Eurasia This Week: March 11, 2021

March 11, 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.

Armenian rugs at the
Yerevan Vernissage, a landmark open-air market in Armenia’s capital. The country could hold snap elections soon. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Nicholas Babaian (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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 oppositionMore

Eurasianet (March 9, 2021): Turkmenistan: A ban on all news, ye who enter here

RFE/RL (March 9, 2021): Turkmenistan Ramps Up Controls Over Outside Information

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 9, 2021): Kyrgyzstan Expected to Greenlight Controversial Constitutional Referendum

Human Rights Watch (March 5, 2021): Kyrgyzstan: Withdraw Problematic Draft Constitution

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

Moscow Times (March 11, 2021): Support for Russia’s Ruling Party Drops to Pre-Crimea Low – Poll

Henry Foy, Financial Times (March 10, 2021): The brutal third act of Vladimir Putin

Tatsiana Kulakevich, New Eastern Europe (March 9, 2021): Russia: Is jailing the opposition a good way to win?

RFE/RL (March 9, 2021): Navalny’s Team Looks To Expand Ahead Of September Parliamentary Polls In Russia

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

Peter Leonard, Eurasianet (March 10, 2021): Uzbekistan and the red lines of free speech: A citizen journalist goes on trial 

RFE/RL (March 9, 2021): Uzbek President Chooses Same Filmmaker Putin Used Ahead Of Election

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.

Reuters (March 10, 2021): Armenia Government Says Top General Dismissed, Army Issues Defiant Statement

Avet Demourian, AP (March 9, 2021): Armenian opposition blockades parliament to demand PM quits

The Economist (March 6, 2021): Armenia’s army turns on its prime minister. But he refuses to resign

Al Jazeera (March 5, 2021 – podcast): Can snap elections calm protests in Armenia?

RFE/RL (March 4, 2021): Opposition Politician Says Talks With Armenian PM On Snap Polls Unsuccessful So Far

Past 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. Tensions have exploded into a full-blown political crisis. More

International Republican Institute (March 11, 2021): IRI Final Georgia Election Report Reveals Increased Participation, Need for Continued Reforms (March 10, 2021): Ruling party launches preparations for municipal elections

Zaal Anjaparidze, Jamestown Foundation (March 8, 2021): Can Russia Capitalize on the Current Political Unrest in Georgia?

Paul Stronski, World Politics Review (March 8, 2021): Georgia’s Political Crisis Puts Its Democratic Future in Doubt

Shota Kincha, OC Media (March 7, 2021): Calls for Georgian PM’s resignation follow scandalous recordings

OSCE (March 5, 2021): Georgia, Parliamentary Elections, 31 October 2020: Final Report

Moldova Presidential Runoff: November 15, 2020

Moldova a presidential election in November 2020. Pro-Europe center-right former Prime Minister Maia Sandu trounced pro-Kremlin leftist Igor Dodon, who had been the incumbent. However, no party has a clear majority in parliament (and Sandu’s allies are outnumbered by pro-Russian parties), leading to political instability and the constant possibility of snap elections. More

Bloomberg (March 8, 2021 – video): Moldova’s President Says She Wants Snap Elections

Denis Cenusa, New Eastern Europe (March 8, 2021): Crisis spiral in Georgia and Moldova – commonalty, distinctions and ways out

Madalin Necsutu, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (March 8, 2021): Misogyny Plagues Moldova’s Politics

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

Brian Whitmore, Atlantic Council (March 10, 2021): Putin’s stealth takeover of Belarus gains momentum

Lisa Schlein VOA (March 8, 2021): Belarus Opposition Leader Calls for Global Action, Not Words

Tim Ogden, The Spectator (March 6, 2021): What does Belarus’s opposition leader want?

Lauren Chadwick, Euronews (March 5, 2021): Belarus asks Lithuania to extradite opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya 

A Bit of Exploration

William Dalrymple, Financial Times (March 11, 2021): William Dalrymple on the trail of Babur’s paradise lost

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