Process or Candidate? How States Intervene in Elections

A Competing Visions Map

This is a pilot coding for a paper by the same name, and the book on different kinds of interventions, undertaken by foreign powers, in other countries' elections.  The coding was done by Yale RA's (Baobao Zhang, Vinny Lindoso, thanks).  An updated version of the coding continued at Uni Mannheim, where Vinny Lindoso, Marcela Ibanez, and Dennis Hammerschmidt are working on a bigger sample and with a rigorous codebook. From 2016 on, Kai Jaeger took over much of the coding.

Below is supporting material from the 2011-12 pilot, including information on the sources used.

World Regions:

North America
South America
Asia and the Pacific
North Africa and the Middle East
Sub-Saharan Africa

North America

Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States


Canada (2000L, 2004L, 2006L, 2008L)

No intervention.

Costa Rica (2002P, 2002L, 2006P, 2006L, 2007R, 2010P, 2010L)

University for Peace (fair)

Organization of American States (fair)

Panama (left-right)

U.S. (alliance)

In 2010, the University for Peace (an institution with strong UN connections) and Organization of American States monitored the general elections. In the 210 presidential elections, libertarian candidate Otto Guevara was accused of accepting campaign money from his friend Ricardo Martinelli, president of Panama, the region’s only libertarian leader. In the 2003 referendum to pass the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. had large economic interests. The U.S. is accused by anti-free trade groups of “dirty campaigning” and pressuring to get the referendum passed.


1. University for Peace (fair)

• 2010P,L:

2. Organization of American States (fair)

• 2010P, L: The assessment for the elections tomorrow (Sunday) is normally in the country, the electoral organization that has (Costa Rica) is appropriate and meets the requirements and standards," he told AFP Chief of Mission Observers from the Organization of American States (OAS), the former Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Emma Mejia.

Unos 200 observadores internacionales, entre ellos medio centenar enviados por la OEA, velarán por la limpieza de los comicios en el país más próspero de Centroamérica, que carece de Fuerzas Armadas desde 1948, y cuya democracia es la más estable de América Latina. Some 200 international observers, including fifty sent by the OAS, ensure clean elections in the most prosperous country in Central America, which has no armed forces since 1948, and which is the most stable democracy in Latin America.

3. Panama (left-right)

• 2010P,L: Spending it apparently isn’t either. His campaign had spent more than $1 million on advertising by mid-December, according to a report in La Nacion, forcing Guevara to fend off speculation about the source of his finances. The rumors include an allegation that Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, one of the region’s only libertarian leaders, donated to his campaign. Guevara has denied the charges.

Otto Guevara, the Libertarian presidential candidate in Costa Rica, denied having received money from his friend, the President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli. No formal complaints have been filed, however, Guevara blamed the National Liberation Party (PLN) for having spread the accusations "through their telephone batteries, social networks, and innuendo." "They were saying (the money) was coming from Ricardo Martinelli, and that the friendship I have with Ricardo Martinelli was influencing me in some way.

This was partly an attempt to dispel controversy that has boiled over in recent months about the questionable source of the cash the Guevara campaign has been shelling out for propaganda, which reportedly had surpassed $1 million by December. Fingers even pointed at Ricardo Martinelli, Panama's president and probably the region's only standing libertarian, as a possible donor, an allegation which Guevara denies.

Guevara stunned analysts by virtually sneaking up in the polls and stealing the second place spot from Ottón Solís, who narrowly lost the last elections in 2006 to President Óscar Arias.

4. U.S. (alliance)

• 2003R: Costa Ricans have discussed CAFTA since the start of the “negotiations” with the U.S. in 2003. But with a somewhat strong government sector that has provided basic services to Costa Ricans since the 1950s—including health, education, insurance, electricity and telecommunications—many were hesitant to include these services in CAFTA. Only three years ago, large popular mobilizations prevented former and now indicted President Miguel Angel Rodríguez from opening up the national telecommunications company (ICE) to foreign buyers. It remains a state-run monopoly today.

Costa Rica’s “negotiating” team was mostly educated in the U.S. and team leader Anabel González holds U.S. citizenship. Her husband, Francisco Chacón, was involved in the sale of the international airport to a Bechtel subsidiary, Alterra.

United States intervention, corruption, and the realities of an internationally financed campaign led to the passage of the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in yesterday's popular referendum in Costa Rica. A delegation from the U.S.-based Alliance for Responsible Trade and the Stop CAFTA Coalition, who represent U.S. faith-based, solidarity, union, and student organizations and served as international observers, point to the process as an example of dirty campaigning designed to pressure countries to accept the existing trade model and the economic program it promotes.

"In Costa Rica, voting 'No' was about stopping CAFTA, but it was also about a twenty-year struggle to preserve publicly run electrical, phone and health care systems," says Tom Loudon from the Alliance for Responsible Trade. "The Costa Rican and U.S. governments and the multinationals they represent simply had too much to lose to allow the 'No' campaign to win."\

The President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, has said the country has given its backing to a free trade agreement with the United States.

With most of the votes counted, Mr Arias said the treaty had been narrowly approved in a referendum.

The treaty gives Costa Rica greater access to the US market.

Opponents of the deal fear increased competition could ruin the country's successful economy and put the welfare system at risk.

Cuba (2003L)


U.S. (left-right, free)

EU (free)


The 1993 Cuban election was obviously non-competitive. The U.S. called for free and fair elections to no idvil of the Castro government. In May 2002, Pres. George Bush called the elections in Cuba a fraud and demanded change in the 1993 elections with the promise to ease humanitarian assistance. Bush also said that he would not lift its four-decade trade embargo on Cuba. The Castro government also accused the U.S. of broadcasting calls to Cubans to abstain from voting through Radio Marti, a radio station subordinated to the US Information Agency, and 15 stations on U.S. territory. The EU adopted a resolution in May 1993 denouncing the one-party elections and called the Cuban government to hold genuine multi-party elections.


BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

March 1, 1993, Monday



SOURCE: (a) Prensa Latina in Spanish 1409 gmt 25 Feb 93


Text of dispatch by Miguel Lozano datelined Havana, 25th February

An attempt to organise internal opposition in Cuba - the golden dream of the USA - failed in the electoral battle waged on 24th February. The official and general feeling is that the elections on the island were an overwhelming success.

The barrage of approximately 1,112 hours of weekly broadcasts from 15 stations on US territory was eclipsed by the people's movements, revolutionary propaganda and the charisma of President Fidel Castro, who personally led the campaign to motivate people to tale part in large numbers by voting in the elections.

Approximately 98% of the people voted. This is considered to be a repudiation of US attempts to rub any lustre of legality off the elections, in which more than 7.5m Cubans took part.


In spite of benefiting from the efficient and expensive broadcasting system paid for by US taxpayers, the minuscule, so-called opposition groups did not stand out in the popular mobilisation activities that filled the island's plazas and parks in the days before the elections.

According to the Cuban radio broadcasting monitoring centre, between 8th and 23rd February alone Radio Marti, a radio station subordinated to the US Information Agency (USIA), broadcast 452 reports with more than 1,000 implicit calls to the people to spoil their votes or to abstain from voting.

IPS-Inter Press Service

March 11, 1993

LENGTH: 810 words


BYLINE: by Debra Percival



Cuba's February elections, the first since President Fidel Castro came to power 30 years ago, have done nothing to boost its image for the majority of European parliamentarians and top EC officials. European parliamentarians adopted a resolution here today denouncing the one-party elections and calling on the Cuban government to hold genuine multi-party hustings. It further called for the release of all political prisoners and an end to the persecution of Cuban human rights organizations. It was passed by more than a two-thirds majority. Some left-wing MEPs expressed disappointment in the Assembly that the resolution failed also to push for an end to the United States' blockade against Cuba. "After 30 years of Fidel Castro, the electoral process has no value," stated MEP Carlos Robels Piquer, one of the authors of today's resolution. He is a member of the European People's Party, a right of center political grouping. The resolution complained about the elections to the National Assembly of the People on Feb. 24 when Cubans were only allowed to vote for a single list presented by the Communist Party. It noted that whereas the single list was elected by 85 percent of those who turned out vote, 15 percent of Cubans decided not to vote or to hand in blank or partially filled in ballot papers which were subsequently cancelled. While critical of the lack of democracy, several MEPs of different political complexions, felt that the blockade was not achieving its end to force Cuba to adopt a multi-party system of government. "The U.S. boycott is used for propaganda purposes in Cuba," stated Dutch Liberal MEP, Jan Willem, a co-author of the resolution. He suggested that pressure be brought to bear on Fidel Castro by linking the ending of the boycott to an agreement by Castro to step down peacefully as Cuba's leader. German Green parliamentarian Wilfried Telkamper, who voted against the resolution, drew attention to the human suffering caused by the blockade. He called on the European Parliament, which meets with parliamentary delegations of most countries around the world, to step up a dialogue with the Cuban National Assembly. An alternative resolution drafted by Telkamper and Portuguese Communist Rogerio Brito calling on the President Bill Clinton to lift the economic embargo on Cuba and move towards the normalization of relations was scrapped due to lack of support. Brito spoke out today against the squeezing of Cuba economically in the name of human rights. "How can you talk about human rights when many countries in Latin America have not got a roof over their heads. At least in Cuba there is much to be said for its system of social and medical care for all," he said. Telkamper and Brito want the European Community to sponsor small decentralized projects run by the local population. Cuba is currently one of only a handful of countries throughout the world with whom the European Community has no cooperation agreements the European Community and is hence missing out on aid and trade preferences. However, the European Community formally opened diplomatic contacts with Cuba in 1988. By the sway of today's debate in the European Parliament indicates that the recent elections will do nothing to change the stalemate in relations. The European Community has recently spoken out against the extension of the United Stateseconomic blockade against Cuba. The Torricelli Law signed by former President George Bush permits the United States to apply sanctions against overseas-based U.S. companies who are trading with Cuba. Under pressure from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) the European Community last year provided milk powder to NGOs in Cuba after supplies from the former Easter Germany dried up. European NGOs are currently lobbying the executive European Commission for a repeat delivery this year. "If Europe is isolating Cuba slightly less than the European Community it is because by keeping the dialogue going, it helps us to lobby Cuba in the right direction," stated EC Commissioner for foreign policy, Hans Van den Broek, in the Strasbourg Parliament today. Van den Broek, one of the EC's draft foreign policy legislators, indicated that Cuba's image in EC circles would be helped by the release of Cuban political dissidents. The European Parliament's resolution denounced the "Brigadas Populares de Repuesta Rapida" who "behaved like storm troopers beating up and intimidating dissidents." It drew attention to the cases of Jose Luiz Pujol Iriza, sentenced to three years imprisonment in September 1992 for having written a letter critical of President Castro to a Cuban exile, and Sebastian Arcois Bergnes, Vice-President of the "Comite Cubano Por Derechos Humanos," sentenced for four years in October 1992 for having sent abroad information on various violations of human rights.

George Bush's speech on Cuba, Monday 20 May 2002 17.15 BST

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Bienvenidos. Welcome to the White House for the 100th anniversary of Cuban independence. Today we honour the ties of friendship, and family, and faith, that unite the Cuban people and the people of the United States.

We honour the contributions that Cuban-Americans have made to all aspects of our national life. And today, I am issuing a proposal and a challenge that can put Cuba on the path to liberty.

I appreciate our Secretary of State being here. He and I take this issue very seriously. He loves freedom as much as I love freedom. I want to thank Mel Martinez, a graduate of Pedro Pan, for being here; Mr Secretary, you're doing a great job. Welcome.

I appreciate members of the diplomatic corps who are here. Thank you all for coming; I'm honoured to have you here. I want to thank Senator George Allen from the Commonwealth of Virginia. I want to thank Congressman Dan Burton; Mr Chairman. And, of course, two great members of the United States Congress, people who have got a lot to offer, a lot of sound advice: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Thank you all for coming.

Cuba's independence one century ago today was the inspiration of great figures such as Felix Varela. It was the result of determination and talent on the part of great statesmen such as Jose Marti, and great soldiers such as Antonio Maceo and Maximo Gomez. Most of all, Cuba's independence was the product of the great courage and sacrifice of the Cuban people.

Today, and every day for the past 43 years, that legacy of courage has been insulted by a tyrant who uses brutal methods to enforce a bankrupt vision. That legacy has been debased by a relic from another era, who has turned a beautiful island into a prison. In a career of oppression, Mr Castro has imported nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, and he has exported his military forces to encourage civil war abroad.

He is a dictator who jails and tortures and exiles his political opponents. We know this. The Cuban people know this. And the world knows this. After all, just a month ago the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in a resolution proposed by the nations of Latin America, called upon Cuba's government to finally - to finally - begin respecting the human rights of its people.

Through all their pains and deprivation, the Cuban people's aspirations for freedom are undiminished. We see this today in Havana, where more than 11,000 brave citizens have petitioned their government for a referendum on basic freedoms. If that referendum is allowed, it can be a prelude, a beginning for real change in Cuba.

The United States has no designs on Cuban sovereignty. It's not a part of our strategy, or a part of our vision. In fact, the United States has been a strong and consistent supporter of freedom for the Cuban people. And it is important for those who love freedom on that beautiful island to know that our support for them will never waver.

Today, I'm announcing an Initiative for a New Cuba that offers Cuba's government a way forward towards democracy and hope, and better relations with the United States.

Cuba's scheduled to hold elections to its National Assembly in 2003. Let me read Article 71 of the Cuban Constitution. It says, "The National Assembly is composed of deputies elected by free, direct, and secret vote." That's what the constitution says. Yet, since 1959, no election in Cuba has come close to meeting these standards. In most elections, there has been one candidate, Castro's candidate.

All elections in Castro's Cuba have been a fraud. The voices of the Cuban people have been suppressed, and their votes have been meaningless. That's the truth. Es la verdad. In the 2003 National Assembly elections in Cuba, Cuba has the opportunity to offer Cuban voters the substance of democracy, not its hollow, empty forms.

Opposition parties should have the freedom to organise, assemble, and speak, with equal access to all airwaves. All political prisoners must be released and allowed to participate in the election process. Human rights organizations should be free to visit Cuba to ensure that the conditions for free elections are being created. And the 2003 elections should be monitored by objective outside observers. These are the minimum steps necessary to make sure that next year's elections are the true expression of the will of the Cuban people.

I also challenge Cuba's government to ease its stranglehold, to change its stranglehold on private economic activity. Political and economic freedoms go hand in hand, and if Cuba opens its political system, fundamental questions about its backward economic system will come into sharper focus.

If the Cuban government truly wants to advance the cause of workers, of Cuban workers, surely it will permit trade unions to exist outside of government control. If Cuba wants to create more good-paying jobs, private employers have to be able to negotiate with and pay workers of their own choosing, without the government telling who they can hire and who they must fire.

If Cuba wants to attract badly needed investment from abroad, property rights must be respected. If the government wants to improve the daily lives of its people, goods and services produced in Cuba should be made available to all Cuban citizens. Workers employed by foreign companies should be paid directly by their employers, instead of having the government seize their hard-currency wages and pass on a pittance in the form of pesos. And the signs in hotels reading "Solamente Turistas" should finally be taken down.

Without major steps by Cuba to open up its political system and its economic system, trade with Cuba will not help the Cuban people. It's important for Americans to understand, without political reform, without economic reform, trade with Cuba will merely enrich Fidel Castro and his cronies.

Well-intentioned ideas about trade will merely prop up this dictator, enrich his cronies, and enhance the totalitarian regime. It will not help the Cuban people. With real political and economic reform, trade can benefit the Cuban people and allow them to share in the progress of our times.

