Documents

2021

EPDE Publication

Conditions for Citizen Election Observation Ahead of the 2021 Duma Elections

EPDE

Opportunities for independent citizen election observation and civil society space in general have been shrinking steadily in Russia over the past decade. There are no provisions for direct accreditation of citizen observers and legislative changes, such as the laws on foreign agents and 'undesirable foreign organizations', further restrict the space for citizen observation. Read more on the conditions for citizen election observation in Russia ahead of the 2021 Duma Elections in our latest publication.

 

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #8 - European Institutions 'Broadly Welcome' Armenia’s Proposed Electoral Reform

EPDE

On April 21, 2020, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and OSCE/ODIHR published their Draft Joint Urgent Opinion on an electoral reform legislative package in Armenia that is expected to pass ahead of the announced early parliamentary election. The Joint Urgent Opinion understands the urgency of eliminating district seats, noting that it followed many years of consultation on the issue, and comments on several aspects of the reform bill. Details on these in our Policy Alert.

 

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #7 - Armenian Electoral Code Amended to Remove District Seats

EPDE

On April 1, a marathon parliamentary session removed district seats from Armenia’s Electoral Code. Eliminating district seats was the flagship policy in the electoral reform bill brought forward in October 2018 by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s first government. That bill failed to attract enough votes to pass, but now it has finally been accomplished. What is so problematic about district seats? What electoral reforms come next? Find out in our latest Policy Alert.

 

Presidential election

Social media monitoring of 2020 presidential election

PAF

Restrictions imposed on freedom of movement and freedom of assembly due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first round of the election forced presidential candidates to run their campaign mostly via traditional and social media. PAF found that media outlets were far more active on Facebook than candidates. Candidates had a relatively limited ability in reaching wider audiences and will have to diversify their channels of communication beyond social media to reach other voters.

 

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #6 - New law on political parties introduces stricter regulation on party financing

EPDE

On 29 December 2020, amendments to Armenia’s Law on Political Parties were passed with widespread consensus following a period of extreme polarization which provide for a substantial increase in public financing of political parties, while increasing the transparency of party donations, prohibiting corporate donations, and decreasing the upper limit for individual donations. The amendments include minimal requirements of internal democracy within the organization of political parties. Alert available in English (Doc1) and Russian (Doc2).

 

Policy Alert

Russia election alert #8 - Duma elections 2021

EPDE
Russia
Source: ft.com / © AP

Russia’s next State Duma elections are scheduled to be held in September. A number of recent developments offer a glimpse of how they may be conducted. Early indications are that the authorities will take unprecedented efforts to keep the non-systemic opposition out of the State Duma and to undermine independent election observation. Alert available in English (Doc1) and Russian (Doc2).

 

Presidential election

Final Report on the 2020 Presidential Elections

Promo-LEX

Concerning last year’s presidential election in Moldova, Promo-LEX Association concludes that election contenders avoided reporting all campaign expenditures, there was a record number of hate speech, use of administrative resources, bribing of voters, and a high rate of complaints not accepted by the CEC and courts. In some instances, observers were restricted from accessing voter lists and there were isolated cases of observer intimidation by law enforcement and electoral officials on election day.

 

Presidential Election

What are the minimal conditions under which a free and fair presidential election could be conducted in Belarus?

EPDE & DRI

In the context of Belarus’ current political crisis, demands for minimal conditions needed for the holding of free and fair presidential elections in Belarus could be made by the Belarusian public and the opposition if snap elections were to be called. This paper proposes recommendations for all stages of the election cycle and concludes that a competitive election could be held in Belarus without changes to existing laws if the government demonstrates the necessary political will to safeguard certain minimal conditions.

 

Policy Alert

Foreign agents law expanded ahead of 2021 State Duma election

EPDE
Russia
Source: hrw.org (Reuters)

Recently passed amendments to the ‘foreign agents’ law in Russia increases the number of organizations at risk of being labelled as ‘foreign agents’ and would force election candidates who received funding or other resources from an organization or person registered as a ‘foreign agent’ to also label themselves as a ‘foreign agent’. There is serious reason to assume that the recent proposed amendments target specific individuals and organizations and have been drawn up at least in part with a view to the 2021 State Duma election.