isolated cases, PECs members were themselves tracking the voters who came or did not come to the polling stations. This is the continuation of a negative trend established in Georgia and it represents an attempt to control the free will of voters. At the moment of the statement ISFED has filed 37 complaints at the PECs and 38 complaints at the DECs. 

 

Presidential Elections

ISFED 2nd Election Day Statement - 2018 Presidential Runoff - Voting Process and Voter Turnout by 15:00

ISFED

At the moment of this statement, an important trend is the attempts to influence the will of the voters. Similar to the first round of the presidential elections, supporters of Georgian Dream and candidate Salome Zourabichvili, and so called “party coordinators” are mobilized outside of polling stations in various districts. They are tracking the voters who came to the polling stations. ISFED observer also identified a possible case of vote buying near a precinct.

 

Parliamentary Elections

The Globalisation of Pro-Kremlin Networks of Politically Biased Election Observation

EPDE
Cambodia and Zimbabwe

In Cambodia, parliamentary elections were held on 29 July 2018, in Zimbabwe on 30 July 2018. The “senior delegation of the international observers” (in the Cambodian case) and the AFRIC’s observation mission (in the Zimbabwean case) offered positive – and sometimes clearly politically charged – assessments of the elections in both countries, and their statements were widely disseminated by the state-controlled media to give an impression of overwhelming Western satisfaction with the conduct of the elections.

 

EPDE Policy Alert

Electoral Reform in Ukraine #9

EPDE

Current issue outlines the status quo of the electoral reform process less than a year before the parliamentary elections in October 2019 and provides an outlook for next year. Observers in Ukraine do not assume that there is currently a majority in the Parliament that supports the introduction of a proportional electoral system with open regional party lists. The completely open outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in March 2019 and the thereto related uncertainty among all political forces in Ukraine will further paralyze the reform process in the upcoming months.

 

Presidential Elections

Social Media Monitoring - 1st Interim Report

ISFED

ISFED is conducting a pilot Social Media Monitoring project for the 2018 Presidential Elections in Georgia. Given the increased role of social media in election campaigns and past experience of the use of Facebook for illegal campaigning as well as for discrediting electoral contestants in Georgia, ISFED has developed a methodological approach and with the help of software solutions from NDI has been able to carry out monitoring of the different layers of Facebook activity during the presidential elections in Georgia.

 

Donetsk and Lugansk Elections

Foreign Observation of the Illegitimate General Elections in the DPR and LPR

EPDE

The international community considered the “General elections” in Donetsk and Lugansk as illegitimate and did not send any observers to monitor them. Aiming to fill the void of legitimacy, the “authorities” of the DPR and LPR invited dozens of “international observers” from countries such as Austria, Canada, France, Italy and  Germany. None of them were transparent about the methodology they employed for observing the election processes and, therefore, violated the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers. We have identified their names and their background.

 

Presidential Elections

Third interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

On October 25, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) presented the third interim report of monitoring the 2018 presidential election of Georgia. The document covers the period of October 1 – 24, it also summarizes developments that began to unfold prior to October 1 but became known during the monitoring period. During the monitoring period ISFED identified: 13 cases of possible pressure and coercion; 5 cases of physical confrontation and violence; 7 cases of misuse of administrative resources; 4 cases of possible vote buying; 11 cases of interference with election campaigning; 14 cases of participation in campaigning in violation of law; 40 cases of damaging campaign materials.

 

Presidential Elections

4th e-day statement: Voting Process and Closing of Polling Station

ISFED

Based on the analysis of the information received through PVT, ISFED concludes that the voting process was mostly conducted without significant violations. However, throughout the voting process different kinds of procedural violations were reported, such as limiting the rights of observers; violation of inking procedure; procedural violations related to ballot papers; presence of unauthorized persons at the polling station; errors related to the voters list; voting instead of another person; campaigning at the polling station. Also separate cases of verbal and physical violations were identified.

 

Presidential Elections

3rd e-day statement: Voting Process by 19:00

ISFED

According to ISFED observers, the disturbing trend of mobilization of party activists still continues and is happening across the districts. These activists are noting which voters go to the stations. This method is mostly used by the activists of the Georgian Dream, however, in some cases representatives of the United National Movement were also using similar tactics.  

