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  • Author: Arkady Moshes, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Alexander Lukashenko’s “victory” in the election cannot bridge the gap between the president and the modern part of Belarusian society. Turbulent times may lie ahead for Belarus. This will require the West to revise its current approach and invest more in supporting forces that want reforms and the country’s Europeanization.
  • Topic: Reform, Elections, Europeanization, Transition
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Peopleʼs grievances were not reflected in Russia’s regional elections this year. The Kremlin is reaping the benefits of increasingly blatant electoral fraud and citizensʼ political apathy.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Elections, Rigged Elections , Opposition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Grigory Ioffe
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Popular narrative tropes are not always accurate predictors of how a story will ultimately develop. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the former presidential hopeful and a person believed by many to have won the presidential elections of August 9, is widely seen as a positive character in the unfolding Belarusian drama. Courageous and likable, she does her best to rally international support for the protest movement in her home country.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Elections, Protests, Public Relations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Kremlin is trying to learn lessons from old problems regarding its electoral authoritarian system, but new ones are constantly emerging. At the heart of these is the Kremlin’s party system.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Elections, Election watch, Local, Party System
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Along with Vladimir Putinʼs third presidential term, intensified repression has manifested itself in line with the countryʼs increasing economic challenges. The starting point for this political trend was the so-called Bolotnaya Affair in May 2012. Since then, the regime has tightened the screws: non-governmental organizations receiving foreign funding must register as ‘foreign agents’; there are numerous restrictions on the use of the internet, as well as conditions for organizing demonstrations. The regimeʼs policies aim to send signals to the rest of society about the serious consequences that unwanted political and civic activities might cause. However, measures become inflated when the repressive deterrent targets too many. By 2019, along with the changed social mood, unparalleled solidarity against repressive policies, particularly around the regional elections in Moscow, has forced the authorities to retreat from some of their initial repressive goals. The Kremlin duly has to re-evaluate the usage of its repressive deterrent against the political opposition and civil society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Elections, Repression, Fear, Opposition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Zurab Gaiparashvili
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Foundation for Electoral Systems
  • Abstract: First Universal Democratic Elections in Independent Georgia offers a detailed overview of the first national democratic elections conducted in the Republic of Georgia in 1919. These elections served as an acknowledgement of Georgia's independence, which gave it autonomy for the next three years. The book portrays the spirit of multiculturalism being practiced in the lead up to and during the elections, through the development of campaign materials in several languages, such as Georgian, Farsi, Armenian and Russian, as well as allocating special quotas. It also reflects on how various ethnic groups were encouraged to represent their respective communities, with the participation of the Greek’s Democratic Party in elections offered as an example. The first democratic elections proved to be successful in creating gender parity for women and men of Georgia. Other impressive aspects of these elections were how well structured reimbursement procedures were developed for parties and other procedures were conducted professionally, practicing the principles of equality, accessibility and accountability. The book enables readers to get an insight into how Georgia’s newly established government tried to embark on an endeavor to build a democratic state, which would ensure prosperity and equality for its people. It also sheds a light on how advanced Georgian state bodies were in the first half of the 20th century, as the country strived for independence and development while being surrounded by the Russian and Ottoman empires. Representation and engagement of women and ethnic minority groups also serves as a best practice for that period. The book offers a wide range of visual materials, which provide a better understanding of processes and circumstances of not just elections, but the general political situation in the country and contains documentary materials and historical photos.
  • Topic: Multiculturalism, Elections, Democracy, Diversity
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Erica Shein, Chad Vickery, Heather Szilagyi, Julia Brothers
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Foundation for Electoral Systems
  • Abstract: his report details findings from an IFES Abuse of State Resources Assessment conducted in Georgia following October 2016 elections. This assessment served as the pilot test of the Abuse of State Resources Research and Assessment Framework assessment methodology, which was researched, developed, and peer-reviewed under the Global Elections and Political Transitions mechanism supported by the United States Agency for International Development. Using this methodology, the report draws on detailed desk research as well as a field research mission to Georgia in May 2017. Findings are focused on abuse of state resources (ASR) legal provisions, oversight institutions and enforcement mechanisms. ASR violations are a consistent feature of national and municipal elections in Georgia, and assessment interlocutors see the participation of civil servants in campaign activities as one of the most significant challenges. Also of concern is the perceived over-staffing of public service departments and legal entities of public law, especially at the local level. This report aims to provide actionable recommendations for improving the ASR environment in Georgia. The report focuses on three principles for detecting, deterring and remedying ASR abuses in a manner commensurate with international standards. Principle 1 evaluates the legal framework for addressing three potential avenues for ASR: state personnel, state funds and physical resources, and official government communications. Principle 2 focuses on oversight of the ASR legal framework by independent institutions. Principle 3 analyzes the effective enforcement of sanctions and penalties. The methodology applied for this assessment also acknowledges the need to account for contextual factors may impact the ASR in elections. As such, the report provides a narrative overview of challenges related to the public service framework, campaign finance framework, civil society oversight and advocacy, media environment and public information, and public procurement in Georgia. Based on in-depth analysis of each of the areas described above, the report offers detailed recommendations to strengthen the legal framework with an emphasis on clarifying the rights and responsibilities of civil servants, ensuring that ASR sanctions and penalties achieve a deterrent effect, and clarifying mandates of oversight and enforcement bodies.
  • Topic: Corruption, Elections, Voting, Election Interference , Rigged Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Karić Mirsad
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: BILGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Abstract: This paper examines the 2010 general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the post-election crisis. Currently, Bosnia‟s political system is the result of the Dayton Accord that stopped the Bosnian war in 1995. Bosnia is described as a country with a multi-party system that regularly holds free, fair, and competitive elections. The 2010 elections brought significant changes to the composition of legislative assemblies at the cantonal, entity, and state levels. SNSD1 continued to dominate among the Bosnian Serbs, while HDZ2 and HDZ 19903 received the highest votes in the Croat majority areas. SDP,4 as only self-declared multi-ethnic party, won the majority of votes among Bosniaks. SDA5 secured almost the same number of seats while the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina6 suffered the biggest loss. The phenomenon of each constituent people voting for their respective ethnic parties continues to characterize Bosnia‟s elections. Election results showed that there must be a wide range of political parties creating a parliamentary majority due to a rather complicated way of decision-making and law-passing procedures in Bosnia‟s political system. It triggered several waves of political crises since the leaders of political parties were not able to agree on a Prime Minister and other ministerial posts.
  • Topic: Politics, Law, Elections, Political Crisis
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina