Documents

2020

Parliamentary elections

Fourth interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

ISFED stated in their fourth monitoring report of the election campaign that intimidation, harassment, and interference with participants in the election remain to be the greatest challenge. Unauthorized individuals have participated in election campaigning and possible cases of use of administrative resources and vote-buying have been identified. During the formation of PECs ISFED observed that these were done mostly pro forma and opposition requests were ignored.

 

Local Elections

Second interim report: legal uncertainty, illegal campaigning, and confusion over procedures

OPORA
Photo: unian.info

Continuous amendments to the Election Code during an ongoing election go against Venice Commission recommendations and cause legal uncertainty for the local elections in Ukraine. Illegal campaigning was recorded as the most common electoral misconduct in the past month and unclear explanations by the Central Election Commission on new procedures may cause confusion and threaten the election result. More on this in OPORA's second interim monitoring report of the local elections. 

 

Presidential election

3. Interim observation mission report

Promo-LEX

The process of setting up polling stations (PS) abroad (outside of diplomatic mission premises) was contested and conducted without any public consultations, but now, for the first time, this was based on a clear mechanism for establishing the PS' number and location. The formula used to determine PS abroad is based on a recommendation by election observers and civil society. Promo-LEX discussed this and many other aspects of the election campaign in their third interim report.

 

Local Elections

How to organize local elections during the pandemic

CVU

Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) co-published this report with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on how to organize elections safely during the pandemic with specific recommendations for the local elections in Ukraine.

 

Parliamentary elections

Third interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

According to ISFED, signs of possible vote buying and use of administrative resources during the reporting period continues to be the main challenge of the election environment. ISFED found use of administrative resources in involvement of the ruling party’s majoritarian candidates in events funded by the State and local budgets. It appears that the ruling Georgian Dream party is trying to use all available administrative resources for electoral purposes.

 

Presidential election

2. Interim observation mission report

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX’s second interim report includes the following key observations: there is an uneven increase in the number of voters, unequal opportunities for potential candidates and for certain categories of voters, unreported campaign expenses amounting to at least MDL 735,021 (37,456 EURO), and contestants taking credit for activities funded by public money. The live broadcast of the press conference presenting this report is available with English interpretation here.

 

Local & regional elections

Pre-election campaign Russia Single Voting Day 2020

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

During the election campaign period, a level playing field for candidates has not been secured. Candidates who were supported by the authorities could also count on support from local authorities, courts, and electoral authorities and often did not have to face the restrictions associated with the Covid 19 pandemic when conducting their campaigns. State controlled media dominated the public sphere and manipulated public opinion in the mass media by obstructing opposition candidates and creating advantages for "administrative" candidates.

 

Local & regional elections

Legal aspects of the 13th September Russian Single Voting Day 2020

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

Analyzing the legal framework of the elections, domestic election experts conclude that the current legal conditions are the worst in the last 25 years. Recent changes to the electoral law on the federal level as well as short-term amendments to the regional election campaign regulations have been introduced to further restrict the electoral rights of citizens, limit the opportunities for citizen election observers and the overall public control over elections.

 

Local & regional elections

Summary of the nomination and registration of candidates for the 13th September 2020 elections

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

The analysis of the process of candidates’ registration in self-government elections shows an unproportionally high dropout rate of opposition candidates. In the main elections to regional parliaments and councils, parties supported by the authorities could nominate 98 % of their candidates, self-nominated candidates could register in over 60 % of cases, and parties without „administrative support” were rejected in almost 90% of cases.

 

Local & regional elections

Briefly about the course of the candidate registration SVD 2020

EPDE
Photo: edition.cnn.com

The main features of the 18 gubernatorial races held on the Single Voting Day were the restricted access for opposition candidates to the elections and the replacement of promising candidates by “technical” sparring-partners nominated by new “technical” parties which have been created with strong support of the authorities. Even candidates of parliamentary parties were massively excluded from gubernatorial elections, while candidates with low approval ratings from “United Russia” began to run as self-nominated candidates.

 

Local Elections

1. Interim observation mission report

OPORA

Opora issued their first interim report of the pre-election campaign period for the local elections. Officially, election campaigning began 05 September, however, political parties, their local organizations, and potential candidates de facto already launched their active campaigning in August. This stage of early campaigning is unregulated by any electoral legal framework and there are no controls over campaign spending. The uncontrolled spending on political ads on social media is also a concern highlighted in the report available on OPORA's website here.

 

Presidential election

1. Interim observation mission report

Promo-LEX

Promo-LEX issued its first election observation report for the presidential election, which will be held on 1 November 2020. They report the following during the pre-election period - party switching, especially within parliamentary parties, indicating a lack of an institutionalized party system; a lack of a stable and constant parliamentary majority; a noticeable impact of the pandemic on the effectiveness of governmental policies; geopolitical issues feature in the electoral agenda.

 

Parliamentary elections

Second interim report of pre-election monitoring

ISFED

ISFED identified 8 cases of alleged vote buying; cases of dismissal based on possible political motive in 5 municipalities; 5 cases of intimidation/harassment based on possible political motive; 2 cases of possible use of administrative resources; 2 cases of withholding social assistance based on possible political discrimination; 1 case of intimidation of ISFED observer; 1 case of interference in political activities and in pre-election campaigning by the Church; and 1 case of creating obstacles for registration of a political party.

 

Presidential Election

Preliminary report on the presidential election

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

The Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections state in their preliminary report on the conduct of the presidential election that the electoral process at all of its stages did not comply with a number of basic international standards for democratic and fair elections and was accompanied by numerous violations of these principles and requirements of national legislation. Full report now available.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - early voting

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

From the first days of early voting, observers from various civic initiatives faced obstacles from PEC members and police officers. Numerous observers were removed from polling stations, deprived of accreditation, and even detained. The restrictions imposed by the CEC on the number of observers at polling stations during early voting made this electoral phase completely non-transparent for independent citizen observation. These restrictions were aimed at disrupting independent observation of this stage, rather than pursuing the declared medical safety measures in connection with the pandemic.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - election campaigning

Belarusian Helsinki Committee / Human Rights Center "Viasna"

In their latest report Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections state that the election campaign took place in unequal conditions. By abandoning official campaigning, the incumbent made an extensive use of the administrative and propaganda resources of the power vertical, pro-government NGOs and the media. Moreover, the incentive measures taken on the initiative of the incumbent, including an increase in pension rates and their early payment, were in essence bribery of voters and manifestations of the use of administrative resources.

 

Presidential Election

Weekly Report - 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.

 

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

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.