 

Presidential Elections

2nd e-day statement: Voting process and Voter Turnout by 15:00

ISFED

ISFED observers identified an important trend of party activists’ attempt to influence voters’ will outside the stations, specifically in the way of writing down the information of which voters came to the station. There was one case where voters were being mobilized through mini-buses. At this moment, ISFED’s observers identified similar incidents at 40 polling stations. Mobilized activists are mostly representatives of the Georgian Dream, however in certain election districts representatives of the United National Movement are also mobilized outside of polling stations. 

 

Presidential Elections

1st e-day statement: Opening and setting up of polling stations

ISFED

Based on the information provided by ISFED observers, the opening and setting up process at the majority of polling stations took place without substantial violations. However, cases of procedural violation of casting of lots and inadequate handling of electoral documentation was observed at several polling stations. At the moment of the statement, ISFED has filed 21 complaints at the Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) and 9 complaints at the District Electoral Commissions (DECs). 

 

Presidential Elections

Election Day Final PVT Results

ISFED

Based on the ISFED PVT data, we can conclude that the tabulation of votes was mostly conducted in compliance with election procedures. Similarly to the voting process, number of violations were reported during counting of votes, such as: improper filling of summary protocols, restriction of the rights of observers, number of issued ballot papers not matching number of signatures in the voters list, violation of sealing procedure of election materials. In some precincts ballots that indicated voter’s choices have been improperly invalidated.  ISFED observers have filed 73 complaints with Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) and 82 complaints with District Electoral Commissions (DECs). 

 

Presidential Elections

Second interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

On October 8, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) presented its second interim report of the pre-election monitoring. The report covers the period of September 9-30, as well as events that began to unfold prior to September 9 and continued throughout and, in some cases, after the monitoring period. The reporting period was marked with unprecedented trend of concentrated and coordinated attacks on observer organizations from government officials and ruling party leaders with the aim to discredit the work of NGOs and undermine their reputation.

 

Regional Elections

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

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 Policy Alert

Electoral Reform in Ukraine #8

EPDE
Photo: Unian

On 20 September 2018, the Ukrainian Parliament appointed 14 new members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) and, thus, all nominees proposed earlier by the President. At the same time, the Parliament dismissed 13 CEC commissioners whose terms formally expired already in 2014 (one member’s term ended in February 2017). The new CEC members are appointed for seven years.

 

Follow-Up on Electoral Reform

Follow-up on the implementation of the electoral reform in Moldova in the context of the upcoming Parliamentary elections

Promo-LEX

On 24 February 2019 the Republic of Moldova will hold regular Parliamentary elections. Unfortunately, the activity of the current legislature and political parties is marked by many social and political events with negative connotations.

 

Follow-Up on Electoral Reform

Electoral reform in Ukraine: last chance for implementing

OPORA

One of the key aspects of the electoral reform in Ukraine is the abolition of the parallel election system which should be replaced by a fully proportional parliamentary election system with open party lists. The application of a parallel system with a majoritarian component leads to preservation of an old political elite, thus the current parliament have no will to replace it.

 

Presidential Elections

Evaluation of Pre-Election Environment

ISFED

On August 30, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) presented its assessment report of the pre-election environment at the start of the pre-election period for the 2018 Presidential election. In the document, ISFED provides an overview of electoral legislation, political and media pluralism situation, as well as important political and social developments prior to the election period in the country. 

 

EPDE Policy Alert

Electoral Reform in Ukraine #7

EPDE

On 5 July 2018, the Ukrainian Parliament failed to renew the Central Election Commission (CEC). Only 189 out of 226 required MPs supported the motion to hold a vote (1) on the dismissal of 13 acting members of the CEC whose terms expired already in June 2014 and February 2017, and (2) on the appointment of 13 new members. Earlier, all factions and groups of the Verkhovna Rada stated that they demand the renewal of the CEC.

 

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.

 

Recommendations

Recommendations on Party Finance & Other Benefits

ISFED

ISFED, together with GYLA and TI-Georgia presented a package of priority recommendations for improvement of electoral environment in Georgia. The recommendations derive from the findings of election observation of the three organizations and shortcomings identified in practice during monitoring.  The two packages of recommendations cover the issues of political party finance and regulations in the Election Code to improve various aspects related to campaigning, misuse of administrative resources, election administration composition, electoral disputes, etc. Please see the second package. 

 

Recommendations

Recommendations for Improving Electoral Environment

ISFED

ISFED, together with GYLA and TI-Georgia presented a package of priority recommendations for improvement of electoral environment in Georgia. The recommendations derive from the findings of election observation of the three organizations and shortcomings identified in practice during monitoring.  The two packages of recommendations cover the issues of political party finance and regulations in the Election Code to improve various aspects related to campaigning, misuse of administrative resources, election administration composition, electoral disputes, etc. Please see the first package. 

