Eurasia This Week: December 3, 2020

December 3, 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.

Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, the city formerly known as Astana. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Алексей Тараканов (CC BY-SA 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

RFE/RL (December 4, 2020): 20 Potential Kyrgyz Presidential Candidates Submit Fees And Signatures

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (December 3, 2020): Kyrgyz Constitutional Chamber Nixes Petition to Undo Parliamentary Election Delay

Aida Alymbaeva and Charles Fourmi, New Eastern Europe (December 3, 2020): An illegitimate transfer of authority in Kyrgyzstan

Colleen Wood, The Diplomat (December 1, 2020): Goalposts for Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Referendum Shifting 

Matthias Hoenisch, McGill International Review (December 1, 2020): The Rise of Japarov: Chaos in Kyrgyzstan

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

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (December 3, 2020): Kazakhstan’s Parliamentary Elections: The Ablyazov Effect

Human Rights Watch (December 3, 2020): Kazakhstan: Human Rights Groups Under Pressure

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

Kirill Martynov, Moscow Times (December 3, 2020): Russia Is Preparing for Another Round of Fraudulent Elections

Aleksei Sabelsky and Robert Coalson, RFE/RL (December 3, 2020): ‘People With Initiative’: Across Russia, Elected Officials From Opposition Say Ruling Party Is Playing Hardball

Henry Foy, Financial Times (December 1, 2020): ‘Foreign agent’: Putin’s new crackdown on the opposition

Armenia Parliamentary Elections: Due in December 2023, snap elections possible

Armenia is in the midst of a political crisis following a defeat in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Some have called for snap elections.

RFE/RL (December 3, 2020): Armenian Opposition Names Joint Candidate In Bid To Pressure PM

Reuters (December 3, 2020): Hundreds protest against Armenian PM, block streets over ceasefire deal

Ani Mejlumyan, Eurasianet (December 3, 2020): In political crisis, Armenian president makes power play

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

Dennis Soltys, Foreign Policy (November 28, 2020): Zelensky’s Midterm Report Card: Expectations aside, local elections were about more than the president—and Russia.

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

Giorgi Menabde, Jamestown Foundation (December 2, 2020): West Calls on Georgian Opposition Not to Boycott New Parliament

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

Madalin Necsutu, Balkan Insight (November 30, 2020): Apathetic Voters Snub Election in Moldova’s Breakaway Transnistria

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

Euronews/AP (November 30, 2020): More than 300 people arrested in latest Belarus demonstrations 

AP (December 1, 2020): Belarus opposition to compile ‘book of crimes’

Oleg Chupryna, London School of Economics EUROPP (December 2, 2020): Lukashenko, Putin and the protests: Why Belarus is being pulled further into Russia’s orbit

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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