Eurasia This Week: April 8, 2021

April 8, 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 market stand in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan heads to the polls on Sunday, April 11 for local elections and a constitutional referendum. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Ben Paarmann (CC BY 2.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

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

Erica Marat, EU Reporter (April 9, 2021): Democracy is dying in Central Asia – Here’s what Biden should do

Reuters (April 8, 2021): Protests break out after murder of kidnapped woman in Kyrgyzstan

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (April 6, 2021): Countdown to another election day in Kyrgyzstan: April 11

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva, Eurasianet (April 5, 2021: Kyrgyzstan: Local elections promise new parties, but old faces

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.

Christian Mamo, Emerging Europe (April 8, 2021): Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is far from over

Aza Babayan, RFE/RL (April 7, 2021): Armenian leader asks Putin for help with POWs held by Azerbaijan

Arshaluis Mghdesyan, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (April 5, 2021): Can Armenia’s political truce last?

Armine Martirosyan, JAMnews (April 4, 2021): Will the internal political crisis in Armenia be resolved or deepened after snap elections?

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

The Economist (April 10, 2021): Does the Kremlin want Alexei Navalny to die in prison?

Moscow Times (April 9, 2021): Russia reshuffles regional heads ahead of fall elections

Shelley Inglis, The Conversation (April 8, 2021): For autocrats like Vladimir Putin, ruthless repression is often a winning way to stay in power

Reuters (April 7, 2021): Russian lawmakers call for lower pension age ahead of election

AP (April 5, 2021): Putin — already Russia’s longest leader since Stalin — signs law that may let him stay in power until 2036

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

Navbahor Imamova, VOA (April 8, 2021): Uzbek opposition party tests the limits of political reform

RFE/RL (April 6, 2021): Erk, Uzbekistan’s first opposition party, says it will attempt to field a presidential candidate

Past Eurasia Elections

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

RFE/RL (April 8, 2021): Tensions high as Georgian opposition leader goes on trial

Nino Lejava, Carnegie Europe (April 6, 2021): Georgia’s unfinished search for its place in Europe (April 5, 2021): IRI polls: 60% of Georgians want opposition to enter parliament, 45% support snap elections (April 3, 3021): Former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker: “Georgia does need new elections – not because of 2020 outcome, but to reestablish public legitimacy of institutions – after electoral reforms passed”

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

Ecaterina Locoman, Washington Post (April 3, 2021): Moldova wants to be more European and less corrupt. Parliament isn’t helping.

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

Jack Parrock, Politico (April 8, 2021): Belarus opposition splits as leaders form new parties

Brian Whitmore, Atlantic Council (April 7, 2021): The battle for Belarus: Russified regime faces Westernizing society

Grigory Ioffe, Jamestown Foundation (April 7, 2021): The state of disunion in Belarus

Orlando Crowcroft, Euronews (April 6, 2021): Belarus punk rocker faces 1.5 years hard labour for semi-naked dance protest 

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