Shortly before separatist leaders here declared a huge majority had voted in a referendum to break from Ukraine, their press spokeswoman had chortled at the idea that a result would be declared a mere three hours after polling stations closed. “Are you crazy? How would we have time to count the ballots?” said Claudia. Precisely, how indeed? But then despite a series of opinion polls over the past few weeks showing only a minority of eastern Ukrainians wanted to follow the example of the Black Sea peninsula and secede, the plebiscite in Donetsk—one of two of Ukraine’s easternmost regions voting Sunday—was always a foregone conclusion. The procedures in the plebiscite managed by Denis Pushilin, a former casino croupier who is the co-chairman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, followed the Kremlin’s house rules: the cynical strategies and plays of Russian-style “managed democracy,” not the electoral models outlined by organizations such as the United Nations or the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.
For the head of Libya’s national election commission, the method by which Americans vote is startling in that it depends so much on trust and the good faith of election officials and voters alike. “It’s an incredible system,” said Nuri K. Elabbar, who traveled to the United States along with election officials from more than 60 countries to observe today’s presidential elections as part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Your humble Cable guy visited polling places with some of the international officials this morning. Most of them agreed that in their countries, such an open voting system simply would not work.
As the famous Beatles song goes, money can’t buy love. But it may buy votes. At least that’s what candidates in the upcoming Oct. 28 parliamentary election seem to be banking on. With the election just a little more than five weeks away, the parties and candidates have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars officially. But many think the actual spending is much higher, just off the books, like much of Ukraine’s economy. Where the money is coming from is a tightly kept secret by political parties and leaders. “We are a poor country with very expensive elections,” joked political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. Four out of the top parties leading in opinion polls, including the pro-presidential Party of Regions, United Opposition, Communists and Natalia Korolevska’s Ukraine-Forward refused to provide any official information about their campaign budget and financing sources. “Go to a bank and try asking about their money. Would they tell you any numbers?” asked Communist Party Spokesman Petro Shelest, oblivious to the notion that the people who will elect or not elect communists have a legitimate interest in knowing who is backing them. His boss, Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko, promised to reveal the financial information in a formal report filed with the Central Election Commission (CEC) after the vote, an election law requirement that experts say offers little real oversight and controls. Other top parties are making the same promise, saying that the info will be released within 15 days after election.
Armenia: Local and international observers get ready to monitor parliamentary election | ArmeniaNow.com
Seven international and 47 local organizations will carry out an observation mission at the May 6 parliamentary elections in Armenia. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe’s (PACE), the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the European Parliament, the CIS Observation Mission and the International Expert Center for Electoral Systems (ICES) are among the international organizations.
Most of the political parties have opposed the plan of introducing an electronic voting system in the Maldives, Elections Commission said today. Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq said the parties made their remarks at the meeting held yesterday with the visiting International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) delegation to discuss on establishing an electronic voting system for future elections.
“Some noted that it’s wise to continue how voting takes place in the Maldives now while we noticed that most of them still need more information about how the system works. For instance, Adhaalath Party admitted that going along the technological advancements is an option but said they needed more information about the system,” he said.