If Cuba's government takes all the necessary steps to ensure that the 2003 elections are certifiably free and fair - certifiably free and fair - and if Cuba also begins to adopt meaningful market-based reforms, then - and only then - I will work with the United States Congress to ease the ban on trade and travel between our two countries.

Meaningful reform on Cuba's part will be answered with a meaningful American response. The goal of the United States policy toward Cuba is not a permanent embargo on Cuba's economy. The goal is freedom for Cuba's people.

Today's initiative invites the Cuban government to trust and respect Cuban citizens. And I urge other democracies, in this hemisphere and beyond, to use their influence on Cuba's government to allow free and fair National Assembly elections, and to push for real and meaningful and verifiable reform.

Full normalization of relations with Cuba - diplomatic recognition, open trade, and a robust aid program - will only be possible when Cuba has a new government that is fully democratic, when the rule of law is respected, and when the human rights of all Cubans are fully protected.

Yet, under the Initiative for a New Cuba, the United States recognizes that freedom sometimes grows step by step. And we'll encourage those steps. The current of history runs strongly towards freedom. Our plan is to accelerate freedom's progress in Cuba in every way possible, just as the United States and our democratic friends and allies did successfully in places like Poland, or in South Africa. Even as we seek to end tyranny, we will work to make life better for people living under and resisting Castro's rule.

Today I'm announcing a series of actions that will directly benefit the Cuban people, and give them greater control of their economic and political destiny. My administration will ease restrictions on humanitarian assistance by legitimate U.S. religious and other non-governmental organizations that directly serve the needs of the Cuban people and will help build Cuban civil society. And the United States will provide such groups with direct assistance that can be used for humanitarian and entrepreneurial activities.

Our government will offer scholarships in the United States for Cuban students and professionals who try to build independent civil institutions in Cuba, and scholarships for family members of political prisoners. We are willing to negotiate direct mail service between the United States and Cuba.

My administration will also continue to look for ways to modernize Radio and TV Marti, because even the strongest walls of oppression cannot stand when the floodgates of information and knowledge are opened. And in the months ahead, my administration will continue to work with leaders all around our country, leaders who love freedom for Cuba, to implement new ways to empower individuals to enhance the chance for freedom.

The United States will continue to enforce economic sanctions on Cuba, and the ban on travel to Cuba, until Cuba's government proves that it is committed to real reform. We will continue to prohibit U.S. financing for Cuban purchases of U.S. agricultural goods, because this would just be a foreign aid program in disguise, which would benefit the current regime.

Today's initiative offers Cuba's government a different path, leading to a different future - a future of greater democracy and prosperity and respect. With real reform in Cuba, our countries can begin chipping away at four decades of distrust and division. And the choice rests with Mr Castro.

Today, there is only one nation in our hemisphere that is not a democracy. Only one. There is only one national leader whose position of power owes more to bullets than ballots. Fidel Castro has a chance to escape this lonely and stagnant isolation. If he accepts our offer, he can bring help to his people and hope to our relations.

If Mr Castro refuses our offer, he will be protecting his cronies at the expense of his people. And eventually, despite all his tools of oppression, Fidel Castro will need to answer to his people.

Jose Marti said, "Barriers of ideas are stronger than barricades of stone." For the benefit of Cuba's people, it is time for Mr Castro to cast aside old and failed ideas and to start to think differently about the future. Today could mark a new dawn in a long friendship between our people, but only if the Castro regime sees the light.

Cuba's independence was achieved a century ago. It was hijacked nearly half a century ago. Yet the independent spirit of the Cuban people has never faltered. And it has never been stronger than it is today. The United States is proud to stand with all Cubans, and all Cuban-Americans, who love freedom. And we will continue to stand with you until liberty returns to the land you love so well.

Viva Cuba Libre.

Bush insists on free elections before lifting Cuba trade embargo

By David Rennie in Washington

12:01AM BST 21 May 2002

President Bush yesterday dismissed calls to lift a four-decade trade embargo on Cuba, and challenged Fidel Castro to release political prisoners and to allow free elections next year.

Less than a week after the former presidentJimmy Carter called for the restrictions to be scrapped, Mr Bush said: "Well-intentioned ideas about trade will merely prop up this dictator, enrich his cronies and enhance the totalitarian regime. [Trade] will not help the Cuban people.

"If Cuba's government takes all the necessary steps to ensure that the 2003 elections are certifiably free and fair, and if Cuba also begins to adopt meaningful market-based reforms, then, and only then, will I work with the United States Congress to ease the ban on trade and travel."

He vowed to maintain existing sanctions, which have been challenged by a growing coalition in Congress.

Mr Bush matched fierce criticism of Mr Castro as "a tyrant who uses brutal methods to enforce a bankrupt vision" with a pledge of support for the island's people and its democracy movement. "The United States recognises that freedom sometimes grows step by step, and we will encourage those steps," he said.

Mr Bush was careful to quote Cuba's own constitution in defence of free elections and opposition parties.

"The United States has no designs on Cuban sovereignty," he said. Cuban dissidents, who are deeply divided over the lifting of the US embargo, have long had to walk a fine line between accepting American aid and moral support, and playing into the hands of Mr Castro, who dismisses all his opponents as American puppets and CIA agents.

Mr Bush laid out his challenge to Mr Castro on the 100th anniversary of Cuba's independence from Spain. After speaking at the White House in the morning, he flew to Florida, where there are half a million Cuban voters whosesupport proved crucial in the 2000 presidential election.

Speaking to Cuban Americans in Miami, he mixed foreign policy with a public display of support for his brother, Jeb Bush, the Florida governor, who is preparing fora tough re-election fight later this year.

"We are here to proclaim proudly to the entire world that the Cuban people's love of liberty cannot and will not be denied'" he said, to a standing ovation.

Sprinkling his speech with phrases in Spanish, Mr Bush called Cuba's Communist-run elections a "fraud and a sham" lasting 43 years. "Mr Castro, once, just once, show that you're unafraid of a real election," he said.

Roman, Peter. “Electing Cuba’s National Assembly Deputies: Proposals, Selections, Nominations, and Campaigns.” European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 82 (2007), 84.

All systems have their drawbacks. Some of the limitations of the Cuban system

may be inherent in non-competitive elections. They also are influenced by decades

of hostility, aggression and blockade by the U.S. The Cubans do not want to leave

an opening where candidates supported by U.S. money can gain entry.

Dominican Republic (2000P, 2002L, 2004P, 2006L, 2008P, 2010L):


US (Fair, Corruption)

OAS (Fair, Corruption)

Description: Intervention in the Dominican Republic has taken place mostly along the “Fair” axis, with most electoral observation and democracy-promotion programs being implemented via the US (and USAID) and the OAS.


USA: The NDI/Carter Center delegation arrived in the Dominican Republic on Friday, May 12 and met in subsequent days with government and election officials, presidential candidates and leaders of the major political parties, journalists, political analysts and academics, religious and business leaders and Participacion Ciudadana. On May 15, the delegation members were deployed to 13 provinces around the country to meet with local political and civic leaders and election officials. On election day, the teams observed the voting and counting processes in about 350 colegios in 80 voting centers. Following the elections, the delegation members returned to Santo Domingo to share their findings and prepare this statement. (May 18, 2000;

OAS: A mission of the Organization of American States, in country to monitor the election, said it had received complaints of fake or purchased identity documents as well as incidents of violence in various parts of the country.  (May 17, 2010,

El Salvador (2000L, 2003L, 2004P, 2006L, 2009L, 2009P):


US (Left-Right, Alliance)

EU (Fair)

Honduras (Alliance)

OAS (Fair)

Description: El Salvador’s polity is sharply divided between the former guerrilla movement FMLN and the more conservative AREAN political parties. Foreign interventions usually happen along this divide. The US and Honduras have continuously intervened in the Salvadoran elections on behalf of ARENA; the US has nonetheless maintained positive dialogue with FMLN administrations. The EU and the OAS have established a somewhat reputation as neutral observers.


US: Salvadorans living in the United States send an estimated$2.2 billion per year in remittances, an amount which "dwarfs every other industry in El Salvador." In the 2004 Salvadoran election, U.S. officials threatened to block Salvadorans in the United States from sending remittances to their families in El Salvador in the case that the leftist FMLN should win. (NACLA,

a. At a meeting at the US Embassy in June with delegates from the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Ambassador Charles Glazer admitted that the US had intervened in El Salvador’s 2004 presidential elections. At the time, US State Department officials made statements denouncing the FMLN, and legislation was put forward in Congress by Republican Tom Tancredo threatening to cut off remittances sent home by Salvadorans should the FMLN win. When asked if Washington had intervened in 2004 on behalf of ARENA, Glazer replied in the affirmative. However, he indicated that the US will not take sides in the 2009 elections and that Washington is willing to work with any future Salvadoran government which shares the values of democracy, respect for human rights, support for a market-based economy, and “free trade”.

b. Two Republicans gave speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives threatening that Salvadorans living in the U.S. will lose their immigration status and be outlawed from sending money home to their families if voters in El Salvador exercise their right to elect the opposition FMLN party's candidate on Sunday.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said, “Should the pro-terrorist FMLN party replace the current government in El Salvador, the United States, in the interests of national security, would be required to reevaluate our policy toward El Salvador, including cash remittance and immigration policies to compensate for the fact there will no longer be a reliable counterpart in the Salvadoran government.”

Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) stated, “Those monies that are coming from here to there I am confident will be cut, and I hope the people of El Salvador are aware of that because it will have a tremendous impact on individuals and their economy.” Indeed, these threats carry considerable weight for Salvadoran voters, as 25% of the Salvadoran population lives in the U.S., and 20% of the nation's economy consists of remittances from those family members. (North American Congress on Latin America, NACLA, March 12, 2009)

c. A group of 150 scholars from universities and colleges in the United States and Canada have released an open letter calling on the U.S. and Salvadoran governments to ensure that El Salvador’s upcoming elections are free of fraud, foreign intervention and electoral violence. The letter expresses four areas of concern, which the signers hope will be heard by the incoming Obama administration:

• The history of U.S. government intervention and attempts to influence election results in El Salvador

• A recent public statement made by El Salvador’s foreign minister calling for further U.S. action on behalf of the governing ARENA (Nationalist Republican Alliance) party

• An alarming increase in politically-motivated violence and assassinations in the past two years

• Recent changes to polling place procedures that open the door to fraud

Citing cases of U.S. intervention in both past and present Salvadoran campaigns, the letter asserts, “The United States government must respect the right of the Salvadoran electorate to choose its government free from threats of U.S. hostility or reprisals.” During El Salvador’s 2004 presidential campaign, several Bush administration officials and members of Congress made public statements indicating that a victory by the opposition FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front) party would result in hostility toward Salvadoran immigrants living in the United States, among other threats. (San Francisco Bay View; December 19, 2008;

Opposition: Mr Ávila, a former police chief, ran a relentlessly negative campaign that sought to portray Mr Funes as a pawn of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. But Mr Ávila was quick to recognise his defeat, dissipating fears that a close result would spark violence. (The Economist, March 21, 2009; “Left turn; El Salvador’s Presidential Election”)

Honduras: The other persistent rumor is that Hondurans are crossing the border to vote for ARENA. From Arcatao, Honduras lies just on the other side of the mountains to the north. Driving into town signs warned against Hondurans trying to vote. Rumors circle around that the woman in pink over there is Honduran, but she hangs around long after casting her vote, hardly the profile of a partner in a criminal fraudulent process. The president of Table 2, an ARENA activist proudly decked out in white and blue, two of the party’s tri-color, is also rumored to be a Honduran. I ask a local resident whether they easily distinguish between Salvadoran and Hondurans, but across this porous border it is not so easy to tell. Apparently most of these alleged Hondurans are dual citizens, and in our reading of the electoral code nothing can prevent them from voting in El Salvador. To me, the anti-Honduras sentiment smacks of nativism. (OEN – OpEdNews; Kevin Anthony Stoda;, 2009)

EU: The European Commission has deployed an EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to El Salvador for the elections scheduled to take place on 18 January 2008 (Municipal, Legislative and PARLACEN elections) and 15 March (Presidential elections). A Chief Observer, Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García, Member of the European Parliament, leads the Mission. (, 2009)

OAS: Observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) recognized on Sunday that the presidential elections in El Salvador were being held orderly. The OAS endorsed the 461 voting centers in all the country, but it said that it has received some complaint that Honduran people voted in Torola, Morazan, east of El Salvador. (Xinhua Net, Chinese News Agency;, March 2009)

Guatemala (2003P&L, 2007P&L):

Actors (Actions):

EU (Peace)

OAS (Peace)

Description: No evidence of foreign intervention was found through research. However, for a long time during the latter stages of the cold war, and through the process of democratization during the 1990’s, the U.S. exerted heavy pressure on Guatemalan electoral processes. The political divide, exemplified most clearly and violently in the 2007 Presidential elections, remains Left-Right, with the current President Alvaro Colom identifying himself as a moderate social democrat with center-left leanings. While he approves of the Chavez and Morales administrations in Venezuela and Bolivia, respectively, he does not pursue radical reforms at the national level. Aside from the Social Democrats, right-wing political parties have become cluster of “reformed” military leaders that have survived the country’s return to democracy since 1985. The last two political campaigns have been marred by violent clashes between political factions, usually initiated under the orders of right-wing, former military political chiefs. Both the OAS and the EU have deployed electoral observation teams to hold the process accountable and seek to limit the scope of violence by the international presence.


EU, OAS: Both the European Union and the Organization of American States sent electoral observers to monitor the elections. Although the electoral campaigns were marred by violence, both missions expressed satisfaction that the elections were relatively free and fair and that voter turnout was largely unimpeded. Rural voting increased due to an increased number of polling stations. However, there were irregularities such as the burning of one polling station in El Cerinal, southeast of Guatemala City. The missions also expressed concern about the lack of information available in Mayan languages as well as the low number of women elected to Congress. (Miranda Louise Jasper & Colleen W. Cook, “Guatemala: 2007 Elections and Issues for Congress”, January 9, 2008,

Candidates: Behind the scenes of Guatemalan politics lurk shadowy networks of war criminals and organized mafias who repeatedly resort to intimidation and crime to hold onto their power. In addition to targeting grassroots human rights leaders, these clandestine groups terrorize and attack party leaders whose platforms or competing interests pose a threat to their own power. (Alexandra Durbin and Sue Kuyper, Network and Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), September 14, 2007,;http://www.iadb.or... Report on Guatemalan 2007 Elections - Canadian Foundation for the Americas)

Haiti (2000L, 2000P, 2006L, 2006P, 2009L, 2010P, 2010L):


US (Alliance, Left-Right, Fair)

Brazil (Peace)


Canada (Left-Right, Fair)

France (Left-Right, Fair)

Description: Heavy U.S. presence and influence have always been the status quo in Haitian politics. After President Aristide’s second ousting, the U.S., Canada, and France were integral in securing order under a regime opposed to the ousted President.  The CARICOM has played a more conciliatory role in the last six years, together with the UN MINUSTAH troops and personnel led by Brazil.


US: In 2004, the US involvement in the coup was much more open. Washington led a cut-off of almost all international aid for four years, making the government's collapse inevitable. As the New York Times reported, while the US state department was telling Aristide that he had to reach an agreement with the political opposition (funded with millions of US taxpayers' dollars), the International Republican Institute was telling the opposition not to settle.