 

Follow-Up on Electoral Reform

Information sheet on election reform in Ukraine (2017-2018)

CVU

Nataliia Lynnyk, Vice-Director of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU), highlighted that the coalition agreement of 2014 envisaged the transition to a proportional electoral system with open lists in Ukraine, but its approval is still critically dependant on political consensus and the existence of political will of the parliamentary coalition and the president. 

 

Follow-Up on Electoral Reform

Electoral reform in Ukraine: key issues

OPORA

One of the key aspects of the electoral reform of Ukraine is the abolition of the mixed system which should be replaced by a fully proportional parliamentary election system with open party lists. Since 2012, the introduction of a proportional election system has been recommended by the Venice Commission and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. A bill on new Electoral Code introducing proportional election system has recently passed the first reading in the parliament.

 

Follow-Up on Electoral Reform

Electoral reform in Moldova

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX has formulated many recommendations for the improvement of the above-mentioned aspects of the electoral system, thus striving to contribute to the organization of free and fair elections in Moldova. The main recommendation formulated in this regard by Promo-LEX for the authorities was to cancel the mixed electoral system or at least to implement it no earlier than for the 2022 Parliamentary elections, and only after all the gaps are settled and citizens are better informed about this change.

 

Follow-Up on Electoral Reform

Electoral System Reform in Georgia

ISFED

According to ISFED recommendations, the ruling party should ensure that further steps are taken to improve the electoral system in a way that allows a more pluralistic and fair representation of political parties in the Parliament for 2020, introduction of the proportional system immediately from 2020 instead of 2024 would thus be ideal. Party finance legislation should be amended in order not to allow biased manipulation in favor of certain parties. 

 

Local Elections

Evaluation of Majoritarian By-Elections of Self-Government in Zugdidi

ISFED

On May 13, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy was monitoring the municipality Sakrebulo by-elections in Tsaishi local majoritarian electoral district of Zugdidi Electoral District no.67, through 3 precinct and 1 district electora l commission observers and 1 mobile group.The main novelty introduced in the 13 May 2018 elections was piloting of machines for electronic counting of votes (e-counting). Notably results of e-counting were informational only and only results of counting by commission members had legal validity.

 

Local Elections

Observation Mission of the New Local Elections of 20 May 2018 – Report No 2

Promo-LEX

On May 3, 2018, the Promo-LEX Observation Mission (OM) launched its second monitoring report on the new local elections to be held on May 20, 2018. In the report, the OM reveals several issues, related to the activities of electoral bodies, financing of electoral campaigns, as well as to the use of administrative resources by electoral contenders, or for their benefit.  Additionally, incitement to hatred and discrimination was a common practice over the monitored period.

 

EPDE Policy Alert

Electoral Reform in Ukraine #6

EPDE

On 4 April, the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and Justice confirmed the composition of a working group assigned to prepare the second reading of the draft Electoral Code No. 3112-1. The draft Electoral Code was approved by the Ukrainian Parliament in the first reading in November last year. It advocates a proportional system for parliamentary elections with open regional party lists.

 

Local Elections

Observation Mission of the New Local Elections of 20 May 2018 – Report No 1

Promo-LEX

The Promo-LEX Observation Mission (OM) of the new local elections of 20 May 2018 is a project carried out by Promo-LEX Association under the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections. Report No 1 is an interim report, the general purpose of which is to ensure the overall improvement of the electoral process in progress. According to Promo-LEX OM estimates, the potential election candidates spend at least MDL 478,890 for election activities before their registration.

 

EPDE Policy Alert

Electoral Reform in Ukraine #5

EPDE

On 13 April, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine submitted the Draft Law “On Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed to Strengthen the Liability for Violation of Electoral Legislation” to the Parliament (Draft Law No. 8270). The elaboration on the draft lasted for almost two years and underwent thorough discussions among stakeholders and experts of the election process in all regions of Ukraine.

 

Local Elections in Georgia

Pre-Election Disputes: Achilles Heel of the Electoral Administration

ISFED

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) summarizes in the present document the reasons why the work of the electoral administration in Georgia with regard to resolution of election disputes is problematic; what caused the criticism of NGOs; which decisions of the electoral administration was the most unacceptable, and the practice established by the electoral administration with its decisions, which will have a negative impact on the electoral environment in the long run.

