Eurasia This Week: June 3, 2021

June 3, 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.

Nevsky Prospect, the main street of Saint Petersburg. Russia has continued its crackdown on the opposition and civil society ahead of elections due in September. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Ninara (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.

Christian Mamo, Emerging Europe (June 1, 2021): Armenia’s fruitless search for allies on which it can count

Ani Mejlumyan, Eurasianet (June 1, 2021): Armenian top diplomats resign

Institute for War and Peace Reporting (June 1, 2021): Border Tensions Signal Fresh Danger for Armenia and Azerbaijan

RFE/RL (June 1, 2021): France’s Macron Calls For Azerbaijani Troop Pullout From ‘Armenian Territory’

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

Andrei Chirileasa, (May 31, 2021): Radical Romanian party to run in Moldova’s July 11 elections as well

Madalin Necsutu, Balkan Insight (May 28, 2021): Moldova President Accuses Police of Pursuing Family, Allies

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

Svetlana Erpyleva and Oleg Zhuravlev, openDemocracy (June 3, 2021): What’s new about Russia’s new protests?

Voice of America (June 2, 2021): Russian Parliament Passes Bill Barring Navalny Associates from Running in Elections

AP (June 1, 2021): Russian authorities ramp up pressure on opposition ahead of parliamentary elections

Mary Ellen Cagnassola, Newsweek (June 1, 2021): Russian Activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky Says Kremlin Trying to ‘Sanitize’ Politics Ahead of Elections

Samuel Chamberlain, New York Post (May 30, 2021): Steven Seagal joins pro-Putin party in Russia

Georgia Local Elections: October 2021 (due)

Georgia is due to hold local elections in October 2021, and they are particularly important because – as a result of a deal to resolve the political crisis following last year’s parliamentary elections – they could spark new parliamentary elections if the ruling Georgian Dream party wins less than 43 percent of the proportional vote. The political climate is tense, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic fallout. More (June 3, 2021): U.S. Senators Talk Russian Occupation, Georgia’s Western Integration, Reforms

Christian Mamo, Emerging Europe (June 3, 2021): Georgian politics set for shake up as former PM launches new party

JAMNews (June 1, 2021): Ex-PM Gakharia launches his own political party

RFE/RL (May 30, 2021): Georgia’s Main Opposition Ends Monthslong Boycott Of Parliament

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections Take 2: Fall 2021 (expected)

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

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva, Eurasianet (June 3, 2021): Kyrgyzstan: Japarov plays politics with detentions

Lillian Posner, Atlantic Council (June 2, 2021): The gathering threat to the US in Kyrgyzstan

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

BBC (June 2, 2021): Belarus bans most citizens from going abroad

Ray Furlong, RFE/RL (June 2, 2021): Who Is The Man Who Cut His Own Throat In A Belarusian Court?

Brian Whitmore, Atlantic Council (June 2, 2021): Putin’s Belarus strategy: Arsonist and firefighter?

Peggy Hollinger, Financial Times (June 2, 2021): Belarus incident threatens aviation’s culture of safety

Graeme Wood, The Atlantic (May 28, 2021): The Ryanair Hijacking Pierced the Delusion of Flight: Flying over a foreign country has, until now, felt to most people like teleporting past it.

Alana Wise, NPR (May 28, 2021): White House Slaps Sanctions On Belarus Following Brazen Arrest Of Opposition Figure

Stephanie Van Den Berg, Reuters (May 28, 2021): Nationwide strike planned in Belarus, opposition leader says

Eurasia Elections in 2021 and 2022

Armenia Snap Parliamentary Elections: June 20, 2021

Moldova Snap Parliamentary Elections: July 11, 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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