In 2000, Washington effectively shut down $500million in aid arguing that legislative elections held that year had been unfair. (March 2, 2004 – Toronto Star)
When so-called rebels - made up mainly of soldiers and death squad members associated with past dictatorships - seized towns and began to execute police officers last month, the U.S., Canada and France refused Aristide's pleas for help. (ibid)

Canada: Foreign Minister Bill Graham says the government wants to get Haiti "on the way to democracy." He doesn't say how supporting the overthrow of Haiti's flawed, but democratically elected president will help to accomplish that (Toronto Star, ibid)

France: The Lavalas parliamentarians are pleased with the government's decision to meet the French ambassador. Senators and deputies have continued to criticize the diplomat's attitude towards the continuance of the political crisis. According to the controversially elected reference to the disputed 21 May 2000 elections… ambassadors go to all the communal sections and nobody knows what they are up to. They meet different groups of society and nobody knows what they are doing. I think that that is a danger for the country as opposed to an improvement in the living conditions of the masses. (April 23, 2002 – Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince).

CARICOM: Ex-premier Smarck Michel: “I hear a lot of people talking about foreign intervention. They say that a Caricom security force is going to come to the country and so on. Caricom has its own interests and we have ours….I am not opposed to the presence of a Caricom technical force, I am against the way they are going about it, and I am against the government that is doing the negotiations.”

Caricom said it would not recognize the transition government unless some requirements are met. Among these requirements, it mentioned the sending to Haiti of a ministerial delegation to discuss the principle of Haiti's return to Caricom. It has also demanded the disarmament of what it calls the rebels. Then, it speaks of setting a date for holding general elections. It has demanded the release of former Prime Minister Neptune. (July 10, 2004 – Haitian Radio Vision).

Honduras (2001P, 2001L, 2005P, 2005L, 2009P, 2009L):


US (Alliance, Left-Right, Fair)

Brazil (Left-Right, Fair)

Venezuela (Alliance, Left-Right)

OAS (Fair, Peace)

Panama (Alliance)

Costa Rica (Fair)

Peru (Alliance)

Bolivia (Alliance)

Japan (Fair)

Colombia (Alliance)

Chile (Fair)

Argentina (Fair)

EU (Fair)


Israel (Alliance)


Spain (Fair)

Description: Ever since the Cold War, Honduras has always been the U.S. staunchest ally in Central America. A market for U.S. goods, and a labor market for U.S. maquiladoras, Honduran politics are ultimately the result of decision-making by political elites whose power basis lies largely on support from Washington. The so-called “coup” against President Zelaya serves an interesting example of how U.S. intervention in Honduran politics have changed in manner and scope. In the 1990’s, U.S. diplomatic and government agents intervened directly with the Honduran government to implement right-wing, anti-socialist policies (John Negroponte was one of the key drafters of the 1988 Honduran Constitution). Last year, on the other hand, the U.S. firmly condemned the “coup” and cut off financial aid for a period of two months. These are now perceived as very superficial, face-saving measures. Following the calls of Honduran elites (acting through hired lobbyists in the U.S. Congress), the U.S. quickly resumed its support of Honduran elites by a) supporting the electoral process without implementation of the San José Peace Accords between Zelaya and the de facto government , b)resuming 100% of foreign aid without conditionality, and c) advertising the elections as “Hondura’s return to democracy” while the majority of the international community actively denied recognition to the electoral process without Zelaya’s restoration. The U.S. unilaterally recognized the elections (with a its Latin American allies), sending observers to legitimize the process. Despite claims over over-militarization, and lack of fundamental competition, the U.S. government carried on supporting Pepe Lobo’s government, resuming its policy of blind support for Honduran political elites. In the last few years, Venezuela has shown equal interest and maneuverability in Honduras – purportedly because of large oil deposits off the Honduran coast – and Venezuela actively tried both to influence the Zelaya’s electoral successes and to rally international opposition against the post-coup elections. Regardless of their foreign policy stances, however, members of the OAS (aside from the U.S. and its Latin American allies), UNASUR, EU (with reservations), and MERCOSUR all decried the Honduran coup and the U.S. support of elections as “whitewashing”. The remaining actors listed fall on one or more of three categories: “Left-Right” intervention due to ideological ties to Zelaya’s social and populist policies; “Fair” intervention due to concerns that the electoral process would (as it did) lack competition and be controlled by the right-wing political elites; and “Alliance” due to a need to support or an affinity with U.S. / Venezuelan policies (i.e. Colombia, Israel, etc for US; Bolivia for Venezuela).


US: In Honduras last summer and autumn, the US government did everything it could to prevent the rest of the hemisphere from mounting an effective political opposition to the coup government in Honduras. For example, they blocked the Organisation of American States from taking the position that it would not recognise elections that took place under the dictatorship. At the same time, the Obama administration publicly pretended that it was against the coup. (

U.S. negotiators traveled to Tegucigalpa, engineered an agreement, and declared victory. The U.S. left implementing the agreement to the Hondurans, however, and said that it would accept the elections as a critical step for Honduras's future--even before the agreement had been fulfilled.  (
Zelaya: "The United States changed its position. Its priority was the restoration of democracy and then elections, now they put elections as the priority," he said in a telephone interview from the Brazilian embassy, where he has been holed up since slipping back home from exile in September. (

Israel: Israel became the fifth country to officially announce that it would recognize the results of Sunday's elections in Honduras, the Honduran TV has said. "The government of Israel hopes that the voting would go on in a calm atmosphere and, in this case, it will recognize its results and the legitimacy of the elected president," Israel's ambassador to the Central American state, Eliahu Lîpez, has said. (

The U.S., Peru, Panama and Costa Rica have so far announced they would to recognize the results. (ibid)

Venezuela: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez vowed on Sunday that his government would not recognize the results of the presidential election in Honduras, calling the voting a farce. (

Brazil: Brazilian President LuizInacio Lula da Silva said here Sunday that Brazil would not "reconsider" its stance on Honduras' general elections and would not recognize the results. (

MERCOSUR: The presidents of the four permanent members of the Mercosur trade bloc -- Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay -- as well as the leader of Venezuela, condemned Honduras' first, post-coup elections last month, because balloting took place without the reinstatement of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. (

UNASUR: Most of the members of UNASUR -- which is made up of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, a, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela -- have not recognised Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, who was elected in November in elections organised by the government that took power after the Jun. 28, 2009 coup that overthrew Manuel Zelaya. (

Spain: the Spanish Government from the outset has preferred to take extreme and abrupt measures, which has excluded us from any constructive mediation. The sudden withdrawal of the Spanish ambassador from Tegucigalpa was a serious mistake, as were the statements by the foreign minister allying himself with the Bolivarian regime of Venezuela. (ABC website, Madrid, featured in BBC Monitoring Europe; August 12, 2009)

Jamaica (2002P, 2002L, 2005L, 2007P, 2007L)

UK (peace)

Canada (peace)

U.S. (alliance)

Organization of American States (fair)

In the general 2009 election, the U.K., Canada and U.S. missions to Jamaica expressed concerns about the violent clashes between rival parties. The U.S. and British governments sent letters to both presidential candidates, Patterson and Seaga, to urge a peaceful electoral process. The Organization of American States observed the most of the constituencies in the 2009 election.



• General election 2002: “THE BRITISH, Canadian and United States Governments, through their respective missions in Jamaica, yesterday wrote to Prime Minister P. J. Patterson and Opposition Leader Edward Seaga, expressing concerns about the loss of lives resulting from violent clashes between rival supporters of the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).”

2. UK (alliance)

• General election 2002: “According to a release from the British High Commission, the message to both leaders drew attention to the close interest the British Government was taking in the electoral process presently taking place in Jamaica.”

3. U.S. (alliance)

• General election 2007: controlling violent crime an important election issue; Prime Minister Patterson said Jamaica’s most pressing problem

“Jamaica — a major transit country for South American cocaine and the Caribbean’ s largest producer and exporter of marijuana — cooperates closely with the United States on counter-narcotics efforts, with the United States contributing equipment, technical assistance, and training to assist the government in strengthening its capabilities.”

4. Organization of American States (fair)

• 2007P/2007L: “The Organisation of American States (OAS), observer team has given its endorsement to yesterday’s polls.

OAS Deputy Secretary General Albert Ramdin who lead the mission praised all stakeholders: voters; the electoral authorities; political leaders

Mexico (2000L, 2000P, 2003L, 2006P, 2006L, 2009L):




Description: U.S. has vested economic interests in Mexico, especially in the energy sector. Presidential contenders seek U.S. support in terms of financial and political capital, and the U.S. administrations behave as kingmakers, always opposing left and center-left politicians. Venezuela back or have attempted to back left-leaning candidates such as Obrador (2006), but its interference is often self-defeating. Venezuela is perceived as providing financial support for the Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR), a guerrilla/terrorist group.

In November 2005, an “audition” was held with Mexican presidential candidates before members of the US Chamber of Commerce in Mexico City. All candidates were asked whether they would open the energy sector in Mexico, especially the nationalized oil company, Pemex, to US exploitation.

US interests were significantly invested in the outcome of Mexico’s election. Though neither candidate had any choice but to cooperate with the US agenda, important differences existed around energy policy, specifically with regard to foreign privatization of Mexican oil and gas reserves.
Felipe Calderón received resounding applause when he answered that he is in favor of private investment in Pemex, and of weakening the labor unions. He also received applause when he stated that he supported George Bush’s guest worker program and that he agreed the border needed to be secured or militarized. Obrador said that he would not allow risk capital investment in Pemex—but hastened to add that other sectors would be opened to investment.
Though US laws prevent US influence in other countries’ elections, anti-Obrador ads airing on Mexican TV were designed by US firms and illegally financed by business councils that included such transnationals as Wal-Mart and Halliburton. US election advisers Rob Allyn and Dick Morris were contracted to develop a media campaign that would foment fear that Obrador, with ties to Chavez and Castro, posed a dangerous Socialist threat to Mexico.
Days after the election The New York Times irresponsibly declared Calderón the winner, and Bush called to personally congratulate Calderón on his “win,” even though no victor had been declared under Mexican law. Illegal media campaigns combined with grand-scale fraud had had their effect.

“If Obrador wins this presidential election, it would herald, along with the election of Communist front leader Lula da Silva in Brazil in 2002, the most important victory for Marxist revolutionaries and the biggest defeat for the cause of freedom worldwide since the fall of China to Communism in 1949. The Bush administration should pursue all peaceful avenues available, including covert means, to ensure that Obrador does not succeed in his bid to become the next president of Mexico, or else the national security woes of this administration and this country may increase substantially.” By David T. Pyne, President of the Center for the National Security Interest; VP of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.
US Central Intelligence (CIA) director Porter Goss presented testimony to Congress in mid-February that included Mexico on a list of Latin American countries with the potential for instability. Goss cited the increasing tensions among the political parties ahead of the 2006 presidential election as a reason for possible instability.

In his testimony before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Feb. 17, Goss said the potential for political instability in Mexico this year and into 2006 is linked to increased tensions ahead of the presidential campaigns.
The CIA director said the US is monitoring elections in eight countries in Latin America this year and next, of which a handful, including Mexico's, are considered "potential flashpoints." (SourceMex Economics news & Analysis on Mexico)

Venezuela’s infiltration, backing of guerrilla groups to destabilize the government and influence elections: Next month, 10 Mexican states will be preparing for elections, and politicians have voiced concerns about intimidation from outside criminal forces. A leftist guerrilla movement responsible for many kidnappings and attacks inside Mexico is secretly receiving funding from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, U.S. and Mexican intelligence officials told The Washington Examiner. The group, called the Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR), is "a terrorist organization bent on destabilizing Mexico”

Mr Lopez Obrador had a lead of almost 10% over Mr Calderon until April when he started to lose ground steadily following an ill-judged jibe at President Fox and a series of negative ads linking him to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Nicaragua (2001L, 2001P, 2006P, 2006L)

U.S. (alliance)

OAS (fair)

Venezuela (alliance)

In the 2006 presidential election, U.S. condemned the Sandinista candidate Daniel Ortega. A number of U.S. officials warned Nicaragua about the consequences of electing Ortega. U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said an Ortega victory would fear off foreign investors and jeopardize Nicaragua's participation in CAFTA. Congressman Dan Burton (R) traveled to Nicaragua and warned that the U.S. would cut off foreign aid if Ortega were elected. Ortega also criticized U.S. ambassador Paul Trivelli who spoke out against Ortega. Elections monitors from OAS warned the Bush administration not to interfere in the upcoming election. Venezuela president Hugo Chavez opened endorsed Ortega.


U.S. (alliance), OAS (fair)

• 2006L: Election monitors from the Organization of American States have warned the Bush administration not to interfere in the upcoming presidential election in Nicaragua. The Bush administration has openly opposed the front-runner Daniel Ortega. The Sandinista leader is trying to regain power for the first time since 1990.

The OAS singled out Paul Trivelli, the U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez for meddling in the November 5th election. In recent weeks a number of current and former U.S. officials have warned about the consequences of an Ortega victory. On Tuesday Oliver North traveled to Nicaragua and said a victory by Ortega would be "the worst thing" for the country. North is the former White House aide who was at the center of the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s when the Reagan administration secretly helped arm the Contras to fight Ortega and the Sandinistas.

Last week U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said an Ortega win could scare off foreign investors and jeopardize Nicaragua’s participation in CAFTA. Three weeks ago Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Nicaragua but denied he was meddling in the election.

• 2006L: Text of report by Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuevo Diario website on 28 March; subheadings as published

The leader of the Sandinist Front (FSLN) yesterday took aim at US Ambassador Paul Trivelli, who told Esta Semana (in remarks reprinted in El Nuevo Diario), that he is interfering in domestic Nicaraguan politics and reaffirming his criticisms of Arnoldo Aleman, leader of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC), and Daniel Ortega, leader of the FSLN.

During the introduction of several candidates for deputy seats at the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG), Ortega used strong language to criticize the US ambassador.

"It takes gall to talk the way this guy has; it's incredible. This fellow Trivelli should listen up. He's a crook, he's disrespectful and corrupt, because these guys come from families who stole land from the indigenous people of the United States and have drenched lots of Latin American countries in blood," Ortega said.

"This guy Trivelli is forgetting that both (George) Bush and (Ronald) Reagan, and their ancestors arrived in US territory to steal lands from their real owners, the Indians, and also stole land from Mexico and have taken the lives of millions of Latin Americans. You people, Trivelli, are corrupt thieves and crooks. That's what you are," Ortega charged.

(Nicaraguan FSLN leader slams US ambassador for "interfering,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, March 29, 2006)

Venezuela (alliance)

• 2006L: Battling a divided conservative camp and US attempts to derail his presidential bid, former revolutionary leader Daniel Ortega engaged in an all-or-nothing bid to win Nicaragua's election in Sunday's first round.

Following a campaign marked by claims of foreign meddling in the central American country that was once a bloody Cold War battleground, the voting looks set to be a battle between Ortega and a conservative candidate favored by the United States. Pollsters say Ortega, who has been endorsed by Venezuela's staunchly anti-US PresidentHugo Chavez, has a strong lead over his four rivals, and hovers close to the 35 percent needed to win outright on Sunday.

(Nicaragua's Ortega battles conservatives, US for presidency, Agence France Presse, November 3, 2006)

Panama (2004P, 2004L, 2006R, 2009L, 2009P)
U.S. (alliance)

China (alliance)

Twain (alliance)

The U.S. has close relations with Panama since the U.S. owned the Panama Canal until 2000 and the U.S. invaded Panama in 1989 to remove dictator Gen. Noriega. In the 2007 legislative election, the U.S. criticized the candidate for the head of Panama's legislature, Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, for his alleged murder of an American. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus spoke out against Gonzalez, calling him a serious impediment to the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement. China has been active in Panama trying to get the country to switch its allegiance from Twain to China. In the 2004 presidential election, candidate Ricardo Martinelli said he would review Panama’s ties with China.
• U.S. (alliance)
2007L: Candidate for head of Panama’s legislature, Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, is wanted in the U.S. for his alleged role in the murder of a U.S. serviceman in Panama in 1992.
U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a statement that Gonzalez's election was "a serious impediment to the U.S. Congress' consideration of the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement. Members are watching closely and are taking this development into account."

