Eurasia This Week: March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

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.


The city gate of Jalal-Abad, in the southwest of Kyrgyzstan. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Geoalex (public domain)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

Turkmenistan Parliamentary Elections: March 28, 2021

Turkmenistan is due to hold parliamentary elections on March 28, 2021. Turkmenistan is a highly repressive state that has never held free or fair elections, and lacks a genuine political opposition. More

Eurasianet (March 2, 2021): Turkmenistan: The long arm of the police state

Kyrgyzstan Local Elections and Constitutional Referendum: April 11, 2021 and Parliamentary Elections Re-Run: Fall 2021 (proposed)

Kyrgyzstan holds local elections on April 11, along with a constitutional referendum, following political turmoil in October 2020 and a snap presidential election in January 2021. The political climate was tense heading into the October 2020 parliamentary elections. It subsequently exploded following said elections. More

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (March 3, 2021): Kyrgyzstan Tumbles in Freedom of the World Ranking

RFE/RL (March 1, 2021): Kyrgyz President Says Parliamentary Elections Will Be Held In Autumn

Colleen Wood, The Diplomat (February 26, 2021): Pay Attention to Kyrgyzstan’s Local Elections 

Reid Standish, RFE/RL (February 27, 2021): How Will Kyrgyzstan Repay Its Huge Debts To China?

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

Meduza (March 3, 2021): Send in the clowns

Anders Åslund, Project Syndicate (March 3, 2021): Potemkin Putin

Anne Gearan and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post (March 2, 2021): U.S. hits Russians for Navalny poisoning, signaling tougher stand

Andrew E. Kramer and Steven Erlanger, New York Times (March 1, 2021): ‘Your Personality Deforms’: Navalny Sent to Notoriously Harsh Prison

Uzbekistan Presidential Election: October 24, 2021

Uzbekistan is holding a presidential election on October 24, 2021. Elections in Uzbekistan are neither free nor fair, and political opposition is not able to operate freely in the country. More

Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska, Al Jazeera (March 4, 2021): Uzbekistan: Opposition figure claims gov’t behind his arrest

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (March 2, 2021): Will Uzbekistan Allow an Opposition Candidate to Run for President?

Steve Swerdlow, The Diplomat (March 1, 2021): Uzbekistan Needs a Navruz for Human Rights

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.

Euronews/AP (March 1, 2021): Armenia turmoil: PM says he’s ready for early elections as political tensions rise 

BBC (February 26, 2021): Armenia PM Nikol Pashinyan accuses army of attempted coup

Past Eurasia Elections

Kazakhstan Legislative Elections: January 10, 2020

Kazakhstan held 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. More

Al Jazeera (February 28, 2021): Dozens detained at Kazakhstan political prisoner protest

Georgia Parliamentary Elections: October 31 and November 21, 2020

Georgia held parliamentary elections in October-November 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. More

JAM News (March 2, 2021): Early elections in Georgia out of the question – PM Garibashvili

Giorgi Menabde, Jamestown Foundation (March 1, 2021): Protests in Georgia Increase Former President Mikheil Saakashvili’s Influence

RFE/RL (February 26, 2021): Thousands Protest Georgian Opposition Leader’s Arrest, Demand Snap Elections

Editorial Board, Washington Post (February 26, 2021): Opinion: Democracy is on the brink in one of Russia’s neighbors, and Putin is delighted

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

Jennifer Mathers, The Conversation (March 3, 2021): Belarus: opposition pressure continues inside and outside the country – will it work?

Brian Whitmore, Atlantic Council (March 3, 2021): Spring showdown looms in Belarus

RFE/RL (March 2, 2021): Lukashenka: There Will Be ‘No Transfer Of Power’ In Belarus

Reuters (March 2, 2021): Belarus Jails Journalist for Revealing ‘Medical Secrets’ in Protester’s Death

bne Intellinews (February 28, 2021): Belarus’ Tikhanovskaya calls for mass protests to restart on March 25

AP (February 25, 2021): EU extends Belarus, Lukashenko sanctions for a year

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