US Department of States condemns Russia’s Sham Elections in Ukraine’s Sovereign Territory
EPDE appreciates the statement issued by the US Department of State condemning Russia's conduct of pseudo-elections in occupied regions of Ukraine.
Neither Ukrainian law nor international standards allow the results of such a vote to be recognized. There is not a single precondition or criteria for the holding of fair elections as laid down in international obligations that would be fulfilled by holding this vote.
EPDE appreciates especially the US State Department's recognition of the risk of purported "international observers" and readiness to introduce sanctions and visa restrictions against individuals who support sham elections or participate in politically biased "fake" election observation activities. The threat of fake election observation to electoral integrity has been duly noted and underscored by the State Department's acknowledgment.
“Fake" observation is a form of politically-motivated election observation whose chief objective is to whitewash election fraud or irregular elections by providing misleading information about the conduct of elections towards both the voters and an international audience. Our longstanding commitment to monitoring the phenomenon of politically biased “fake” election observation as a threat to electoral integrity is reflected in the European Parliament's practice to blacklist MEPs who engage in fake observation activities.
Striking examples of this practice include the 2018 Presidential “elections” in the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s “republics”, where the EPDE identified 57 “fake observers”, including current and former national and regional parliamentarians of such EU countries as France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. Other examples include the 2020 Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, with 43 “fake observers” including current and former national and regional parliamentarians of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, and Slovakia. The 2021 Russian Parliamentary elections on the territory of illegally annexed Crimea were whitewashed by nine “fake observers”, including French parliamentarians.