Background: The United States has close relations with Panama, stemming in large part from the extensive linkages developed when the canal was under U.S. control and Panama hosted major U.S. military installations. The U.S. invaded Panama in 1989 to remove dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega.
• China, Twain (alliance)
2004P, 2004L: Taiwan has diplomatic relations with Panama, but China is trying to get Panama to switch alliances. Taiwan has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing Panama’s infrastructure. China set up the Chinese-Panamanian Friendship Association to get the government to switch recognition from Twain to China after the presidential election in 2004.

During his presidential campaign in 2009, Martinelli said he would review Panama's ties with China once he were elected. The Central American country currently does not have diplomatic relations with China.

United States (2000L&P, 2002L, 2004L&P, 2006L, 2008L&P, 2010L)


OSCE (Fair)

Description: The United States has not suffered any major foreign electoral interference in the last decade. More recently, however, since the dubious victory of George W. Bush in the 2000 elections, the country has received several election monitoring missions headed by the OSCE. The monitoring of U.S. elections by the Europeans has incurred heavy criticism from U.S. citizens and politicians outraged at an alleged interference by foreign actors in domestic politics.


OSCE: The observers all are legislators who have volunteered to observe the U.S. elections at the request of the OSCE, a 55-member alliance founded in 1975 to foster East-West cooperation and monitor compliance with the Helsinki Accords.

This is not the first time the OSCE has sent monitors to the United States, but it is the largest and most controversial of its U.S. missions.

The Bush administration issued the invitation only reluctantly, and the presence of the Europeans has angered many Americans, who see it as an infringement of U.S. sovereignty.

(Foreign teams set to monitor balloting, By Betsy Pisik, The Washington Times, November 1, 2004)

-       The mission is being conducted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). They will monitor electronic voting, watch for voter fraud and track whether the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is being implemented.

HAVA was passed after the 2000 presidential election, in which the outcome was delayed for more than a month by the controversial recount in Florida. The legislation aims to give states funding to update voting equipment and centralize elections administration information and standards at the federal level.

"We are very interested in electoral reform in the U.S., and that is why we are here," said ODIHR spokeswoman Urdur Gunnarsdottir. "We are not here to oversee anything, or here tointerfere with anything, with how the election is run or the outcome. And we are here at the invitation of the U.S. authorities."

The presence of international observers has prompted angry and anxious phone calls to elections workers, who have tried to reassure residents that the observers will not interfere withelection results.

(British ex-envoy heads international observers of voting; Jon Ward, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, October 23, 2004 Pg. A10)

South America

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela

Argentina (1999P, 2001L, 2003P, 2005L, 2007P&L, 2009L, 2011P)


Venezuela (Alliance, Left-Right)

Description: Through the last ten years, Argentina has had little to be afraid of in terms of foreign electoral interventions. Its deep economic crisis diminished the country’s standing in South American affairs, and its neutral political currents did not warrant efforts by foreign powers to shape foreign policy. The single exception is Venezuela’s funding of incumbent President Cristina Kirchner, back in 2007, which generated a lot of press coverage with the United States leveling accusations of intervention at Venezuela and fraud at Ms. Kirchner.


Venezuela : Prosecutors in the US have accused Venezuela of secretly funding the election campaign of Argentina's newly inaugurated president, Cristina Kirchner. The prosecutors told a Miami court on Wednesday that a suitcase filled with nearly $800,000 (£392,000) intercepted at Buenos Aires airport was a payment from the government of President Hugo Chavez. Kirchner, thrown on the defensive on her first week in the job, said it was an example of "garbage in international politics" and that the US wanted to "subordinate" other nations. "This president may be a woman but she's not going to allow herself to be pressured."

The row revives suspicions that Chavez has used Venezuela's oil revenues to sponsor allies to try to forge a Latin American front against the US, which he terms "the empire". If the charges stick they will taint Venezuela and erode the credibility of Argentina's first elected female head of state. Both governments said it was an attempt to drive a wedge between Chavez and the rest of the region.

Venezuela's foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, said it was a fabricated scandal. "It is a desperate effort by the US government using the judicial branch for a political, psychological, media war against the progressive governments of the continent."

(US accuses Venezuela of secret election funding; Rory Carroll, The Guardian, London, December 14, 2007)

-          Venezuelan government agents allegedly offered $2-million to buy the silence of a South Florida man caught carrying a suitcase stuffed with politically incriminating cash, a U.S. prosecutor told a Miami court Monday. The hush money is only the latest revelation in an unfolding political scandal centering on the mysterious cash seized by customs agents in Argentina last August.

The case already has been dubbed "suitcase-gate" in Argentina after allegations that the cash was destined for the election campaign of Cristina Fernandez, who took office last week as the country's first elected female president. Argentine and Venezuelan officials have furiously rejected the allegations, saying they were cooked up by the Bush administration for political reasons.

Last week the Justice Department charged five men with involvement in a plot to cover up the source of nearly $800,000 found in the suitcase, implicating both the governments ofArgentina and Venezuela. FBI surveillance photos and numerous recordings of conversations by the accused men "indicate that an agreement had been reached between the governments of Venezuela and Argentina in which the true source of those funds will be suppressed, and this whole problem will go away," Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Mulvihill told Monday's court hearing. Mulvihill has previously indicated that the $800,000 was only one of several payments from Venezuela to the campaign.

($2-MILLION TO COVER UP SUITCASE?; David Adams, St. Petersburg Times, Florida, December 18, 2007)

Bolivia (2002L, 2002P, 2004R, 2005P, 2005L, 2006R, 2008R, 2009R, 2009P, 2009L):

Description: Bolivia is the main focus of Venezuela’s regional foreign policy, and Chavez greatest and most lasting success in political “king-making”. During Morales’ first election, Venezuela injected lots of funds in his campaign, granting him indefinite loans of vehicles and helicopters, as well as transmitting world cup matches alongside political ads to rural communities. On the opposite side of foreign electoral intervention lies the U.S., which actively interfered in 2005 on behalf of the opposition to Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS). The U.S. Ambassador openly opposed and used U.S. leverage against Morales, threatening the suspension of economic aid and a revision of agreements should he be elected.

Venezuela - Two of Venezuela's French-built, mid-sized military helicopters, complete with crew, are on indefinite loan to Mr Morales, who used them for the electoral campaign. Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state oil company, paid for television transmissions to rural communities of World Cup football matches. An opposition politician has made public documents which suggest that PDVSA paid for campaign publicity, although the government and the company deny this. (The Venezuelan connection. Economist, 00130613, July 8,2006)
USA - The US Ambassador to Bolivia has told the Bolivian people not to vote for the indigenous Indian candidate for the Movement for Socialism (MAS), Evo Morales Ayma. If he is elected next Sunday, the USA will suspend economic aid and will review its agreements. (“Bolivia: Interference in Elections By USA” Marcia Miranda, PRAVDA RU Brazil (Russian Magazine). June 6, 2002)
Relations with Washington are toxic: the US ambassador and US anti-narcotic officials were expelled as meddlers and spies. (Evo Morales wins landslive victory in Bolivian Presidential elections. The Guardian, December 7, 2009)
The U.S. is also concerned over Venezuela's suspected backing of Morales in the election, though Morales calls U.S. allegations he is being bankrolled by Chavez "ridiculous." (Bolivia’s Presidential Elections, by Mary Crane, Council on Foreign Relations, December 16, 2005.)

Brazil (2002P&L, 2005R, 2006P&L, 2010P&L):
US (Left-Right)
Venezuela (Left-Right, Alliance)

Description: Throughout the past ten years, the United States has had less and less reason for planning electoral interventions in Brazil. Only very indirectly, through Wall Street, did it seek to jeopardize Lula’s coming to power in 2002, and its meddling was much more restricted in the 2006 elections. Another key player in Brazilian politics is Venezuela, which has offered unwavering support to Lula’s administration, even if the two politicians have often had their own disputes. Venezuela’s reach in Brazil is almost negligible, however, since the country’s elites are extremely discontent with any signs that the country is veering towards a Chavez-model regime, which naturally moderates Lula’s positions and makes him much more pleasing to U.S. interests.

US: The US actually intervened in Brazilian politics as recently as 2005, organising a conference to promote a legal change that would make it more difficult for legislators to switch parties. This would have strengthened the opposition to Lula's Workers' party (PT) government, since the PT has party discipline but many opposition politicians do not. This intervention by the US government was only discovered last year through a Freedom of Information Act request filed in Washington.

-          Both Mark Weisbrot and Chris Floyd, writing in May and June of 2002, attributed the sudden drop of the Brazilian stock market – 4% in a day – not to a direct market response to Lula’s growing poll rates, but rather to the downgrading of Brazilian bonds U.S. financial companies Merril Lynch and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. The power of what Floyd refers to both the White House’s “proxy armies on Wall Street” to “move financial markets -- and thereby intimidate the electorate -- is a growing threat to democracy in Brazil, as well as in other developing countries.” According to Weisbrot, however, the White House took a much more direct approach in supporting a conservative candidate in the 1998 Brazilian presidential elections, when “the New York Times reported that a large US loan package would only be approved if Cardoso (rather than Lula) were elected.”

o   Floyd, Chris. "Southern Cross, The US Takes Aim at Brazil." CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names. (accessed February 27, 2010).

o   Weisbrot, Mark. "Brazilian Democracy Faces Obstacles from the North." CommonDreams.Org: Featured (accessed February 26, 2010).

Venezuela: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said yesterday, 5 October , that the government has aborted a coup attempt. According to the Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil,Vladimir Villegas Poljak, policemen carrying a court order searched the home of former Foreign Minister Enrique Tejera, where they found documents with plans for "unconstitutional action" against the Venezuelan government. During an exclusive interview granted to Agencia Brasil today, Ambassador Villegas said that the documents seized refer to the need to oust Chavez before today, 6 October. As the Brazilian presidential elections are taking place today, Villegas said that the government believes that the coup attempt may be related to the possible victory of Workers' Party candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is a good friend of Chavez. (Lucas Tavares; Agencia Brasil web site, Brasilia, in Portuguese 6 Oct 02)

-            Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said today (September 30, 2005) that the "recent" attacks on the administration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stemmed from the fact that the 2006 presidential elections are drawing closer. Although he said that he did not want "to interfere in Brazilian domestic affairs", the Venezuelan president vowed to give his full support to Lula. (Agencia Estado news agency, Sao Paulo, in Portuguese, 1 Oct 05)

Chile (1999/2000P, 2001L, 2004R, 2005R, 2005/2006P, 2009L, 2009/2010P)
U.S. (alliance)
Venezuela (left-right)
Bolivia (left-right)
The U.S. views Chile as a moderate regional partner against the influence of socialist states, such as Venezuela and Bolivia. In the 2010 presidential election, Venezuela Pres. Chavez attacked Pinera, a right-wing candidate and then president-elect, for alleged involvement in Venezuelan politics.
2. Venezuela, Bolivia (left-right)
• 2006P: Pres. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Pres. Evo Morales of Bolivia attended Pres. Michelle Bachelet’s inauguration; Bachelet is a socialist
3. U.S. (alliance)
• 2010P: “Tellingly, Obama
has praised Bachelet as one of Latin America's (and, indeed, the world's) best leaders — a clear knock against her leftist counterparts — while commenting that he looks "to President Bachelet for good advice and good counsel in terms of how the United States can continue to build a strong relationship with all of Latin America." Washington clearly views Chile as a "moderate" regional partner through which it can spread its influence vis-à-vis its less pliant neighbors.”
4. Venezuela (left-right)
• 2010P: Sebastián Piñera hated by Chavez — “Chávez lambasted the remarks made by Chilean president-elect during an event in Caracas. He urged Piñera to mind his own business and do not get involved in Venezuelan affairs. "We do not get involved in Chileans' matters, so they should mind their own business," Chávez said.”

Colombia (2002L, 2002P, 2003R, 2006L, 2006R, 2006P, 2010L, 2010P)
Venezuela (left-right)
U.S. (left-right, alliance)
Ecuador (left-right)
In the 2010 general election, Colombia was pulled between the influence of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and the U.S. In the end, voters favored conservative candidate Juan Manuel Santos, who is an ally of Washington, despite Chavez’s threat that Colombia’s siding with the U.S. could lead to war. Ecuador, also with a leftist government, has criticized Santos as well ; Ecuador had issued an arrest warrant for Santos for his involvement of attacking FARC camp in Ecuador.
• Venezuela (left-right)
2010L, 2010P: In presidential elections Sunday, some Colombians say they are voting for Juan Manuel Santos, the former defense minister and ally of outgoing conservative President Alvaro Uribe - Mr. Chavez's No. 1 foe in the region - because they say if Mr. Santos wins, he will stand tough against what they see as Chavez's aggressions.
Others want Green party candidate Antanas Mockus to win because they fear a Santos victory will heighten tensions between Colombia and Venezuela.
• U.S. (alliance, left-right)
2010L, 2010P: Under Uribe, a right-wing president in a continent where the left has dominated over the past decade, Colombia became a staunch ally of the US, which lent it $6 billion in anti-narcotics aid and helped Uribe fight back guerrillas. He is widely popular within Colombia.
But outside his own country, his policies have angered neighbors. Colombia faced tough questions after it announced cooperation with a US plan to increase its access to military bases in the country. Chavez suggested the idea was a step toward war.
2006P: Mr Uribe has been an ally to Washington, at a time when other Latin American countries, for instance Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and Bolivia under Evo Morales, have been turning against the US.
The result suggests Colombians have rejected left-wing alternatives, as well as the traditional liberal and conservative parties that have dominated Colombia's political life since independence from Spain, says our correspondent.
• Ecuador (left-right)
2010P: [Santos] is seen as a figure close to the US administration, although is unpopular with some South American countries such as Venezuela and Ecuador.
An incursion into neighboring Ecuador during an attack by Colombia’s armed forces against a FARC camp led the Ecuadoran courts to issue an arrest warrant for Santos.
Both Santos and Mockus said that as president they would provide Ecuador with information from FARC leader Raul Reyes' computer, which was seized following a 2008 Colombian army raid on a rebel camp on the Ecuadorean side of the border. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has said numerous times that diplomatic relations with Colombia - which were frozen after the raid - will not be restored until the information is supplied.

Ecuador (2002P, 2002L, 2006P, 2006L, 2007R, 2007L, 2008R, 2009P, 2009L):
Venezuela (Alliance)
US (Left-Right, Alliance)

Description: Ecuadorean politics display the usual Latin American left-right divide, which has recently been reinforced by the “Pink Tide” in the American Southern Cone – the coming to power of leftist and center-left governments such as Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina. As one potential member of this new breed of administrations, Ecuador was the target of both Venezuelan and U.S. mild interventions. Unlike in Bolivia, where foreign interference was quite blatant, in Ecuador both the US and the Venezuelan agents maintained a relatively low profile, making it harder to distinguish their true role in the electoral processes. The US is accused of being behind the recent unrest in Ecuador and the alleged coup attempt against Mr. Correas, after the latter maintained his electoral hegemony in the 2009 elections. Venezuela and Ecuador maintain a strong economic and political leadership, though Venezuelan interference in Ecuadorean elections must remain low-key to avoid similar backlashes as those that occurred in Mexico and Colombia when leftist candidates lost popular support due to the perception that they were too close to the Chavez regime.


