Documents

2020

Presidential Election

Accreditation of observers and the start of early voting observation

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

On August 4, early voting in the presidential election was launched to continue until August 8. According to “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”, most pro-government observers were registered immediately after the formation of the PECs in June. As a result, only observers from pro-government organisations and political parties will observe the election, administered by the election commissions, which mostly consist of the members representing the same organisations.

 

Presidential Election

Television & Social Media Media Monitoring - Interim report

MEMO98

President Lukashenko has tried to play down the upcoming election as an unnecessary distraction from business, but an active social media movement has shown that the public is no longer prepared to go along with an alternate reality. Here you can read the findings of the interim report, produced by MEMO 98, EAST Center and Linking Media, which examines media and social media in Belarus from the end of April until 23rd June.

 

Parliamentary elections

2020 Parliamentary elections - first interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

During the reporting period, ISFED identified 19 cases of possible vote buying, including 16 by majoritarian members of the Georgian Parliament and 3 by the Movement for Future, 2 cases of possible use of state resources, 1 case of exerting pressure on ISFED observer, 2 cases of interference in political activities and one case of political pressure/intimidation.

 

Parliamentary elections

Evaluation of the pre-election environment for the 2020 Parliamentary elections

ISFED

This report evaluates the political and media landscape in the country ahead of the 2020 Parliamentary elections. Although the adoption of constitutional amendments on the electoral system avoided further tension and protests, political polarization remains as a challenge. The media environment, as well as political environment, is very polarized and continues to face challenges related to media freedom and pluralism. It is likely that these factors will also influence pre-election campaigning.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - nomination and signature collection phase

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections (HRDs) stated in their latest report on the entire nomination and signature collection phase of the election campaign that this was marred by serious violations of the standards of free and democratic elections. The nomination groups of some candidates were subjected to significant pressure from law enforcement agencies and the verification of signatures by the Central Election Commission (CEC) was not transparent.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - formation of precinct election commissions

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

On June 24 authorities completed the formation of Precinct Election Commissions (PECs) which are an important element of the electoral process directly engaged in the administration of voting and counting of votes. Observers note that the formation of PECs clearly discriminated against representatives of opposition parties: 1.1% of the total number of elected nominees are from opposition parties while 96.7% are from pro-government parties.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - end of signature collection and further arrests of candidates

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

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, this time targeting the perhaps most popular participant of the election, ex-banker Viktar Babaryka. Observers also report on abuse of administrative resources in Lukashenka's campaign and that TECs have refused observers to observe signature verification procedures.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - mass arrests and detentions of opposition activists

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

In this weekly report, observers from HRDFE report that mass arrests and detentions of opposition activists, including members of Tsikhanouskaya’s nomination group, took place in different cities of the country during the week. Observers also note that the CEC interpreted electoral law selectively in the favor of certain candidates, e.g. complaints filed against Lukashenka’s nomination group for abuse of administrative resources in the collection of his signatures were rejected.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - crackdowns and discrimination against opposition

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

This week's observation report states that this year's campaign is marked by an increase in election-related protests, triggered also by public discontent over the handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Crackdowns and provocations by authorities against activists and members of other candidates' nomination groups have continued, and observers report an abuse of administrative resources in collecting signatures in support of incumbent President Lukashenka. 

 

Presidential Election

Report on the formation of territorial election commissions

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

Observers were unable to attend meetings on the establishment of territorial election commissions (TECs), which were livestreamed in response to COVID-19, but were still difficult for observers to monitor due to the poor quality of some of the livestreams. Most TEC nominees represent six pro-government parties and compared to the previous Presidential election the number of opposition representatives in TECs has decreased by 15 times and the ‘success rate’ to be selected has halved.

 

Presidential Election

Report on the registration of nomination groups

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The CEC has registered 15 groups formed to support the nominations of future presidential candidates. However, it came under attack after it turned down 40 applications, mostly by opposition activists associated with former political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich. Well-known blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, was arrested and thus deprived of the opportunity to apply for the registration of his nomination group.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly report: Human rights situation deteriorating ahed of election

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The Presidential election is scheduled for August 9 in Belarus and so far, authorities have ignored proposals to amend electoral procedures to minimize risks relating to COVID-19. Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections found that basic civil and political freedoms are hampered by significant legislative restrictions and report that the general human rights situation has deteriorated shortly before the election.

 

Parliamentary by-elections

Final observation mission report on parliamentary by-elections

Promo-LEX

PromoLex notes in its final report on the by-elections in Hincesti raion that there are still several legislative gaps that must be addressed concerning the need for clear regulation of indirect campaign financing by parties not registered to compete in this election. PromoLex also reports on procedural errors in the consideration and resolution of complaints by the CEC.

 

Early Parliamentary Elections

Preliminary report on 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections

EMDS

EMDS recorded similar violations on E-Day that have occurred in previous elections - one person voting multiple times, bussing of voters, ballot-box stuffing, and voting without registration. These violations were widespread and deliberate. Turnout figures counted by observers were significantly lower than the figures the CEC officially released on their website throughout E-Day. EMDS believes that violations recorded during all stages of these elections made it impossible for the elections to be fair and free.

 

Early Parliamentary Elections

2nd Interim report of 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections

EMDS

EMDS notes that there have been cases of pressure against civil society, political activists, candidates, and their relatives in both stages of the Parliamentary elections. The government failed to demonstrate any political will to release more than 100 people who are in jail with politically motivated charges as a result of increased political repression over the last few years.

 

Early Parliamentary Elections

Interim report of 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections

EMDS
(Parliament of Azerbaijan) Source: European Parliament, Flickr

EMDS observed during its LTO that restrictions on political freedoms and the freedom of speech continue ahead of the 9 February 2020 early Parliamentary Elections and that the current Election Code does not provide for a genuine competitive environment. Numerous violations concerning the nomination and registration of candidates, predominantly against opposition candidates, were also observed.