Eurasia This Week: November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in Eurasia, usually posted on Thursdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

A view of the old part of Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. Photo credit:
Flickr/Roberto Strauss (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

Georgia Parliamentary Runoffs: November 21, 2020

Georgia held parliamentary elections on October 31, 2020 in a climate of political tension, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic fallout. Georgian Dream claimed victory following the elections. However, many opposition parties are claiming fraud and protesting the results and demanding new elections. International observers noted significant flaws in the elections, and observed that there were issues with public confidence in the polls. More

David J. Kramer, The Bulwark (November 17, 2020): Pompeo Plays Favorites in the Georgia Runoffs (November 17, 2020): IRI: Georgian elections put new reforms to test, brought to light shortcomings that gov’t must address before run-offs

Maradia Tsaava, JAMnews (November 15, 2020): Georgian Dream vs. the United Opposition – Georgian voters talk about their choices in the elections

Margarita Antidze, Reuters (November 14, 2020): Thousands of Georgians rally in Tbilisi to protest election results

Ukraine Local Election Runoffs: November 15 and 22, 2020

Ukraine held local elections on October 25, 2020. Mayoral runoffs in some cities will take place on November 15, and the rest will happen on November 22. The initial results delivered a blow to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the country’s traditional pro-Europe and pro-Russia political forces won key races. More

Brian Mefford, Atlantic Council (November 18, 2020): Mayoral races in Ukraine: City-by-city runoff preview

Kyrgyzstan Snap Presidential Election: January 10, 2020

Kyrgyzstan will hold a snap presidential election on January 10, 2020, and plans to re-run the parliamentary elections originally held on October 4, 2020 because election officials annulled the results following protests over vote-rigging. The snap presidential election is happening because the president has resigned in the wake pf the protests.

The political climate was tense heading into the October 2020 parliamentary elections. It subsequently exploded following said elections. More

AFP (November 14, 2020): Kyrgyzstan’s post-crisis leader quits to run in election

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva, Eurasianet (November 18, 2020): Kyrgyzstan’s proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (November 20, 2020): What’s in Kyrgyzstan’s Proposed ‘Khanstitution’?

Chris Rickleton, Eurasianet (November 17, 2020): Kyrgyzstan’s China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity

Kazakhstan Legislative Elections: January 10, 2020

Kazakhstan has scheduled legislative elections for January 10, 2021. The country’s elections take place in the context of an authoritarian system in which critics of the government face harassment and arrest. As such, no genuine opposition has representation in the legislature.

Nonetheless, Kazakhstan’s elections are taking place in the context of widespread protests related to elections throughout former Soviet Union countries. More

Zhanna Shayakhmetova, Astana Times (November 20, 2020): Majilis Election in Kazakhstan: Nur Otan Party Announces Results of Primaries, Auyl Party Releases Candidate List

RFE/RL (November 19, 2020): Kazakh Court Upholds Decision To Place Blogger In Psychiatric Clinic

RFE/RL (November 14, 2020 – video): Kazakh Opposition Granted Rare Permit To Hold Rally In Almaty

Russia Parliamentary Elections: By September 19, 2021

Russia is due to hold parliamentary elections by September 19, 2021. Russian elections are neither free nor fair, and viable genuine opposition candidates are frequently barred from running. Opposition politicians, civil society activists, and citizens who protest are routinely harassed and arrested, and face the constant risk of assassination.

Nonetheless, the opposition has been making some gains in recent regional elections, helped by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s “Smart Vote,” a campaign of tactical voting, in which they developed a list of candidates the best chance of beating Vladimir Putin’s United Russia. More

Vladimir Kara-Murza, Washington Post (November 20, 2020): Putin’s latest election dirty tactic: Label the opposition as ‘foreign agents’

Madeline Roache, Time (November 17, 2020): How Russia’s Opposition Movement Wants Biden to Confront Putin

Armenia Parliamentary Elections: Due by December 9, 2023 – snap elections possible following Armenia’s defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Earlier this year, fighting exploded in Nagorno-Karabakh, an area within Azerbaijan’s internationally-recognized borders but claimed by Armenia, and run by a de facto Armenian breakaway government. Following a November 10 ceasefire, large swaths of territory will return to Azerbaijani control.

Jérôme Sessini, Politico (November 19, 2020): The anatomy of a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

Al Jazeera (November 18, 2020): Armenian PM accepts responsibility for Nagorno-Karabakh defeat

RFE/RL (November 17, 2020): Armenian President Calls For Snap Elections As Government Faces Mounting Pressure Over Karabakh Deal

Past Eurasia Elections

Moldova Presidential Runoff: November 15, 2020

Moldova held the second round of its presidential election on November 15, 2020. Pro-Europe center-right former Prime Minister Maia Sandu trounced pro-Kremlin leftist Igor Dodon, who had been the incumbent. More

BBC (November 16, 2020): Moldova election: Pro-EU candidate Maia Sandu wins presidency

Vladimir Socor, Jamestown Foundation (November 18, 2020): Moldova’s Presidential Election: The Russians Were Not Coming (This Time)

Andrew Wilson, European Council on Foreign Relations (November 19, 2020): Separate ways: Contrasting elections in Georgia and Moldova

Belarus Presidential Election: August 9, 2020

Belarus held a presidential election on August 9, 2020. In a vote widely deemed not free and not fair, incumbent Alexander Lukashenko declared victory. However, the opposition declared that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had in fact won. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets in protest to demand free and fair elections, even in the face of assault and arrest by security forces. Protests continue. More

Hanna Yahorava and Radina Gigova, CNN (November 16, 2020): At least 1,000 people detained in Belarus in a single day following protester’s death

Meduza (November 17, 2020): Opposition neighborhood in Minsk marks third day without running water

Jo Harper, DW (November 17, 2020): Lukashenko, Belarus brace for economic winter of discontent

Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times (November 14, 2020): ‘You Cannot Say No’: The Reign of Terror That Sustains Belarus’s Leader

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.

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