Venezuela: A U.S. official accused Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, of undermining democratic movements in Latin America. "The administration has found mounting evidence that Venezuela is actively using its oil wealth to destabilize its democratic neighbours in the Americas by funding anti-democratic groups in Bolivia, Ecuador and elsewhere," Matthew Reynolds, the State Department's acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs, stated in a letter to a congresswoman. (Janine Zacharia, Bloomberg News, August 6, 2005)
US: When Bush sent Ambassador Hodges to Ecuador, it was with the intention of sowing destabilization against Correa, in case the Ecuadoran president refused to subordinate himself to Washington’s agenda. Hodges managed to increase the budget for USAID and the NED [National Endowment for Democracy] directed toward social organizations and political groups that promote US interests, including within the indigenous sector. In the face of President Correa’s re-election in 2009, based on a new constitution approved in 2008 by a resounding majority of men and women in Ecuador, the Ambassador began to foment destabilization. (Eva Golinger, World News Daily, Information Clearing House; October 8, 2010)

Guyana (2001L, 2006L):
Actors (Actions):
Commonwealth (Fair)
Canada (Fair)
US (Fair)
UK (Fair)

Description: Interference in Guyana has been largely if not totally restricted to the deployment of election observers by the Commonwealth and CARICOM, as well by heavy international funding directed to the Guyana Electoral Commission.


Commonwealth: Commonwealth wanted to ensure that there was "good clean free and fair elections" (Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website, Bridgetown, July 4, 2006)

CARICOM: Caricom confirmed it would be sending an observer team to the elections, dismissing suggestions that Caricom was "distancing" itself from the political situation in Guyana (ibid)

US, UK, Canada: These countries provided financial and technical resources for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) “to deliver free and fair elections within the constitutional time frame ( - Selection of reports issued by GECOM)

a. According to a GECOM statement, Bond assured that his Government was cognizant of the commitment of GECOM and its Secretariat in administering the previous elections in a peaceful and efficient manner. (Kaieteur News Online, August 13, 2010,

b. The final report of that study, dated March 31, 2000, presented a budget for the elections and detailed the areas needing support. It also informed and formed the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by the Government of Guyana, Representatives of the Donor Community and GECOM on June 19, 2000. Under the MOU, funding was secured from the European Union (EU), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKDFID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (Guyana Elections Commission Website,

c. The Government of Guyana and the Government of the United States of America, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), yesterday signed a Limited Scope Grant Agreement for the US/GOG Democracy and Governance Programme. The agreement (Amendment No.6 to the Limited Scope Grant Agreement between the Guyana Government and the U.S. Government) authorized an additional US$1,193,794 for strengthening democratic activities in Guyana. This is the last addition to the programme's funding and will last until June 2004 (Mark Ramotar, Guyana Chronicle, September 6, 2003,

Paraguay (2003L, 2003P, 2008P, 2008L)
Catholic Church (left-right)
Hugo Chavez (left-right)
In the 2008 presidential elections, the Catholic Church did not approve of Bishop Fernando Lugo running as the candidate for the Patriotic Alliance for Change. Pope Benedict XVI turned down Lugo's resignation from his post as bishop and suspended him with a penalty called "divinis," which means he cannot exercise certain priestly functions but is not relieved of his clerical obligations. The Catholic Church was uncomfortable with the “liberation theology” message that Lugo is preaching. Although Lugo is often labeled as a leftist/socialist candidate, he denied any alliance with Hugo Chavez. Nevertheless, Chavez welcomed the election of Lugo; directly following the election, Venezuela cut a deal with Lugo to supply Paraguay with oil at a reduced price.
World Markets Analysis

March 19, 2003

Ruling Party's Presidential Candidate Alleges Fraud Conspiracy in Paraguayan Elections

BYLINE: Dr Neil Pyper


LENGTH: 95 words

The presidential candidate of Paraguay's ruling Colorado party, Nicanor Duarte Frutos has claimed that an international conspiracy exists to defeat him in elections to be held on 27 April. Duarte formally requested that ballot boxes that were recently used in the Brazilian elections not be used in Paraguay, alleging that they could be used by 'foreign interests' as instruments of fraud. Duarte is virtually tied in opinion polls with liberal Julio Cesar Franco and independent Pedro Fadul. The Colorado Party has held power in Paraguay for the past 56 years.

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific - Political
Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

April 15, 2008 Tuesday

Taiwan says closely following Paraguay, Dominican Republic elections

LENGTH: 399 words

Text of report in English by Taiwanese Central News Agency website
[By Rachel Chan]
Taipei, April 15 (CNA) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday that it is closely watching the upcoming presidential elections in Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in South America and the Caribbean, especially as one of the candidates in Paraguay is known to be pro-China.
Paraguay and the Dominican Republic will hold their presidential elections on April 20 and May 16, respectively, at a sensitive time for Taiwan, just before the May 20 inauguration of President-elect Ma Ying-jeou.
Simon Ko, director-general of the MOFA's Central and South American Affairs said at a regular press briefing that, among the four candidates in Paraguay, the front-runners are former Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo of the opposition Patriotic Alliance for Change (APC), retired army general Lino Oviedo of the opposition National Union of Ethical Citizens (UNACE), and Blanca Ovelar of the ruling National Republican Association - Colorado Party.
"The latest polls showed that the election was too close to call, but the MOFA is paying close attention to it," Ko said.
Former education minister Ovelar is seeking to become the first female leader in Paraguay. The centre-right Colorado Party has been in power in the South American country for more than six decades but the party is facing a big challenge in next Sunday's presidential election.
According to the latest poll in Paraguay, Lugo is leading the field with 34.5 per cent of the potential vote, followed by Oviedo with 28.9 per cent and Ovelar with 28.5 per cent.
Ko said Lugo has stated during his campaign that he would like to establish relations with China if he is elected, giving rise to speculation on whether Taiwan will lose its only diplomatic ally in South American to China.
In comparison, the outcome of the presidential race in the Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic appears to be less uncertain.
Ko said incumbent President Leonel Fernandez, who is seeking a third consecutive term with his Dominican Liberation Party, is the front-runner. According to a Bloomberg report, Fernandez has widened his lead over his closest rival to 24 percentage points, with less than two months to go before the country's presidential election.
Source: Central News Agency website, Taipei, in English 0951 gmt 15 Apr 08

IPS - Inter Press Service

January 28, 2008 Monday


BYLINE: David Vargas

LENGTH: 1644 words

DATELINE: ASUNCION, Paraguay, Jan 28 2008

The countdown to Paraguay's presidential elections in April has begun, and former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo seems set to pose a serious threat to the Colorado Party's six-decade monopoly on power.
Lugo, 56, is running as the candidate for the Patriotic Alliance for Change. He asked to be returned to layman status by the Vatican in December 2006, after a decade of pastoral work in the northern province of San Pedro, one of the poorest regions in this country of 6.7 million people.
However, Pope Benedict XVI disapproved of his political aspirations, turned down his resignation and instead suspended him with "a divinis," a penalty which means he cannot exercise certain priestly functions but is not relieved of his clerical obligations.
Known as "the bishop of the poor," Lugo is strongly influenced by liberation theology, a school of thought that took shape in Latin America in the 1960s, partly as a result of the renewal of the Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council. Recognizing the pressing need for social change and social justice, liberation theologians challenged the church to defend the oppressed and the poor.

Despite concerns about  potential fraud, Paraguay held
successful free and fair elections on April 20, 2008, in which Fernando Lugo won
with 41% of the vote followed by Blanca Ovelar with 31% and Lino Oviedo with
22%.  International observation teams from the Organization of American States
(OAS) and the U.S.-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
praised the successful conduct of the elections.  Both  groups characterized the
election as historic, with the OAS maintaining that “in spite of differences, political
parties and movements achieved a fundamental consensus on the rules of the game,
which as in the rest of Latin America, constitutes the essential minimum for the
construction of democracy.”

In terms of foreign policy, Lugo, in a post-election interview, asserted that he
wants to maintain good relations with all countries, including the United States and
During the electoral campaign, Lugo refrained from criticizing the
United States, and also was careful not to criticize or praise Venezuelan President
Hugo Chávez. After the elections, U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay James Cason
congratulated Lugo and the APC on their victory and expressed a commitment to
work and strengthen bilateral relations. The U.S. Embassy in Asúncion also
maintained that Paraguay could be accredited with $500 million to support health,
education, and infrastructure as part of the Millennium Challenge Account.
in the aftermath of Lugo’s victory, Brazilian President Lula da Silva maintained that
he might be willing to negotiate a new price for the electricity that Paraguay exports
to Brazil from Itaipú hydro-electric plant.  Lugo had made the renegotiation of the
terms of the Itaipú treaty with Brazil a cornerstone of his campaign.  Most
Paraguayans believe that Brazil pays far too little for the electricity.

The victory for Mr Lugo, known to his enemies as the "red bishop" and to his supporters as "the bishop of the poor", presents Washington with yet another problem in Latin America.
While he has repeated denied any alliance with Mr Chavez, the new Paraguayan leader is expected to benefit from cut-price oil from Venezuela.
Mr Chavez has made similar offers of cheap fuel to his other allies in the region, as well as signing deals with underprivileged communities in the United States and even with Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London.
Mr Lugo also denies receiving direct support from Mr Chavez, but he has embraced the notion of "21 Century Socialism", the ideology of Venezuela's populist leader.

Analysis: Venezuela offers oil to Paraguay
by Carmen Gentile
Miami (UPI) Aug 20, 2008
Venezuela will supply Paraguay "with all the oil it needs," said President Hugo Chavez, who welcomed the election of another leftist leader in Latin America.
While officials with the Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA refused to give explicit details of the agreement, Chavez assured new Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, a former bishop whose political leanings are in line with the leftist Chavez, that his country would have enough oil to stave off any future shortages.
The deal would sell Paraguay 23,500 barrels per day of reduced-price oil. The poor South American country uses about 27,500 barrels a day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Paraguay has no domestic oil production.
The decision by Chavez was seen by some as yet another political chess move by the Venezuelan leader in his continuing effort to forge stronger ties among the region's newly anointed leftist leaders. Paraguay joins several Latin American countries, including neighbors Brazil and Argentina, in electing leaders from the left.
"The important payoff for Chavez is that the transaction projects a momentum that is entirely in his favor, i.e., another South American nation joins left-leaning countries," Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, told United Press International.
Over the last several years Chavez and Venezuelan energy officials have orchestrated numerous preferential oil and gas agreements.
Last month Venezuela hammered out a deal whereby Spain would receive deeply discounted oil -- at $100 a barrel -- in exchange for medical materials and new technology.
Chavez, who was visiting Europe at the time, called the $100 sale price offered to Spain "fair," noting that "Venezuela has never wanted oil to cost more than" that and that the $100 mark ultimately would be a favorable price per barrel on the international market.
Awash with petrodollars, Venezuela has sought to expand its influence closer to home with the addition of Paraguay to the list of countries receiving preferential pricing.
While Paraguay joins neighboring Bolivia and others benefiting from Venezuela's petroleum largesse, Venezuela is also actively currying favor in the Caribbean through its discount oil initiative known as Petrocaribe.
Launched in 2005, the agreement allows Caribbean member nations to purchase Venezuelan oil at a deeply discounted price -- a deal that has alleviated many Caribbean nations' energy woes and lessened their dependence on U.S. financial aid.
"Petrocaribe is one of Chavez's most important geopolitical tools in Latin America," read a report released last month by the Washington-based Latin Source think tank.
Among Petrocaribe's biggest beneficiaries have been nations like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Nicaragua.
And in January, Chavez announced his country's decision to build a refinery on the Caribbean island of Dominica, part of his effort to further integrate the region's energy supplies. The Venezuelan president said Dominica's refinery would be a jumping-off point for distributing Venezuelan oil to other eastern Caribbean countries.
In late 2007 Venezuela announced it would help Cuba get a Soviet-era oil refinery back online after decades of dormancy. The plant went back online with the help of Venezuela and some $136 million in repairs funded by Caracas; it is believed to be capable of processing some 65,000 barrels per day. Venezuela, meanwhile, sends about 100,000 bpd to Cuba at a discounted price, part of the Petrocaribe agreement.
Cuban officials have lauded the return of operations at Camilo Cienfuegos, though some say the plant may still need work before becoming fully operational.
But Chavez appears willing to spend the billions of dollars in state oil and gas revenue to exert his influence both closer to home and now across the Atlantic.
Part of that effort is an ambitious gas pipeline proposal by Chavez that would stretch from northern Venezuela to the tip of South America, supplying Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina with Venezuelan gas.
Critics of the multibillion-dollar proposal say a pipeline extending through thousands of miles of jungle thicket and desolate mountains would make the project prohibitively expensive, even for oil and gas revenue-rich Venezuela.

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Peru (2000P&L, 2001P&L, 2006P&L, 2011P&L)


US (Left-Right, Alliance, Fair)

Venezuela (Left-Right, Alliance)

OAS (Fair)

Description: Like Ecuador, Mexico, Bolivia, and a few other Latin American countries, throughout the 2000’s Peru became stage to the USA-Venezuela contest for regional political hegemony. The USA supported Peru’s conservative and neo-liberal leadership in the persons of former Presidents Alan Garcia and Alejandro Toledo, and opposed the Venezuela-backed 2006 and 2011 Presidential bids of current President Ollanta Humala. U.S. funds were also crucial to organize free and fair elections in Peru after President Fujimori’s ouster in 2001. USAID pledged $7 million to help the Peruvian government conduct the polls. Also like in Mexico, Venezuela’s support of Mr. Humala’s candidacy may have been self-defeating, as several analysts argue that it was proximity to Chavez that hampered Humala’s 2006 bid. Attempts to stay clear of Chavez’ shadow marked Humala’s successful 2011 campaign. The OAS was also involved in organizing and monitoring the Peruvian post-Fujimori polls, and continues its monitoring activities up to now.


US : Statement of Susan S. Westin Managing Director International Affairs and Trade Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: I am pleased to have the opportunity today to discuss the results of our review of U.S. assistance to Peru s efforts to conduct free and fair presidential and congressional elections in 2001.

As you know, last year s Peruvian presidential and congressional elections were considered flawed by Peruvian and international observers. The organizations observing the elections, including the Organization of American States, shared the view that the repeated irregularities in the electoral process prevented the Peruvian citizenry from participating in credible democratic elections.

As a result, President Alberto Fujimori began his third presidential term under a cloud of illegitimacy in late July 2000. In September 2000, President Fujimori s hold on power began to crumble, with the release of videotapes depicting the widespread corruption affecting the Fujimori administration. Further events last fall led to the November congressional ousting of Fujimori, the installation of an interim government headed by President Valentin Paniagua, and preparations for a new round of elections.

These new presidential and congressional elections will take place on April 8, 2001, with the likely second round between the top two presidential candidates taking place in May 2001. The new Peruvian President and congress will assume power in late July 2001. In order to support President Paniagua s efforts to remedy past election abuses and strengthen the electoral process, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, is providing $7 million in election-related assistance to Peru.

(Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony, Susan S. Westin, March 14, 2001)

Visiting Peruvian presidential candidate Alejandro Toledo pledged Thursday to create a favorable foreign investment climate in Peru if he wins this spring's presidential runoff election.

Sounding confident of victory, Toledo said in a telephone interview he carried his message to companies that have expressed interest in investing in Peru.

He said he told a meeting of business executives in New York that guarantees are needed to ensure investors look upon Peru as a hospitable place to do business. Otherwise, he said, they will take their money elsewhere.

Toledo was the leading vote-getter in Peru's April 8 presidential election but failed to get the 50 percent majority required for outright victory. In the runoff, probably next month, he will face former President Alan Garcia.

