Eurasia This Week: May 13, 2021

May 13, 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 trolley in Bălți, Moldova’s second-largest city. Moldova holds snap elections in July. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Нефеденков Павел (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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 (May 10, 2021): Armenia’s Parliament Dissolves In Final Step Toward Early Elections

Emil Avdaliani, Modern Diplomacy (May 7, 2021): Armenia After the Parliamentary Elections

Moldova Snap Parliamentary Elections: July 11, 2021

Moldova is holding snap parliamentary elections on July 11, which pro-Europe center-right president Maia Sandu had been trying to call for months. Sandu trounced pro-Kremlin leftist Igor Dodon, who had been the incumbent, in the November 2020 presidential election However, no party currently has a clear majority in parliament (and Sandu’s allies are outnumbered by pro-Russian parties). The resulting political instability was reaching crisis levels. More

Orlando Crowcroft, Euronews (May 10, 2021): In Moldova, a snap election could help Maia Sandu finish what she started

Yuri Panchenko, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (May 10, 2021): Ukrainian Judge’s Kidnapping May Have Political Impact in Moldova

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. Consequently, the Kremlin has launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition, including imprisoning Navalny. More

Eva Hartog, Politico (May 12, 2021): In purging Russia of Navalny, the Kremlin is humming a Soviet tune

Olafimihan Oshin, The Hill (May 12, 2021): Former Russian mayor who encouraged pro-Navalny protests is jailed

Meduza (May 12, 2021): Moscow court fines Telegram for refusing to remove posts about pro-Navalny protests

Moscow Times (May 11, 2021): Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Movement Disputes Georgia Relocation Reports

BBC (May 8, 2021): Amnesty apologises to Alexei Navalny over ‘prisoner of conscience’ status

Georgia Local Elections: October 2021 (due)

Georgia is due to hold local elections in October 2021. These follow last year’s parliamentary elections, which took place 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. Although the crisis has eased, tensions remain. More

AFP (May 10, 2021): Georgia frees jailed opposition leader after EU posts bail

Elene Panchulidze and Richard Youngs, Carnegie Europe (May 10, 2021): Defusing Georgia’s Political Crisis: An EU Foreign Policy Success?

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections Take 2: Fall 2021 (proposed)

Kyrgyzstan’s leader has proposed re-running the parliamentary elections that took place in October 2020. Those elections and allegations of fraud led to political turmoil, followed by a snap presidential election in January 2021 and a constitutional referendum (alongside local elections) in April 2021. The new constitution, which passed, grants the president vastly expanded powers. Its critics have dubbed it the “Khanstitution.” The political climate was tense heading into the October 2020 parliamentary elections. It subsequently exploded following said elections. More

Eurasianet (May 6, 2021): Kyrgyzstan: Spotlight on populist security chief after Tajikistan violence

Past Eurasia Elections

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 (May 12, 2021): Going Over the Top in and Around Belarus

Robin Emmott, Reuters (May 10, 2021): EU prepares new round of Belarus sanctions from June, diplomats say

Tadeusz Iwański, New Eastern Europe (May 10, 2021): The father that doesn’t want to leave: Between authoritarian violence and social anger in Belarus

Jenni Fink, Newsweek (May 7, 2021): Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko Agrees to Early Election if U.S. Will Also Hold One

Eurasia Elections in 2021 and 2022

Armenia Snap Parliamentary Elections: June 20, 2021

Russia Parliamentary Elections: By September 19, 2021

Georgia Local Elections: October 2021 (due)

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections Take 2: Fall 2021 (expected)

Uzbekistan Presidential Election: October 24, 2021

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