 

Presidential Election

Politically Biased Foreign Electoral Observation at the Russian 2018 Presidential Election

Using OSINT methods we have identified 160 foreign observers who monitored the presidential election in Russia (125 observers out of 439) and Russia-annexed Crimea (35 observers out of 43). The majority of these observers are members of political parties from across the political spectrum, ranging from the far left through the centre-left and centre-right to the far right.

 

Presidential Election

EMDS preliminary statement on findings of monitoring the Presidential Election

On Election Day, EMDS recorded widespread, serious election violations that undermined voting and counting processes. This included voting without registration in 47% of polling stations, ballot-box stuffing in 53% of polling stations, and multiple voting in 53% of polling stations.  Only 8% of polling stations were free of major violations. The organization also received reports of pressure and harassment towards observers and journalists who were raising concerns about violations or attempting to monitor the counting process.

 

Local Elections in Georgia

Final report of monitoring the 2017 local self-government elections

ISFED

On March 19, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) presented the final report of monitoring of the 2017 local self-government elections. The report covers ISFED’s key findings and trends of the pre-election, Election Day and post-election periods. The report also assesses the work of election administration and other key actors of the electoral process. Besides, ISFED presented the recommendations on the improvement of electoral system, legal framework and overall election environment.

 

Presidential Election

Foreign observation of the illegitimate presidential election in Crimea in March 2018

Reputable monitoring organisations did not send any missions to observe the Russian presidential election in Crimea held on the 18th of March 2018. Aiming to give domestic and international legitimacy to the election in Crimea, the Russian authorities invited, via a number of organisations, 43 foreign observers who obtained accreditation from the CEC and illegally travelled to Crimea to monitor the electoral process there.

 

Presidential Election

Preliminary report on the Kremlin-friendly international electoral observation

Several established organisations monitored the Russian presidential election on the 18th of March 2018. However, there were around 300 electoral observers who monitored the election upon individual invitations from the State Duma and Federation Council. Preliminary research suggests that these observers can be referred to as Kremlin-friendly, as their impressions about the electoral process were positive already before the electoral process took place and fully complied with the official position of the Kremlin.

 

Presidential Election

Preliminary statement based on the results of election observation for the March 18, 2018 presidential elections in the Russian Federation

In the preliminarily assessment of the presidential elections, “Golos” acknowledges the definite strong result of the winning candidate but regretfully declares that the movement does not recognize these elections as truly fair, i.e. fully consistent with the Constitution, the laws of the Russian Federation, and international election standards because the election results were achieved in an unfree, unequal, and uncompetitive election campaign. This fact does not allow “Golos,” therefore, to assert that the will of the voters was expressed as the result of a free election campaign.

 

Analytical report

Results of candidate registration. Administrative mobilization of voters

Golos

In a situation characterised by a low level of political competition and a predetermined election result, this election campaign has acquired a pronounced “administrative mobilization” character. On the one hand, there are various initiatives to encourage voter turnout; on the other, there is widespread use of technologies of direct administrative coercion to persuade people to vote

 

Investigation by the "Golos" movement

Smokescreen: How pseudo-public organizations simulate civic participation in Russian elections

Golos

A low level of real political competition has been a marked characteristic of the 2018 presidential election campaign in the Russian Federation. The low level of political competition has largely been caused by a significant imbalance in resources that the candidates possess. The obvious abuse of administrative resources was a catalyst for this investigation. It is devoted to examining the use of youth organizations and associations supervised by the authorities, mainly the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (“Rosmolodezh”), in the election campaign for the incumbent president and for simulating civic participation in election monitoring.

 

Local Elections in Belarus

Final report

BHC & Viasna

The elections were very passive and hardly visible to the public. Despite the absence of any significant violations and obstacles at the electoral phases of registration of nomination groups, collecting of signatures and election campaigning, the stages that followed, including early voting, counting of the votes and the tabulation of voting results in higher commissions, were marred by numerous manipulations, active use of administrative resources and lack of transparency.

 

Local Elections in Belarus

Report on monitoring the phase of election campaigning

BHC & Viasna

The citizen observers inititive Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections claims that this year’s election is marked by a greater number of locations for campaigning events, a lack of information in the government-owned media candidates from the opposition, the use of administrative resources in favor of pro-government candidates. This created unequal conditions for other candidates. The district election commissions justified the practice by arguing that the deputies were engaged in their direct activities. 