Asked why voters should elect him and not Garcia, Toledo pointed to the grim economic legacy of Garcia, who served from 1985-90.

"I will not take my country to 2 million percent inflation," Toledo said. "I am an economist, I have a Ph.D. from Stanford, I have worked at international organizations, and I was a professor at Harvard. We will never have measures that will have a high cost for poor people."

He said that, if elected, he would continue counternarcotics cooperation with the United States.

(Peruvian candidate, in New York, pledges revival if elected; George Gedda, Associated Press, April 26, 2001)

As an academically-trained free market economist, Alejandro Toledo is the perfect front candidate for foreign capital. He has a marketable “indigenous” background with a belief in the supremacy of US capitalism.

Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks confirm that Toledo met with official United States approval for [his] support of US policies in Peru and the rest of Latin America. Toledo also sought investment from non-US based corporations, resulting in a socially and environmentally devastating international “scramble for Peru” — which only accelerated under current President Alan Garcia.

A second Toledo presidency will mean that Peru remains open to capitalist exploitation. It will also ensure that Peru remains closely allied with the US and its chief proxy in the region, Colombia.

The WikiLeaks releases confirm that the US will not tolerate the rise of political movements that it deems “radical” or “anti-system”.

It is likely that the outcome of the 2011 election will represent a victory for US interests and a defeat for indigenous and campesino social movements that are resisting the plunder of Peru’s natural resources by rapacious corporations and the ruling oligarchy.

Since 2006, when the Peruvian Nationalist Party rose to prominence on the back of widespread public disenchantment with Toledo’s neo-liberal policies, US diplomats have been conducting a thinly-veiled campaign against PNP leader Ollanta Humala.

Prior to the election of that year, the US ambassador met with Castaneda to discuss appropriate strategies for dealing with Humala. Castaneda’s views “on the basis for Humala’s popularity”, noted Struble, “and on the ways to undermine it, are worth paying attention to”.

US and elite Peruvian interests have also clearly played a role in damaging Humala, who has been bending over backwards to distance himself from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the “radical” left, by using the corporate media to run a sustained smear campaign against him.

(Peru: Cables point to US interference; David T. Rowlands, Australian Green Left website, March 20, 2011:

Venezuela: Lately, Mr. Chavez has been accused of meddling in other nations' politics by publicly endorsing left-wing candidates such as Bolivia's recently elected President Evo Morales and Peru's leading presidential candidate Ollanta Humala.

The United States and Colombia have both accused Mr. Chavez of offering sanctuary to leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). And Peruvian officials say he has secretly funnelled $1-million to Mr. Humala's election campaign.

(Oil-rich Chavez dreams continental revolution; Peter Goodspeed, The Financial Post Canada, January 30, 2006)

With four days to Peru's presidential election, tough-talking front-runner Ollanta Humala Wednesday came under fire from his two main rivals.

The fierce attacks came one day after Humala, a former army officer who once led a failed rebellion, caused a storm of controversy by claiming conservative Lourdes Flores would be certain to be overthrown within a year should she win Sunday's election. "It is unacceptable, and it worries me that he should announce he would interfere with an electoral result, hinting at a coup," Flores said on Wednesday.

A staunch nationalist with close ties to Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez, Humala's rise through the polls has caused a stir in Peru, where he is faces daily attacks from much of the media.

As an army lieutenant-colonel, Humala had led a failed insurgency in 2000, but called off the movement when President Alberto Fujimori was ousted later that year. Humala has been accused of responsibility in the torture and disappearances of leftists in 1992, but has denied the claims. He draws much of his support from impoverished Peruvians, who make up about half the population of 28 million, is disliked by the business community, and draws little admiration from the US administration.

Analysts attribute Humala's popularity to growing disenchantment with traditional politics. A recent UN report says 73.5 percent of Peruvians believe they need an authoritarian government and only 5.6 percent believe the South American country has had good governments.

(Peru presidential rivals get tough as campaign ends; Agence France Presse, April 5, 2006)

Hugo Chavez said he was withdrawing his ambassador from Peru as a matter of principle after Peru called home its ambassador, and insisted insults by a Peruvian presidential candidate were to blame. "The Peruvian government withdrew its ambassador. We are withdrawing ours," said Chavez, who started trading insults last week with Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo and presidential candidate Alan Garcia. Chavez has warned that diplomatic relations would be "impossible" if Garcia wins the upcoming elections.

Chavez has enthusiastically endorsed nationalist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala, who is facing Garcia in Peru's June 4 runoff election. Humala on Thursday blamed Toledo for the row. He said that instead of withdrawing Peru's ambassador from Caracas, Peru should have focused on the underlying issue: Chavez's decision last month to withdraw from the Andean Community trade bloc in protest of free-trade deals that Colombia and Peru signed with the United States.

(Venezuela’s Chavez pulls ambassador from Peru, saying others to blame for spat; Christopher Toothaker, Associated Press, May 5, 2006)

Outgoing Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo says he'll struggle against leftist populists when he leaves office. In a June 7 interview with Folha de Sao Paulo, Toledo said, "When I finish being president, I'm going to transform myself into a fighter against the cheap populism of petrodollars." Toledo's comment was a clear reference to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whom Toledo believes attempted to interfere in the Peruvian presidential election.

On Sunday Toledo was defeated by former President Alan Garcia in a presidential runoff. Garcia is scheduled to take office in July. Chavez's repeated support of nationalist candidate Ollanta Humala worsened diplomatic relations between Venezuela and Peru, which could intensify now that Garcia won the presidency. Chavez stated that Garcia was a "swine ... cardsharp ... and thief" after Garcia labeled him a "scoundrel."

In response to queries about covert Venezuelan funding of the opposition, Toledo said: "I don't know. I don't have any proof. But I saw how the story was: if the candidate (Chavez) wants doesn't win, then he's going to break relations. What kind of threats are those? What interference! I won't permit it."

(Outgoing Peruvian president blasts Chavez; UPI News, June 9, 2006)

Forty-eight-year-old Ollanta Humala lost the 2006 presidential election in Peru mainly because he was depicted as a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's. That's a point that his rival, 36-year-old Keiko Fujimori, a right-wing lawmaker, has frequently used against him.

At his campaign closing rally this week in Paseo Colon, a historic avenue in the capital of Lima, Fujimori once again went on the offensive as she addressed a crowd of thousands of supporters.

"There are recordings and witnesses that prove that this gentleman is a good soldier of Chavez," Fujimori said to cheering crowds. "I am not going to allow other countries to interfere in the sovereignty of our country. I'm going to defend it!"

But in a recent interview with CNN en español, Humala denied that his goal is a Chavez-style social revolution in Peru.

"When we speak about revolution, we're speaking about a revolution in education which is something fundamental," Humala said. "We have to build our own future. We believe that the Venezuelan model doesn't apply in Peru."

('Two extremes' battle in Peruvian runoff; Rafael Romo, CNN website, June 3, 2011)

OAS: The Organization of American States issued the following press release:

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) deployed 126 observers throughout the territory of Peru. Based on reports from observers stationed in 17 different Departments, the Mission can attest that Sunday's general election was conducted effectively and with integrity. In the judgment of the OAS Mission, the election process merits a strongly positive evaluation.

At the same time, it is important to recognize that while the voting has ended, the scrutiny of ballots continues. This phase of the election may take some time, and the Mission encourages all parties concerned--the candidates and their supporters--to be patient as the votes are counted and the official results published.

The OAS Mission will remain in Peru during the vote scrutiny and through the second round of the presidential election, and it will continue to observe the process in all its stages.


Trinidad and Tobago (2000L, 2001L, 2002L, 2003P, 2007L, 2008P, 2010L):
Actors (Actions):
JAMAICA (Left-Right)
OAS (Fair)
Commonwealth: Secretariat + Privy Council: (Fair)

Description: The OAS and CARICOM deployed a considerable electoral observations mission, while the Commonwealth, through its Privy Council acting as the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago, was instrumental in applying pressure on the incumbent to hold emergency elections. Jamaica’s interference rests on very narrow commercial interests, as big economic partnerships between the two countries depend largely on the incumbent’s victory.

Jamaica: It is an election in whose outcome Jamaica, and particularly the Golding administration - while it remains formally neutral and will studiously adhere to the precepts of non-interference - has a significant stake. Most immediately, a victory for Mr Manning's People's National Movement (PNM) would ensure the completion of the 'divestment' of Air Jamaica to Caribbean Airlines and shield the deal from a recriminating review and potential delays that could be disruptive to the Jamaican government's economic programme, including its standby loan facility with the International Monetary Fund. (2010)

Commonwealth, CARICOM, OAS: The Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women has called on the Elections and Boundaries Commission and the Patrick Manning government to request the presence of international election observers and expert teams from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and  CARICOM for the May 24th general election.

Commonwealth (2): Former attorney-general and leader of the minority National Team Unity NTU , Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, has gone to London to press the Privy Council to hear a judicial review application which had sought to have the courts here force Prime Minister Patrick Manning to call an election. (2002 - Caribbean Media Corporation news agency, Bridgetown)

Uruguay (2004P&L, 2009P&L, 2009R):
Actors (Actions):
Brazil (Left-Right)
Argentina (Left-Right)
US (Left-Right)

Description: The Left-Right divide is very clear in Uruguayan politics. The right has sided with and is strongly supported by the United States, while the Left, currently in power, has relied on other Leftist government in Latin America for economic support and political leverage. During the 2004 General Elections, vocal support by Brazil and Argentina, two often neighbors whose economic behaviors often predict Uruguay economic situation, helped harness moderate votes for former guerrilla fighter Tabaré Vasquez, who won the presidential elections in the first round.  While it is harder to determine how specific foreign endorsements helped the left in the 2004 elections specifically, there is a positive linkage between the rise of leftist movements in the Southern Cone and the vote distribution among Uruguay’s political parties.

Brazil, Argentina: Brazilian and Argentine officials have openly endorsed his candidacy, provoking irritation in the government here and complaints of interference in Uruguay's internal affairs These endorsements carry great electoral weight, as Uruguay usually depends economically and politically on its bigger neighbors (Larry Rohter, The New York Times, October 31, 2004; source same as the one below)

a. “The taking of power by the Left in Uruguay happened at the same time as the same procress was happening in other countries in the region: The Bolivian Socialist Movement (2005), Chile’s Leftist coalition (2005), the Leftist faction within the Judicialist Party (2003), the Brazilian Workers’ Party (2002), and Huga Chavez in Venezuela (1999). (Translated from Spanish: Rosario Queirolo, Las Elecciones Uruguayas de 2004: La Izquierda Como La Única Oposición Creíble, 2006,

b. The above source also lists sources of pre-electoral polls conducted by CIFRA that show the Left’s growth in elections throughout the first half of the 2000’s. After 2000-2002, the Left experienced for the first time in Uruguayan history majority in the percentage of votes received, compared to that of traditional right-wing parties. A graph can be seen on Page 7 of the pdf file whose link is shown above.

US: The election here is being closely watched throughout Latin America and in Washington. If Tabaré Vasquez wins, he would join Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Nestor Kirchner of Argentina and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela in a bloc of heads of state who, to varying degrees, have expressed opposition to or skepticism about American-led pressures to follow free-market policies. In an effort to increase Uruguay's bargaining power regionally, the current president, Jorge Batlle, has closely aligned the country with the United States. (Larry Rohter, New York Times, October 31, 2004

Venezuela (1998L&P, 1999R, 2000P&L, 2004R, 2005L, 2006P, 2007R, 2009R, 2010L)


EU (Fair)

OAS (Fair)

USA (Alliance, Left-Right)

Description: Venezuela is, together with the United States, the most likely country to intervene in elections throughout Latin America. Nonetheless, the U.S. has been very active in seeking to undermine the Chavez administration since the coup in 2002 that brought the Venezuelan leader to power. Most of the interference happens through the Venezuelan opposition, to whom the U.S. has channeled many millions of dollars in democracy-support aid. There are questions over how much leverage Cuba has in the Chavez regime, but given the lack of evidence, it is safe to assume that Venezuela acts independently strategically, even if both countries share a socialist ideology. The Venezuelan elections have also been closely observed by the EU and the OAS, not to mention U.S.-based observing groups.


EU/OAS : Under Senor Chavez, Venezuela has ceased to be a real democracy: it now exists instead in the murky twilight world between democracy and dictatorship, where there is still a free press and a nod to holdingelections. But the opposition parties pulled out of the elections to the legislative assembly last December on discovering that the electronic voting system had been rigged; an allegation that OAS and EU observers confirmed. All 165 members of the assembly are now Chavistas.

(Guess who's coming to dinner with Red Ken?; Aleksander Boyd, The Times, London, May 9, 2006)

USA: Chávez is trying to derail the effort to hold a recall vote. Opposition organizations turned in 3.4 million signatures last December, but the electoral council ruled last week that only 1.8 million of those were valid - far below the 2.4 million required. Chávez opponents charge the government-dominated council with using unfair technicalities. Those whose signatures were ruled doubtful will have an opportunity to confirm their signatures during a "repair period," but the opposition claims the electoral council has set conditions designed to frustrate that goal.

The US has earned Chávez's ire by sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-Chávez organizations here and by issuing a steady stream of criticisms of Chávez policies. On Saturday, President Bush expressed support for the referendum process.

At the same time, Washington's abandonment of Aristide has set a dangerous precedent for other leaders, Mr. Fatton says. "It generates a lot of problems for a government which was elected and becomes unpopular," he says.

Carlos Gervasoni, a political science professor at Catholic University in Buenos Aires, says Washington's response to Venezuela's 2002 coup caused it much more damage in Latin America than did its recent actions in Haiti. In Haiti, he argues, the democratic succession was preserved following Aristide's departure. But Washington gave an extremely negative signal two years ago when it welcomed the de facto government that ousted Chavez and dissolved the constitution and parliament.

