April 1, 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.


A wedding in front of a golden statue of the late dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, aka Turkmenbashi, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan held parliamentary elections in late March, although no genuine opposition is able to operate in the country and there have never been free or fair elections. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Ben Paarmann (CC BY 2.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

Armenia Snap Parliamentary Elections: June 20, 2021

Armenia is holding snap parliamentary elections on June 20 in an effort to defuse a political crisis following a defeat in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

RFE/RL (April 1, 2021): Armenian parliament approves changes to electoral system

Christian Mamo, Emerging Europe (March 31, 2021): What to expect from Armenia’s snap election

AFP (March 28, 2021): Armenia PM Pashinyan to resign in April ahead of snap election to defuse crisis

Emil Avdaliani, Modern Diplomacy (March 27, 2021): Armenia’s surefire election winner? Russia

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

Holly Ellyatt, CNBC (April 1, 2021): The West waits for Putin’s next move as Russia-Ukraine tensions rise

Robyn Dixon, Washington Post (April 1, 2021): Maria Butina, Russian who conspired to infiltrate U.S. groups, visits Navalny in jail, with video cameras in tow

Editorial Board, Washington Post (April 1, 2021): Opinion: Why Alexei Navalny’s hunger strike should raise alarms worldwide

Anton Zverev and Andrew Osborn, Reuters (March 31, 2021): Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny launches hunger strike in bid for medical care

Claire Moses, New York Times (March 29, 2021): Navalny vs. Putin

Meduza (March 26, 2021): Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol wins petition to ease house arrest

Uliana Pavolva, Moscow Times (March 26, 2021): A decade after Pussy Riot’s ‘Punk Prayer,’ Maria Alyokhina still has plenty to protest about

Timothy Frye, Foreign Affairs (May/June 2021 issue): Russia’s weak strongman: the perilous bargains that keep Putin in power

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

Eurasianet (March 31, 2021): Uzbekistan tightens rules for media as president braces for re-election

Human Rights Watch (March 31, 2021): Uzbekistan: independent blogger attacked

RFE/RL (Mach 30, 2021): Uzbek activist reveals “threatening” video as he prepares to run for president

Past Eurasia Elections

Turkmenistan Parliamentary Elections: March 28, 2021

Turkmenistan held 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

AKIpress (April 1, 2021): U.S. Department of State criticizes human rights practices in Turkmenistan

Eurasianet’s Akhal-Teke (March 30, 2021): Turkmenistan: Rotten tomatoes review

RFE/RL (March 29, 2021): Turkmenistan’s authoritarian leader wins Senate seat with “100 percent” of the vote

Paul Bartlett, Nikkei Asia (March 27, 2021): Is Turkmenistan’s secretive presidency becoming a family affair?

Georgia Parliamentary Runoffs: November 21, 2020

Georgia held parliamentary elections on October 31 and November 21, 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

Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Telegraph (April 1, 2021): Russia warns against travel to Georgia after protesters pelt eggs at Russian TV anchor on his birthday

Euractiv/AFP (March 31, 2021): EU-mediated Georgia crisis talks fail on second try

JAMnews (March 30, 2021): EU mediator again in Tbilisi with proposals on how to solve Georgian political crisis

Ian Kelly and David J. Kramer, The Bulwark (March 29, 2021): How the U.S. should respond to the trouble in Georgia

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

Iulian Ernst, bne IntelliNews (April 1, 2021): Moldova enters state of emergency amid overlapping health and political crises

Madalin Necsutu, Balkan Insight (March 23, 2021): Suspicions rise over Moldovan Socialists’ pursuit of Sputnik V

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

Grigory Ioffe, Jamestown Foundation (March 31, 2021): Belarus’s ties with the west: the implacable downward spiral

Evija Djatkovica, Foreign Policy Research Institute (March 31, 2021): The Belarus crisis through the eyes of its Baltic and Nordic neighbors

bne IntelliNews (March 30, 2021): Belarus’ opposition abandons attempts at dialogue with Lukashenko, Tikhanovskaya branded a terrorist

DW (March 29, 2021): Belarus charges Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya with terrorism

Anna Schaverien, New York Times (March 27, 2021): Eurovision song contest disqualifies Belarus over political lyrics

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