April 02, 2020
In Georgia and Western countries, the COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by a powerful campaign of information manipulation in social media for the purpose of disinformation and discreditation. ISFED believes that this coordinated discrediting and disinformation campaign suggests that for the 2020 parliamentary elections, malicious actors both inside and outside the country have been weaving powerful information networks.
March 31, 2020
Civil Network Opora urges the Ukrainian parliament to continue legislative preparations of the new electoral code for the upcoming regular local elections scheduled to be taking place later this year. This process has de facto halted since the outbreak of the pandemic and the special measures that have been put in place.
March 26, 2020
In this new report, Anton Shekhovtsov analyzes how the structures of "Putin's Chef" Yevgeniy Prigozhin interfere in electoral processes in African countries with the help of fake election observation. This report focuses on the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC), an organization with links to Prigozhin and which Shekhovtsov has previously investigated and found to be involved in politically biased election observation and pro-Kremlin efforts.
Civil Network Opora developed this map based on information from IFES showing all the countries who have been forced to postpone elections due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Civil Network Opora found that these by-elections were generally quite competitive. Voting and vote counting procedures met basic standards of democratic elections and violations were not of an organized and planned nature. Voter turnout was quite low, dropping by 23.54% compared to turnout during the extraordinary Parliamentary elections in 2019. This is due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but also due to the candidate from the 'Servant of the People' party withdrawing from the ballot.
PromoLeEX found that the by-elections in Hincesti raion generally followed standard voting procedures with only few recorded instances. Voter turnout was significantly lower compared to previous elections, which is most likely due to the public’s uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak and the authorities’ response to this. Authorities both called on the public to stay home yet still decided to hold the elections.
The "Independent Observer" Alliance, of which EPDE's HCAV is a member, received reports of acquaintances of precinct election commission (PEC) members being offered positions on PECs. This may be a technical issue, but highlights the need for an unbiased approach to the formation of PECs, giving preference to standing commissioners.
OPORA states that during the by-election campaign in Kharkiv region, where by-elections are taking place 15 March, they did not observe any cases of vote buying. However, these interim elections have yet again illustrated the need to improve mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability of election campaign financing. Only 26 out of 40 candidates released information about their election funds.
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