Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

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Canada: Observers arrive to monitor federal vote under changes to election law | Ottawa Citizen

An international observer mission has set down in Ottawa to monitor and report on the federal election — including whether controversial changes to Canada’s election law help or hurt the democratic process. The six-person mission, deployed by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), is the first to monitor a Canadian election in nearly a decade. It was prompted by widespread concern inside Canada over recent changes introduced by the Conservative government’s controversial Fair Elections Act. “The legislative framework is a key part of any election process. It’s the rules of the game,” said mission leader Hannah Roberts, a British national who has monitored elections in 30 countries. “As we know, there have been some changes here in Canada, and there are different views about those changes. So our job is in part to come and look at that legal framework and be looking at how it works in practice, to see what issues come up.”

Full Article: Observers arrive to monitor federal vote under changes to election law | Ottawa Citizen.

North Korea: In a world of absurd election results, North Korea is in good company | The Washington Post

Local elections in North Korea over the weekend went just about as expected. State-run Korean Central News Agency reported that 99.97 percent of voters participated in Sunday’s ballot, which is held every few years and essentially involves predetermined candidates who are rubber-stamped into office. Any lingering curiosity about the remaining .03 percent quickly evaporates, as the agency acknowledged that they were “on foreign tour or working in oceans” at the time. If that feels, well, unbelievable, in a world of strongmen and staged elections, think back to these past examples. (Yes, North Korea makes an appearance.)

Full Article: In a world of absurd election results, North Korea is in good company - The Washington Post.

Macedonia: Conservatives win 2 elections, opposition refuses to recognize result | Assocated PRess

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s ruling center-right party has won its fourth consecutive election victory in Macedonia but looks likely to fall just short of an outright majority. The opposition Social Democrats refused to recognize the result Monday, alleging voter intimidation by the government, but international monitors described the vote as well run. With 99.9 percent of the vote counted Monday, the conservative VMRO-DPMNE had won 42 percent and 61 seats — one short of a majority in the 123-member parliament. The Social Democrat-led opposition alliance got 24.9 percent and 34 seats, according to the State Election Commission. Turnout was 64 percent. In a separate vote Sunday, conservative President Gjorge Ivanov won a second five-year term in a runoff for the largely ceremonial post.

Full Article: Macedonia's conservatives win 2 elections, opposition refuses to recognize result - Seymour Tribune.

Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar Election Commission releases report | Ubpost News

The members of the Ulaanbaatar Election Commission delivered a report on the 2013 Presidential Election to the General Election Commission (GEC). The Chairman of the capital city’s Election Commission, Yo. Gerelchuluun, said, “No conflicts happened during the Election Day of June 26. Some 561,288 capital city residents voted in the election out of 817,154 who registered so voter turnout in Ulaanbaatar was 68.6 percent. Some 305,760 people cast their ballots for candidate Ts.Elbegdorj of the Democratic Party, a total of 217,824 people supported the candidate from the Mongolian People’s Party, former wrestling champion B.Bat-Erdene, and 4,787 electors voted for Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party candidate N.Udval. The ballot papers and the registration materials of the voters received from 368 electoral precincts have already been delivered to the GEC.”

Bulgaria: Party Leader to Appeal Fine for Campaigning in Turkish | Novinite.com

Lyutvi Mestan, Chair of the Bulgarian ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), has vowed to appeal the fine he was imposed by the local election administration in Sliven for addressing his constituents in Turkish. The fine was imposed Friday by the Regional Electoral Commission in the southeastern city of Sliven on a tip-off from center-right party GERB reporting that Mestan had addressed voters in Turkish during an election campaign rally in the village of Yablanovo on May 5. Yablanovo Mayor Dzhemal Choban was also penalized by the Regional Electoral Commission in Sliven for addressing voters in Turkish during the same rally. Bulgaria’s Election Code does not allow election campaigns to be conducted in other languages than Bulgarian.

Full Article: Bulgarian Party Leader to Appeal Fine for Campaigning in Turkish - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.

Iowa: Secretary of State Schultz: International voting monitors face arrest in Iowa

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz warned a group of international voting monitors that they face arrest if they monitor polling locations in Iowa next week. “My office met with two delegation representatives last week to discuss Iowa’s election process, and it was explained to them that they are not permitted at the polls,” Schultz said in a statement released Tuesday. “Iowa law is very specific about who is permitted at polling places, and there is no exception for members of this group.”

Full Article: Secretary of state: Voting monitors face arrest in Iowa.

Ukraine: OSCE/ODIHR starts observing parliamentary elections in Ukraine | Kyiv Post

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) has officially opened its mission for the observation of the parliamentary elections in Ukraine. “The upcoming elections will be an important challenge for Ukraine from the viewpoint of democracy, and they will be held according to the new law,” the head of the mission, Audrey Glover, said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday. She said that 20 experts from the organization will work in Kyiv, and 90 long-term observers will work all over Ukraine. The ODIHR will employ 600 short-term observers to watch the process of counting votes on the voting day.

Full Article: OSCE/ODIHR starts observing parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

Ukraine: Yanukovych invites OSCE observers to monitor parliamentary elections | Ukrinform

President Viktor Yanukovych has invited observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor Ukraine’s parliamentary elections on October 28, 2012, the president’s press office said in a statement. “Reaffirming my particular interest in holding fair and transparent elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in full compliance with the high international standards, I am addressing you with a request to send the official observation missions to Ukraine,” reads a letter of President Viktor Yanukovych’s to the Heads of State and Government of OSCE participating states.

Russia: Election ‘clearly skewed’ for Putin: OSCE | BBC

Russia’s presidential elections were “clearly skewed” in favour of the winner, Vladimir Putin, monitors with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have said. Preliminary results showed that Mr Putin, who is currently prime minister, won more than 63% of votes. There have been widespread claims of fraud and vote violations, and the OSCE said the result was “never in doubt”. Opposition groups have called for mass protests against Mr Putin’s win. In a statement, the OSCE said while all candidates had been able to campaign freely, there had been “serious problems” from the start, conditions were “clearly skewed in favour of one of the contestants, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin”.

Full Article: BBC News - Russia election 'clearly skewed' for Putin - OSCE.