Tag Archives: elections

EU on Serbia elections

Serbia held parliamentary, provincial and local elections on 21 June; one of the first elections held in Europe since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

While contestants in Serbia’s parliamentary elections were able to campaign and fundamental freedoms were respected, voter choice was limited by the governing party’s overwhelming advantage and the promotion of government policies by most major media outlets, according to the preliminary findings and conclusions of the international observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The European Union looks forward to the OSCE/ODIHR final report and recommendations for future elections to be issued in the coming months. We expect all political actors and relevant institutions to engage in a transparent, decisive and inclusive dialogue on the implementation of these recommendations to address long-standing electoral shortcomings well ahead of the next elections.

We encourage the new parliament to continue to engage in the inter-party dialogue led by the European Parliament, with a view to forging broad cross-party consensus on EU-related reforms, which is vital for the country’s progress on its EU path. We also encourage the Serbian leadership to engage in a genuine dialogue across the political spectrum to take forward important reforms on the rule of law, fight against organised crime and corruption.

The European Union looks forward to engaging with the next government to take forward swiftly the urgent reforms necessary for Serbia’s EU accession. This concerns in particular the rule of law, which lies at the heart of the accession process and should be at the forefront of the next government’s political priorities, and socio-economic reforms, crucial for post COVID-19 pandemic recovery. We also count on Serbia’s continued full engagement in the EU-facilitated Dialogue as well as regional cooperation more broadly.

As Serbia’s top donor and investor, and its most important trade and economic partner, the European Union is fully committed to continue supporting Serbia’s EU accession process as well as economic recovery following the coronavirus crisis, including through the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans due in the autumn.

Image: Belgrade, Serbia

Fine Gael looking for coalition

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said a coalition between his center-right Fine Gael party and left-wing nationalists Sinn Fein is not an option as the parties’ policies are “not compatible”. (Image: archive)

“For us coalition with Sinn Fein is not an option, but we are willing to talk to other parties,” Varadkar told journalists in Dublin, speaking following Saturday’s election. The head of rival center-right party Fianna Fail earlier on February 9 declined to rule out a coalition with Sinn Fein.

Baku clarifies position towards MEPs

Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement attributed to the spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva who commented on the information of the European Parliament declining to send an observer mission to Azerbaijan for the parliamentary elections, news Agency Trend reports.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent letters to the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE, the CIS, GUAM, the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and other international and regional organizations,” Abdullayeva said.

The Azerbaijani side sent an appeal to observe the parliamentary elections mainly to those organizations of which it is a member and participant, the spokesperson continued.

“Specifically, with regard to the information provided by the European Parliament (EP), I would like to emphasize that it is absolutely incorrect to consider this information circulated by the European Parliament as refusal of this structure to observe the elections”, Abdullayeva said.

She explained that Azerbaijan does not have any obligations to the European Parliament.

Abdullayeva said the information was provided in accordance with the procedural rules of the European Parliament, that is, it means that members of the European Parliament can personally attend and observe the elections, where the EP will not participate as an observer.

“I would like to note that in order to ensure transparency on the eve of all elections, the Central Election Commission regularly provides information on the registration of observers”, Abdullayeva said.

In the context of the early parliamentary elections to be held in Azerbaijan on February 9, Azerbaijan’a parliament sent invitation letters to the parliamentary delegations and the Parliamentary Assemblies of which Azerbaijan is a member, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend.

Brexit happens in weeks

Prime Minister Boris Johnson won the decisive election victory that will end three years of political paralysis and take Britain out of the European Union within weeks.

The Article 50 procedure represents a substantial political and economic challenge for the United Kingdom after half a century of integration into the bloc (1973).

Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U.,” President Trump wrote on Twitter “Celebrate Boris!”

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1205368801438707713?s=21

Earlier this year President Trump has already expressed his wish to seal a trade with U.K., explaining that trade between the two countries “could be four to five times higher.”

Russians demand fair elections

Around 50 thousands of Moscovites  expressed their solidarity with rejected the access to elections opposition politicians participating in a demonstration “For Freedom and Justice” . The last five weeks the demands for fair elections and inclusion of independent candidates in upcoming municipal ballot united people from different views and backgrounds.

The crowd gathered under umbrellas in spite of rain, while riot police and vans have cordoned off the area in anticipation of a possible further march of participants through the city center following the event.

People chanted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “thief”,

White Counter”, an independent activist group that tracks attendance at Russian demonstrations, estimated the Moscow crowd at around 47 thousand by 3:30 PM local time, but people still were arriving.

Moscow police, suspected by critics of deliberately diminishing the numbers of protesters in official statistics,  assess that  20,000 people participated in the event.

In spite of the outstanding support independent candidate Lubov Sobol was arrested, according to TASS Russian news agency wire.

