Eurasia This Week: November 26, 2020

November 26, 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 school in Batken, Kyrgyzstan, on the edge of the Ferghana Valley, which was a crossroads of ancient empires. The country is once again at a crossroads, this time a political crossroads. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Ben Paarmaan (CC BY 2.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

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 23, 2020): Kyrgyz protest over proposed constitution empowering president

Muhammad Tahir and Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL (November 22, 2020 – podcast): Majlis Podcast: The Controversy Over Kyrgyzstan’s Draft Constitution

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

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. 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’

Past Eurasia Elections

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 results delivered a blow to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the country’s traditional pro-Europe and pro-Russia political forces won key races. More

UNIAN Information Agency (November 22, 2020): Local election runoff held in several cities across Ukraine

Peter Dickinson, Atlantic Council (November 22, 2020): How Ukraine’s Orange Revolution shaped twenty-first century geopolitics

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

Georgi Lomsadze, Eurasianet (November 27, 2020): Georgian politics still deadlocked after runoff polls

RFE/RL (November 21, 2020): Georgian Dream Wins ‘Overwhelming Majority’ After Runoff Elections Boycotted By Opposition

OC Media (November 22, 2020): Historic low turnout in Georgian election

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

Nicolae Reutoi, Foreign Policy (November 25, 2020): Moldova’s Election Result Is a Blow to Russia’s Regional Dominance

Marius Ghincea, Washington Post (November 23, 2020): Moldova’s new president is likely to seek closer ties with Europe. Russia won’t be pleased.

Dumitru Minzarari, Jamestown Foundation (November 23, 2020): Moldovan Presidential Elections: An Effective Challenge to Populism

Volintiru and Sergiu Gherghina, London School of Economics EUROPP blog (November 23, 2020): Taking stock of ‘election season’ in the Eastern Partnership countries

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

DW (November 28, 2020): Belarus: Lukashenko hints at conditional departure

BBC (November 26, 2020 – video): Belarus: The exile sacrificing everything for her country

Doug Feinberg, AP (November 24, 2020): Ex-WNBA player reflects on jail time after Belarus protest

In Other News

Technology finds a way….

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