(After Haiti, Venezuela is wary of US interference; Mike Ceaser, The Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2004)
-          Despite President Obama’s promise to President Chavez that his administration wouldn’t interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is channeling millions into anti-Chavez groups.
Foreign intervention is not only executed through military force. The funding of “civil society” groups and media outlets to promote political agendas and influence the “hearts and minds” of the people is one of the more widely used mechanisms by the US government to achieve its strategic objetives.
In Venezuela, the US has been supporting anti-Chavez groups for over 8 years, including those that executed the coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. Since then, the funding has increased substantially. A May 2010 report evaluating foreign assistance to political groups in Venezuela, commissioned by the National Endowment for Democracy, revealed that more than $40 million USD annually is channeled to anti-Chavez groups, the majority from US agencies.
(US Interference in Venezuela Keeps Growing; Eva Golinger;; August 5, 2010.
-          Several news agencies have been reporting on an article that was published by 'The Miami Herald'of the United States, which claims that one of the candidates participating in the Venezuelan presidential elections scheduled for December this year has been linked to Cuba in his revolutionary and political activities.
Such reports are appearing in a suspicious manner at a time when the Venezuelan presidential campaign is in full swing and when the candidate is leading the polls, which deeply concerns the most reactionary sectors both inside and outside the country.
Cuba categorically denies such reports. Cuba is observing the Venezuelan election process with great interest, but does not wish to interfere at all and does not wish to be mixed up in this process, let alone when our country is clearly aware that the most corrupt and backward elements - in Venezuela as well as in the United States - are trying to favour certain candidates while hurting others with all types of lies and slander.
(Government denies involvement in Venezuelan election campaign; Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision, Havana, in Spanish 0000 gmt 8 Oct 98)

(After Haiti, Venezuela is wary of US interference; Mike Ceaser, The Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2004)
-          Despite President Obama’s promise to President Chavez that his administration wouldn’t interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs, the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is channeling millions into anti-Chavez groups.
Foreign intervention is not only executed through military force. The funding of “civil society” groups and media outlets to promote political agendas and influence the “hearts and minds” of the people is one of the more widely used mechanisms by the US government to achieve its strategic objetives.
In Venezuela, the US has been supporting anti-Chavez groups for over 8 years, including those that executed the coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. Since then, the funding has increased substantially. A May 2010 report evaluating foreign assistance to political groups in Venezuela, commissioned by the National Endowment for Democracy, revealed that more than $40 million USD annually is channeled to anti-Chavez groups, the majority from US agencies.
(US Interference in Venezuela Keeps Growing; Eva Golinger;; August 5, 2010.
-          Several news agencies have been reporting on an article that was published by 'The Miami Herald'of the United States, which claims that one of the candidates participating in the Venezuelan presidential elections scheduled for December this year has been linked to Cuba in his revolutionary and political activities.
Such reports are appearing in a suspicious manner at a time when the Venezuelan presidential campaign is in full swing and when the candidate is leading the polls, which deeply concerns the most reactionary sectors both inside and outside the country.
Cuba categorically denies such reports. Cuba is observing the Venezuelan election process with great interest, but does not wish to interfere at all and does not wish to be mixed up in this process, let alone when our country is clearly aware that the most corrupt and backward elements - in Venezuela as well as in the United States - are trying to favour certain candidates while hurting others with all types of lies and slander.
(Government denies involvement in Venezuelan election campaign; Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision, Havana, in Spanish 0000 gmt 8 Oct 98)



Albania (2001L, 2005L, 2007L, 2009P):

Description:  Given Albania’s high stakes and proximity to Kosovo, it has become part of the stage for the East-West power play and political maneuvering. Both the US and Russia have lingering interests in the area, with Russia markedly opposing the administration of former President and current Prime Minister Berisha throughout the last decade. The US does not favor any particular political party, but seeks to ensure that the electoral process is fair as a means to guarantee Albania’s more rapid entry into the EU. Similarly, both the EU and OSCE have tried to closely monitor Albanian elections since 2000, publicly conditioning Albania’s entry into the EU on the holding of free, fair, and competitive elections. Individual countries have also sporadically interfered such as Greece, which regards both Albania and Macedonia as within its sphere of influence.


OSCE (Fair)

Greece (Alliance)

EU (Fair)

US (Fair)

Russia (Alliance)


OSCE:  The centre-right government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha has been contesting Glover's appointment as head of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, ODIHR, mission on the grounds that previously, when she served as head of the ODIHR monitoring mission in the 1996 elections, she gave an unbalanced report on Berisha’s Democratic Party. (

The June 2009 elections did represent a step forward and the OSCE claimed that ‘tangible progress’ had been made. Notwithstanding this step, developments prior to and immediately following the elections raised concerns within international circles, particularly in reference to irregularities surrounding the management of the June 2009 elections, including several fatal incidents and a host of violations related to the politicisation of vote counting and tabulation. (

The OSCE office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) has set up a monitoring mission in Albania to scrutinize parliamentaryelections of 24 June. More than 20 election experts and observes will be based in Tirana and other districts during the next weeks, to assess whether the electoral process complies with OSCE commitments. (ATA News Agency, May 29, 2001)

EU: Doris Pack, chairwoman of the European Parliament delegation for Southeastern Europe, has not changed her message for the next Assembly election at all. Speaking briefly to Alsat television station after a meeting with an Albanian delegation in Brussels three days ago, Pack said that the failure of the next Assembly election would mean that "we would not be able to foresee the year when Albania can become an EU member" (N. Perndoj, "Pack: Election failure will postpone membership indefinitely", published by Albanian newspaper Shekulli on 6 December 2004)

EU/US: Audrey Glover, head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's election monitoring mission here, noted that stakes were higher this time because Brussels and Washington were watching closely. "Albania needs to prove it has embraced Western democratic standards," she said. "If it doesn't go well, it will make things very difficult." (Dan Bilefsky, International Herald Tribune, June 24, 2009)

Greece: Many Greek parliamentarians, journalists as well as diplomats without having the status of observers arrived in Himara and observed the electoral process. They did not hesitate to make propaganda in favor of one party thus violating the Electoral Code. However, this has not compromised the voting process which according to many observers have been developed under normal circumstances. (

Athens said ethnic Greeks had been prevented from voting, including six-hundred Albanians employed in Greece who, it says, were barred from returning home to cast their votes. Elsewhere, the Socialists have won most seats, ending the domination of local councils in Albania by the opposition Democratic party. (

Greek government spokesman Dhimitrios Reppas on Monday 16th October dissociated himself from the deputies of the Greek opposition New Democracy who were at Himare town hall on Sunday 15th October and who have been accused by the ruling Albanian Socialist Party of interfering in the electoral procedures in this town hall. The spokesman of the Greek government declared on Monday that "the deputies had gone there on their own initiative and had refused to join the group of Greek parliamentarians assisting in the polls with the approval of the Albanian side". (ATA News Agency, October 17, 2000)

Russia: The State Duma has approved a statement urging the international community not to interfere in the Albanian conflict. It said that " the regime of [President] Sali Berisha has lost the confidence of citizens and cannot be considered legitimate". (Interfax News Agency, Moscow, March 17, 1997)

Austria (2002L, 2004P, 2006L, 2008L, 2010P):

Description: The main reason for intervention in Austrian elections is the rise of the Far Right, which has pursued racist, anti-Semitic, and intolerant policies in areas ranging from immigration to civil rights. Austrian administrations have also taken an increasingly anti-European integration stance, which is cause for concern to many other EU members. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that the EU interfered in the pre-election period, aside from criticism about the content of the propaganda used by the right-wing Freedom Party.The fact that might explain the lack of interference in the pre-electoral period is the fact that both the extreme-right wins in 1999 and 2008 took European leaders by surprise. In 2000, despite growing in past elections, the Freedom Party had been considered a pariah because of its ultra-nationalist rhetoric. In 2008, likewise, “The Freedom Party took a surprise joint second place with the conservative People's Party in general elections last October.”  EU members did not envisage the Freedom Party’s and Joerg Haider’s electoral success; if they did, nothing was done to counter it during the pre-electoral period.   Many EU members, as well as the U.S. and Israel have at various times threatened to cut or downplay relations with Austria in order to keep the Far Right off ruling coalitions.

Belarus (2000L, 2001P, 2004L, 2006P, 2008L):


USA (Alliance, Fair, Corruption)

Russia (Alliance)

OSCE (Fair)

CIS (Fair)

EU (Fair, Alliance)

Poland (Alliance, Fair)

Lithuania (Alliance, Fair)

Description: Intervention in Belarus happens mostly along na East-West continuum, with the USA supporting pro-Western party tickets and individual candidates, and the incumbent government of Mr. Lukashenko receiving either tacit or active support from Russia to remain in power through a series of rigged elections. An argument could potentially be made for the fact that there is little political competition in the country, but as far as formal electoral practice is concerned, there is at least a technical degree of ex-ante doubts over the electoral outcomes. Election observation has been consistently taken up by the CIS, OSCE, and the EU. Interesting sporadic cases of intervention include Poland’s and Lithuania’s attempts at influencing the votes of their respective diasporas. Lithuania has also been engaged in efforts to bolster civil society in Belarus. Both Poland and Lithuania (and other Baltic States) have been strongly derided by the Lukashenko administration for their activities in Belarus.


USA: In a joint news conference with Baltic leaders in Riga earlier on Saturday, Mr. Bush put more pressure on Mr. Putin by calling for ''free and open and fair'' elections in Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe, whose president, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, is backed by Mr. Putin. (Elizabeth Bumiller, The New York Times, May 8, 2005)

a.      President Lukashenka: “I want to say that today some foreign governmental and nongovernmental organizations and states plan colossal support to the forces that are trying to destabilize the situation in our country following the elections. We will react to it in a way they would react in the USA and other Western states. I want these people to know it. We cannot allow anybody to interfere in our domestic affairs. Finally, one should be able to lose elegantly. This refers both to the West and our internal opposition.” (Belarusian television, Minsk, in Belarusian, 16 Nov 01)

b.Participants in the All-Belarusian People's Assembly: “We appeal to the peoples and governments of the USA and the European Union. We often have to hear lectures and direct instructions as to what we should do, what sort of leadership we should elect and what path we should take in the future. We, the 2,500 representatives delegated by our people to attend the assembly, demand - do not decide for the people of Belarus and do not determine for us what choice we should make," the delegates to the assembly said in an appeal adopted on the results of its work in Minsk. (Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1458 gmt 3 Mar 06)

c.      Belarusian television has accused US diplomats in Belarus of interfering in the country's internal affairs and violating the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The 20-minute documentary titled "Diplomatic Mission Impossible" presented a number of cases in which US diplomats were said to have sought to interfere in the voting process duringelections. It said that they prefer to meet opposition activists during field trips to the regions. It also accused them of trying to indoctrinate young people with US ideology. The documentary ended by suggesting that US Ambassador George Kroll may be pursuing such policies reluctantly, but he is forced to follow a hard line by the State Department. (Belarusian television, Minsk, in Russian 2010 gmt 15 Mar 06)

d.Between June 2007 and June 2008, the opposition was given 250,000 dollars to prepare for the parliamentary election, and there are plans to give as much by the autumn. The National Democratic Institute together with the Pact foundation spent another 180,000 on various protests. American sponsors earmark great funds every year to support the Belarusian opposition. The funding is carried out under diplomatic protection. However, the specific nature of diplomatic work restricts them in some way and so the Americans assign a leading role in preparing and funding the fifth column in Belarus to other organizations, which are virtually not directly connected with Washington, like David Hamilton's office in Kiev. The Americans know that the current Belarusian opposition is so unpopular among the people that it is just unable to come to power in a lawful way. So their foreign puppeteers keep searching for new fulcra. Funded and managed by foreign NGOs, structures are being set up to actively interfere in politics in Belarus and create a situation of a so-called managed chaos in our country. This is why huge funds are spent to recruit and train militants whose task is to participate in street rallies and resist law-enforcement agencies. The next echelon is ideological and propagandist activists, those democratic politicians expected to be brought to power on the bayonets of militants who are polishing their skills in Ukrainian forests now. (Belarusian television, Minsk, in Russian 1800 gmt 8 Jun 08)

e.      Lukashenka spoke critically of Western attempts to make Belarus hold elections on party lists. The party lists system is faulty, he said. Any other but the majority electoral procedure is out of the question, as it would be inconsistent with the 1996 Constitution, he said. Lukashenka expressed dissatisfaction over US ambassador in Minsk Daniel Speckhard's actions. Speckhard voices negative opinions about the Belarusian authorities while holding meetings in regions, he said. He began to use word "regime" instead of "authorities". Speckhard will soon be recalled to the United States. "Belarusian opposition leaders" prompted this move to the US State Department. Speckhard will be "replaced as he failed to topple Lukashenka", Lukashenka said. (nterfax news agency, Moscow, in English 1132 gmt 22 Feb 2000)


Poland: I want to stress that the Polish leadership should keep in mind that Poles in Belarus are our citizens. They are our Poles, you know. They are our Belarusian Poles and we have never divided them. This refers to all the nations in Belarus: Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Tatars, Azeris, Armenians I practically listed all [the nationalities] present here. We have never divided them. And today we will not allow them to interfere in our internal affairs under the far-fetched pretext of the Union of Poles. According to their information, that union has only 20,000 people. And we have about 400,000 Poles. We are capable of defending the interests of our citizens, including Poles, ourselves. (Belarusian television, Minsk, in Russian 12:00 GMT, 26 Jul 05)

a.     Belarusian MPs are condemning the actions of certain representatives of the Polish authorities who interfere in the Belarusian state's internal affairs. Deputies of the House of Representatives [parliament's lower house] believe that yesterday's prank by the deputy speaker of the Polish Sejm [lower house], who visited Hrodna under the shelter of a diplomatic passport, was an election trick. Politicians are deliberately whipping up anti-Belarusian hysteria in order to get voters' support. The speech by the Polish Sejm deputy speaker [Donald Tusk] during an unauthorized rally in Hrodna yesterday was a gross interference in the current legislation and in this country's internal affairs. (Belarusian television, Minsk, in Russian 12:00 GMT, 2 Aug 05)

Lithuania: "As we have learnt from opposition representatives, riots on the streets of the Belarusian capital today proceeded in accordance with instructions received from the European Union. After candidate (Alexander) Milinkevich suffered a crushing defeat in the elections, EU Foreign Policy Commissioner Javier Solana and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Adamas Valionis (the TV channel most probably meant Lithuanian diplomacy head Antanas Valionis) gave instructions personally. Instructions have been sent to the opposition from neighbor states, namely from Poland, on a regular basis, and all actions have been coordinated by the Lithuanian Embassy in Minsk. There are many Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian citizens among detained riot organizers. Embassies of these countries have actively taken care of their release. This leads to the conclusion that all the riots on the streets were sanctioned by foreign countries and their diplomatic missions. This is the most severe violation of international standards and open interference in Belarus' domestic policy," the Belarusian TV channel said. (Baltic News Service, March 27, 2006; Vilnius Newsroom)

a.       Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry says that the only contribution of Lithuania to the situation is the country's efforts to form a civil society in Belarus. "Lithuania has organized serious assistance in forming a civil society in Belarus: conferences, seminars, as well as joint meetings with the opposition involving Solana, US representatives, consistent work opening a university (the opening of the European Humanities University banished from Belarus in Vilnius), getting funding for it. All this contributes to the formation of a civil society, people's consciousness," Valionis said. (ibid)

b. Lithuania is officially implementing the policy of "critical dialogue" concerning Belarus by maintaining pragmatic contacts but criticizing the country for democracy violations. There have been some calls in Western Europe recently not to isolate the authoritarian country and help strengthen the democratic forces in Belarus. Lithuanian lawmakers to form a parliamentary contact group with Belarusian democratic forces and the 13th Supreme Soviet. The 13th Supreme Soviet was the only Belarusian political institution recognized as legitimate by the international community for several years. Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko dissolved the body and parliamentary chairman Semyon Sharetsky eventually fled fearing for his life. Elections to the new parliamentary body, the National Assembly, were found to be invalid by international observers, as was the most recent election in the second week of September 2001, which handed Lukashenko another term in the office of president. (Baltic News Services, April 17, 2002)

c.       The Lithuanian parliament's opinion on the parliamentary elections and referendum held in Belarus last weekend would be very important to all the people of the country with democratic views, opposition Belarusian Popular Front leader Vintsuk Vyachorka, who has visited Vilnius, said in an interview to BNS on Thursday. "It would be a significant support for the Belarusian people with democratic views. It is also very important for us that Lithuania demonstrates solidarity," he said in comment of the Lithuanian parliament's plans to adopt a resolution on the election and referendum results. (Baltic News Service, October 21, 2004)

OSCE: The Communist Party of Belarus (CPB) has severely criticized the ongoing dialogue between the Belarusian authorities and the opposition. The CPB's statement, titled "On talks between the destructive opposition and the republic's leadership with the OSCE's participation", says that the government-opposition talks "cannot yield any positive result". The CPB claims that by mediating the talks, international organizations such as the OSCE, NATO and the Council of Europe interfere in Belarus's  internal affairs by dictating their political, social and economic principles "alien to the Belarusian people". (Belapan news agency, Minsk , in English 1040 gmt 30 Sep 99)

a.       Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has accused the OSCE mission in Belarus of interference in the country's internal politics. According to Lukashenka, the OSCE was planning to train some "14,000-18,000 fighters" in Belarus under the guise of observers, using Belarus's OSCE membership dues "to fight Lukashenka with his own money". He added that he won't allow anybody to implement the Yugoslav scenario in Belarus or bomb the Belarusian people, saying that he will defend his country as long as he is president. He also called the opposition "sick people" paid and trained by the West. (Belarusian TV, Minsk, in Belarusian 1900 gmt 27 Jan 01)

b.      Ambassador Wieck "holds a mandate from the OSCE to carry on quite a different kind of activity in Belarus, not to call for nominating a single opposition candidate", said the speaker of the lower house of Russia's parliament. Seleznev said he had no illusions about the nature of consultations between Wieck and the Belarusian opposition. "Many of those whom Wieck receives call me the same night to tell me about the advising they get," he said. (Belapan news agency, Minsk , in English 2050 gmt 22 May 01)