 

Presidential Election

On the scheduling of the early Presidential Election in Azerbaijan on 11 April 2018

EMDS

The Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS) analysed the legal-political environment in connection with the scheduling of the early Presidential Election in Azerbaijan on 11 April 2018 and concluded that although the presidential decree on bringing the election to a earlier date is in line with the Constitution and the Election Code of the country, it is against the principles of democratic constitutionalism and periodicity of elections. 

 

Golos Analytical Report

Nomination of candidates for the March 18, 2018 presidential elections in the Russian Federation (part 2)

Golos

EPDE publishes the second part of the report on the nomination of candidates for the presidential elections in the Russian Federation by Golos. According to it, a massive and often  compulsory  collection  of  signatures  in  support  of  Vladimir Putin’s nomination happened at workplaces during  business hours, including at budget, educational, and medical institutions, as well as industrial enterprises. There were recorded cases of  “administrative” coercion of state employees and students to participate in signaturecollection for Vladimir Putin.

 

Electoral Law Amendment

Position of the Batory Foundation’s Teams of Experts on the Act of Law amending the Electoral Code

Stefan Batory Foundation

The Batory Foundation wishes to express a deepest concern, and to draw attention to the threats connected with the change of electoral rules implemented by the Act dated 11th January 2018 on the amendment of certain acts of law in order to enhance the citizens’ participation in the process of electing, functioning and controlling certain public bodies. The Act contains numerous provisions that are at odds with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, since it infringes the principles of decent legislation and the rule of law.

 

Republican Legislative Referendum

Promo-LEX Analysis on level of implementation of the recommendations

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX analyzes the level of implementation of the recommendations made by the European Commission for Democracy Through Law and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to the Republic of Moldova with Regards to the Draft Laws Amending and Supplementing Some Legislative Acts (electoral system for parliamentary elections). The Assosiation found out that out of 32 recommendations only 12 (37.50%) were fulfilled, 14 (43.75%) – partially fulfilled, while 6 (18.75%) – were not fulfilled at all.

 

EPDE Policy Alert

Electoral Reform in Ukraine #4

EPDE

The introduction of an exclusive first-past-the-post voting system, as proposed in Draft Law No. 7366, would fundamentally contradict the goals of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity and the commitments of the ruling coalition. It would also oppose the will of the majority of Ukrainians, who, according to a recent poll conducted by the Razumkov Centre, are in favour of a fully proportional electoral system with open party lists for parliamentary elections.

 

Local Elections in Belarus

Report on monitoring the registration of candidates for deputies

BHC & Viasna

A total of 22,713 candidates for local councils of the twenty-eighth convocation have been nominated, which almost equals the number nominated during the last local elections of 2014 (22,784). Most candidates were nominated by citizens through signature collection — 15,172, which represents 66.8% of the total number of nominees, labor collectives — 5,356 (23.6%), political parties — 813 (3.6%).

 

Golos Analytical Report

Nomination of candidates for the March 18, 2018 presidential elections in the Russian Federation (part 1)

Golos

In general, the legal inequality of candidates from parties represented in the State Duma as opposed to candidates from other parties remains unchanged. An earlier announcement of the start of the election campaign would have created more equal and favorable conditions for the nomination of candidates. Current legislative restrictions on the right to be elected president that relate to previous convictions and the need for the presidential nominee to have a valid residence permit, are excessive, unfair, and undemocratic.

 

Republican Legislative Referendum

Opinion of Promo-LEX Association on the rejection of the Initiative Group registration application for referendum

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX Association disapproves of the decision of the Central Electoral Commission to reject the registration of the Initiative Group for conducting a republican legislative referendum on repealing Law No 154 of 20 July 2017, which changed the electoral system into the mixed one. The Association is alarmed by the trends that take shape in the society – when certain important national public authorities limit the citizens’ right to initiate a referendum, as well as to freely express their opinions in a democratic exercise.

 

Local Elections in Belarus

Report on monitoring the formation of precinct election commissions

BHC & Viasna

The precinct election commissions (hereinafter —PECs) are the key actor of the election process. It is the PECs that directly organize and conduct early voting, voting on Election Day, and home voting, counting of the votes and tabulation at the polling stations. As in the previous local elections, one of the essential legally - enshrined obstacles to the nomination of representatives of political parties and public associations to the PECs is a requirement to possess registered local branches.