Documents

2021

Policy Alert

Policy Alert #9 - Armenian Local Elections Rescheduled And Expanded Due To Municipal Amalgamations

EPDE

Armenia is holding its most important local (city council) elections in recent years this autumn, as the proportional party list system is expanding at the municipal level. A delayed municipal amalgamation process has pushed back dates but is now complete. The revised local election dates for 2021 are October 17, November 14 and December 5.

 

Policy Alert

Local Elections in Georgia and the existing legal and political framework

EPDE

Changes to the electoral legislation made in line with the April 19 Agreement pledged to ease the political crisis and restore trust in electoral reform. Changes included increasing the number of non-partisan appointees throughout election commissions and limiting the party’s ability to withdraw members of the district election commissions. Legislation partially met some of the OSCE recommendations, however, it is not expected that the existing legislative provisions will minimize political polarization.

 

Election Alert

CEC restricts journalists' access to the electoral process

EPDE
Photo: Roger H. Goun, 2008. CC BY 3.0

On 28 July 2021, the Central Election Commission adopted a new media accreditation procedure that restricts media access to observe and report on the electoral process. The new rules violate the freedom of media editorial policy and may significantly reduce the transparency of the election process.

 

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.

 

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).

 

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.