The participants of the demonstration are putting forward the following demands:
1. Withdraw the criminal and administrative cases that have been opened against participants of peaceful protests during last five weeks.
2. Release the illegally arrested in the criminal case of the so-called riots and withdraw the case.
3. Publicly investigate and prosecute those responsible for violating election laws and building a mechanism of political repression.
4. Resignation of the head of election commission Valentin Gorbunov and lustration of the members of election commissions at all levels.
5. At the fall session of the State Duma, amend the electoral law and lift the signature barrier.

Simultaneously there were demonstrations in support of independent candidates and fair and free elections in the other Russian cities.

AMENDED: video of independent candidate Lubov Sobol arrest in Moscow. She has registered video of storming of her accommodation by OMON (anti-riot police).

EU expects release of Moscow protesters

Tbe European Union expects an “immediate release” of over 600 peaceful protesters, detained by police in Moscow,  the spokesperson of the European External Action Service wrote in her Twitter micro blog.

More than 600 people, including opposition activists, were detained by riot police in Moscow on August 3 after authorities warned they would take “all necessary measures” to prevent  the unsanctioned rally.

A week after police detained more than 1,300 people at a similar protest in the Russian capital, hundreds of OMON riot police were deployed ahead of the intended protest to demand free elections in Moscow.

Zelensky party wins absolute majority

President Vladimir Zelensky‘s ‘Servant of People‘ party is winning the snap parliamentary election in Ukraine with 43.16% of the votes, the Central Election Commission (CEC) informed after all 100% of the ballots have been counted.

Four other parties have overcome the 5% threshold. Opposition Platform – For Life received 13.05% of the votes, former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko‘s Batkivshchina – 8.18%, former president Pyotr Poroshenko‘s European Solidarity – 8.10%, and singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Golos – 5.82%.

According to CEC, more than 6.3 million people supported Zelensky’s party, the Opposition Platform – For Live secured support of more than 1.9 million people, Batkivschina was backed by almost 1.2 million people, while European Solidarity – by 1.18 million. About 851,000 people voted for Golos in the snap parliamentary election.

Now, the Central Election Commission is to sum up the results no later than on August 4, officially publishing them in the newspapers Holos Ukrayiny (Voice of Ukraine) and Uryadovy Kuryer (Governmental Courier) before August 9. The new Rada is meet for its first session no later than on September 9. Prior to its opening, the parliamentarians will take the oath.

A snap parliamentary election was held in Ukraine on July 21. Voter turnout stood at 49.84%, the lowest ever in the history of Ukrainian parliamentary elections with more than 14.7 million people skipping the poll.

Ukraine: Poroshenko admits his defeat

Ukraine’s incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko, who, according to the exit polls, is far behind his rival, candidate from the Servant of the People party, showman Vladimir Zelensky, has admitted his defeat, but said added he is not going to quit politics. (Image above: illustration).

Next month I will vacate the presidential office. This is the choice of Ukrainians. I accept this decision. But I want to stress that I am not quitting politics,” he said, underlining that these were fair and transparent elections held in conformity with European standards.

Zelenskiy’s ascendance comes in the era of disappointment of electorate with systemic politics, propelling anti-establishment forces such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Italy’s 5-Star Movement, which was also once led by a comedian, to power, Reuters agency concludes.

Tymoshenko confronts Ukraine President with impeachment

Ukrainian presidential candidate, former prime minister and leader of the Batkivshchyna (‘Fatherland‘) party, Yulia Tymoshenko, expressed confidence that the incumbent head of state, Petro Poroshenko, will not be able avoid responsibility after the upcoming March 31 elections.

“I would like to appeal to Poroshenko and his criminal circle,” Tymoshenko said at a briefing on March, 1. “Nothing will help you – no bribes and no falsifications. You will assume responsibility for the crimes you have committed against Ukraine. And no one will let you leave the country and hide in other countries. You will be assume for every penny that was stolen from the people of Ukraine. “

Tymoshenko accuses incumbent President of abuse of administrative resources during the election campaign, bribing voters, and illegal use of the media during campaigning.

In addition, this week Ukrainian journalists unveiled the results of an investigation into frauds in defense procurement that lead to the closest circle of President Petro Poroshenko, in particular, to his longtime business partner, First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleg Gladkovsky and the state defence concern “Ukroboronprom“.

On the basis of a journalistic investigation, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has already opened a criminal case on embezzlement of state funds on exceptionally large scale. As follow Tymoshenko announced the beginning of the impeachment procedure against the current head of state.

Kadyrov doesn’t seek reelection

The leader of Chechen Republic (Russia) Ramzan Kadyrov is willing  to end his term as the governor without renewal, he said on the Moscow 24 TV channel.

Kadyrov told that he does not see himself in another high-ranking federal position “I am not a man of this level,” he added.

Kadyrov, 42, has ruled the Russian North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya since 2007, taking over the lead after his father Akhmad brutal assassination (2004) in a terrorist act. He was re-elected by the Chechen parliament in 2011 and won the position of a head of the Republic in election in 2016 with 97.5% of the vote.

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