COVID-19 spread rapidly across the world in early 2020, with most governments instituting far-reaching pandemic mitigation measures, including nationwide lockdowns. In the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) and Russia, the main focus area of this report, the first domestic confirmed cases of COVID-19 were typically registered in late February or early March.
The public health response by the governments of these countries varied from minimalist in Belarus to maximalist in Georgia. Across the entire spectrum, the pandemic has led to implications for local civil society organizations, especially those in the sphere of domestic election observation.
Some election events have been cancelled and others are scheduled for later in 2020. The COVID-19 situation presents new challenges to groups focused on protecting civil liberties and monitoring election processes.
This dossier compares the lockdown regimes and extraordinary measures taken in response to COVID-19 and how these have impacted election processes in the Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation.
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