Baltic Assembly: Baltic Assembly's resolution on the situation in Belarus, which was issued on 26th May in Tartu, Estonia. The resolution accused the Belarusian authorities of mass violence against demonstration participants, sanctions against the independent media, disregard for the principles of free and democratic elections and the persecution of opposition politicians. The resolution called on international organizations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to devote more attention to the human rights situation in Belarus. (Belapan news agency, Minsk, in English 1500 gmt 30 Jun 00)

EU: The BHC and the IHFHR have been carrying out a European Union-financed project for monitoring this fall's elections for the House of Representatives of the National Assembly lower house of parliament scheduled to begin on 15th October. The project is part of the monitoring that has been conducted in Belarus for five years now, Mr Rhodes noted. (Belapan news agency, Minsk, in English 1740 gmt 29 Aug 00)

Russia: Dzmitryy Bulakhaw, Belarus’ Representative at CIS: “The CIS was never a homogeneous structure, and - as in any interstate entity - every country upholds its own interests first and foremost. The main thing is to find a consensus. As for President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, he enjoys undoubted authority within the CIS. Russia should not intervene in the progress of the elections scheduled in Belarus - that is our sovereign right. But the indirect presence of the Russians, naturally, will be there - after all, we are the closest of allies.” ('Segodnya', Moscow, in Russian 20 Sep 00)

a.        Note on past interventions: Russia actively intervened in the matter of resolving the parliamentary crisis in Belarus in 1996, sending a "landing force" under the leadership of State Duma Chairman Gennadiy Seleznev, Federation Council Chairman Yegor Stroyev and former prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Now, it seems, Moscow is distancing itself from events in Minsk, not sharing in Lukashenka's integrationist transports. (ibid)

b.        Candidates who try to play the anti-union card will be defeated in the presidential election  in Belarus in the autumn, Russian State Duma speaker Gennadiy Seleznev said at a Minsk enterprise today. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is a firm advocate of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, Seleznev said. Yet "he has enough authority and arguments to put the accent on domestic problems" in the presidential election campaign, he noted. (ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in English 1823 gmt 22 May 01)

c.        Russia can't and won't interfere in Belarusian internal affairs in view of the elections in this country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview to Interfax on Thursday evening 2 August in the Bocharov Ruchey residence after his meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenka. "The choice is exclusively up to the people of Belarus, our fraternal people," he said. Putin added that Belarus and Russia "will preserve sovereignty" in the framework of the development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. (Note that Russia has eased its interventionist approach due to Lukashenko’s powerful and Pro-Russian hold on Belarusian politics) (Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1923 gmt 2 Aug 01)

Belgium (2003L, 2007L, 2010L):

Actors (Actions):



Bosnia-Herzegovina (1998P&L, 2000L, 2002P&L, 2006P&L, 2010P&L)


Serbia (Alliance)

Croatia (Alliance)

UN (Peace, Fair, Corruption)

OSCE (Peace, Fair, Corruption)

NATO (Peace, Fair, Alliance)

USA (Peace, Fair)

UK (Peace, Corruption)

Russia (Alliance)

Description: 15 years after the Dayton Peace Accords, Bosnia remains a de facto international protectorate, ruled by a political system whose supreme authority is a High Representative appointed by the Security Council. International organizations such as OSCE and NATO hold great sway in all electoral processes, backing the Office of the High Representative in shaping the country’s polity away from nationalist tendencies. Removal of elected and non-elected officials was carried out through the High Representative’s “Bonn  Powers” between 1997 and 2010, at which point the OHR decided to tone down the vetting of public officers, seek greater cooperation with the Bosnian government, and give Bosnians greater ownership of the political process. The OHR acts as the executor of foreign electoral intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but neighboring states such as Croatia, Serbia, and to a lesser extent Russia disagree with the OHR’s US-EU policy line, seeking themselves to support their ethnic groups within the country. Serbia’s support is essential for any Bosnian Serb candidate, as is Croatia’s to a Bosnian Croat.


UK: As for the British, it is clear that they have been, for a long time, trying to be on the side of those who want to accuse the Serb Republic of certain things. I also think that there is something else in question here. This is also about the situation in their country; it is a fact in the United Kingdom that the referendum for the independence of Scotland is being announced. It is very important for them to be rigorous everywhere in the world where there is any talk about that, to demonstrate power and to show muscles. Naturally, in this sense, we need to say that this referendum is not the referendum on the secession and the status. The information in the speech that Inzko submitted was wrong and totally false, when he said that this was a referendum that determined the status. This, of course, is not true. This is about a democratic right, and, in this sense, I think that it is very clear and the big world does not have the need to deal with some small countries, such as, of course, Bosnia-Hercegovina, instead, they are sticking to the stereotype, which they are, of course, pushing to the end.

(Bosnian Serb Leader Ready to Delay Referendum Based on EU Guarantees; Source: Bosnian Serb Television, Banja Luka, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1730 gmt 9 May 11)

Croatia: The steering committee which is forming a new party of social democratic orientation in Bosnia-Hercegovina demanded today, in a letter addressed to the High Representative to Bosnia-Hercegovina, Paddy Ashdown, to sanction the political work of parties and individuals from foreign countries during his mandate.

The reason for this demand is the statement by the chairman of the Croatian Assembly foreign policy committee and official of the Croatian Social Democratic Party, Zdravko Tomac, made on 29 November in Siroki Brijeg, during which, according to the committee, he interfered in the political and state interests of Bosnia-Hercegovina and suggested changes to the Bosnia-Hercegovina Constitution.

"This is not the first time that Zdravko Tomac advocates changes to our constitution, and the creation of a third entity', which is nothing but the resurrection of the outmoded concept of a Croat Republic' in Bosnia-Hercegovina and the para-state of Herceg-Bosna'," said the members of the committee. The letter, signed by Sejfudin Tokic, said that Zdravko Tomac had arrived in Bosnia-Hercegovina with similar destabilizing ideas even after the elections in 2000.

(New Bosnian party steering committee against interference from foreign states; Federation News Agency, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1847 gmt 2 Dec 02)

UN (OHR): Igor Radojicic, Alliance of Independent Social Democrats - SNSD Any radical move by the OHR Office of the High Representative would undoubtedly affect election results. This would be a direct interference by the OHR in the election race.

Dragi Stanimirovic, Social Democratic Party In my opinion, yesterday's statement by Mr Ashdown practically shows that the coalition between the national parties and the high representative does not have a solution to any serious problem in Bosnia-Hercegovina. This coalition could be called now Neither jobs nor justice reference to the action plan Jobs and Justice adopted by the OHR and local government in September 2002.

(Bosnian Serb opposition fears new dismissals to interfere with election race; BHTV1, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1700 gmt 9 Sep 04)

Serbia/Croatia: Whenever there is political turmoil in Bosnia-Hercegovina, as is the case at present, the country finds itself patronized by our eastern and western neighbours. They regularly voice their views, their concerns, give us advice while pretending not to interfere in our country's internal affairs.

They are doing this openly and publicly. Our eastern neighbours are reacting to Ashdown's decisions, while the western ones are making promises about - as they put it - future care in order to secure votes in their presidential elections.

(TV slams Serbian, Croatian politicians for "interfering" in Bosnian affairs; Independent TV Hayat, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1800 gmt 21 Dec 04)

TURKEY: Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu has held out the prospect of Turkey making a strong return to this region, which has provoked major reactions by Serbs and Croats.

Grand Mufti, Dr. Mustafa Ceric: I think that Turkey is 100 years late in letting us hear what Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. But better late than never, as the saying goes. I think that it is time for Turkey to strengthen its commitment in the Balkans. Turkey has experience that can benefit everyone concerned with the Balkans. They managed to keep the Balkans stable for 500 years. That is not insignificant.

(Bosnia's Grand Mufti discusses Islamophobia, Turkey's role in Balkans; Dnevni avaz, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 26 Nov 09)

UN/US/NATO/Russia: Russian Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina: Botsan-Kharchenko:

We think that the OHR has outplayed its useful role. At this point, the Bonn powers only impede development and a domestic accord. Brcko is part of the five-plus-two plan, and for that reason it is one of the most acute issues for us. We think that based on the results of a visit to Brcko by the PIC ambassadors, the position will be that all conditions have been satisfied, both the initial ones and the additional ones. Everything has been resolved in terms of both Brcko itself and the power supply issue. Thus, at this point we have satisfied conditions and the time has come for the PIC to make a clear decision in the sense of shutting down supervision and arbitration. That would be important for Brcko, but also for the strategy of shutting down the OHR as a whole. There is no sense in which Brcko looks worse than the rest of B-H, and in some regards it even looks better. It seems to me that the most important thing is that when we were in Brcko no one we talked to expressed any concerns about the issue of interethnic relations or the security issue. Shutting down the OHR will be Russia's position on the PIC, and we will espouse that position.

RS President Milorad Dodik always insists that a referendum be held in the RS in connection with that [NATO membership]. That referendum will show whether people in the RS want to join NATO. These differences of opinion clearly show that part of the public in B-H sympathizes with Russia's position that NATO enlargement does not contribute to stability in Europe or in the Balkans. NATO enlargement, despite the fact that NATO is a partner of Russia and that we have relations that are developing, leads only to divisions. As an alternative, we propose a European security treaty that would make it possible to resolve all open issues on the basis of law without creating divisions in Europe. We support such a treaty and we are open to various discussions concerning it.

(Nezavisne novine, Banja Luka, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 29 Mar 11, p4)

OSCE: Most of the cities where officials were removed from office saw the appointment of officials by the OSCE and the OHR to serve as special envoys. In Srebrenica and the Brcko District, for example, the municipalities themselves became protectorates. Brcko is ruled by an International Supervisor, and Srebrenica was ruled for some time by the International Chairman of the interim municipal board. (International Crisis Group: Doing Democracy a Disservice, 1998 Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Bulgaria (2001L, 2001P, 2005L, 2006P, 2009L)


Croatia (2000P&L, 2003L, 2005P, 2007L, 2009P, 2010P²):

Actors (Actions):

Italy (Fair)

EU (Fair)

Holy See (Alliance)

Description: Much in the molds of the EU’s intervention in Austria against Haider’s extreme-right coalition, the EU and Italy sought to interfere in the 2003 Croatian Parliamentary elections to avoid the rise to power of a coalition composed by the Croatian Party of Rights’ (HSP), whose program included ethnic-based policies and favoritism towards Croatian nationals. More recently, the Holy See has exerted some pressure in Croatian electoral processes, by adding political undertones to the messages conveyed by the priests and bishops to the population.


Italy, EU: Italy's ambassador to Croatia, Alessandro Grafini, said in an interview with a daily that the Croatian Party of Rights' (HSP) joining the new government, led by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), would undermine the country's bids to enter the European Union. It is unacceptable to see the HSP advocating that only Croatian nationals can have ownership rights to real estate in Croatia, as this is not in compliance with the EU rules. The third contentious issue is the HSP programme's provisions envisaging cultural autonomies for ethnic minorities, given that they have already been given some political rights. The foreign diplomats believe that the concept of cultural autonomy would be a step backward. (HINA news agency, Zagreb, November 30, 2003)

Holy See: "Our bishops are not interfering in the election campaign, but it is an appropriate and established practice in democracies that for elections bishops convey their messages to the faithful," said the HBK statement. The Church feels it has the right and the duty to advise its faithful, notably at important times, to act by their Christian conscience. (HINA news agency, Zagreb, November 8, 2007).

Czech Republic (2002L, 2003P, 2003R, 2004L, 2006L, 2008P&L, 2010L)


EU (Corruption, Alliance)

Description: With its corrupt and convoluted electoral system, the Czech Republic has attracted a few attempts from the EU at electoral reform. The EU seems to be concerned with fine-tuning the Czech democracy in areas such as gender balance in the political arena, with continuous calls for more women in parliament. Nonetheless, the EU has also been a stalwart of Czech democracy through the membership negotiation process, oftentimes ignoring systematic flaws for the sake of aligning Prague to Brussels.


EU : Last week the European Commission delegation to the Czech Republic called on Czechs to increase the number of women in politics; in most EU countries, women make up about a quarter of the government, compared with 13 percent in the Czech Republic. That is beginning to change: last June Hana Marvanova, a 38-year-old lawyer and single mother, was elected as leader of the right-wing Freedom Union Party. Many hope her charismatic leadership will boost her party's pro-Europe fortunes. Some predict she could even be the Czech Republic's first female prime minister. Says Jiri Pehe, political analyst and director of New York University's Prague campus: "Marvanova's election is a breakthrough in Czech politics and the start of a new era for women."

(“The Shackles of Freedom,” By Carla Power; With Eve Conant in Moscow, Katka Krosnar in Prague and Warsaw and Lily Hyde in Kiev; Newsweek, March 18, 2002)

-       New Czech President Vaclav Klaus should today receive congratulatory telegrams from European Commission EC President Romano Prodi and EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, Verheugen's spokesman Jean-Christophe Filori told journalists today.

Filori along with EC spokesman Jonathan Faull today faced the questions what Brussels says to the fact that shortly before the EU enlargement a man known for his eurosceptical views became the head of state in one of the EU candidate countries.

Filori said that the Czech presidential election was a democratic process. He added that they wished all the best for Mr Klaus and were looking forward to further cooperation.

(EU says Czech presidential elections democratic, congratulates president-elect; CTK news agency, Prague, in English 1336 gmt 3 Mar 03)

Denmark (2007L, 2009P, 2009R)

No intervention.

Estonia (2003L, 2003R, 2007L, 2011L)


Finland (interest)

Sweden (interest)

Russia (interest)

OSCE (fair)

In the 2003 Estonian referendum to join the EU, Finnish President Tarja Halonen and Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson encouraged Estonians to vote yes. Both leaders stressed that Estonia's joining the EU would strength regional partnerships in the Baltic. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, there appears to be a strong Russian influence on Estonian parties. The Centre has a cooperation with the United Russia, a party loyal to the Kremlin. Modest Kolerov, adviser to Vladimir Putin, expressed confidence that Edgar Savisaar will become the next prime minister of Estonia. Estonia also accused Russia of launching a series of cyber-attacks on its government sites before the elections, including the website of the Federal Electoral Committee. The 2007 Estonian elections allowed for on-line voting. In the 2010 parliamentary elections, the president of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin promised the chairman of the Estonian Center Party Edgar Savisaar 1.5 million euro for the parliamentary elections. The Estonian intelligence agency alleges that Savisaar illegal requested 3 million euro from Yakunin. The media slammed Savisaar as someone influenced by Russian interests. (The Centre party has its electoral base from the Russian minority in Estonia and has traditionally held ties with Moscow.) In the same elections, Moscow criticized OSCE; the Russian Foreign Minister said Estonia violated human rights laws because it does not allow its 100,000 Russian-speaking permanent residents to vote. OSCE/ODIHR EAM observers attended the 2010 elections.

Finland encourages Estonians to say Yes to EU Agence France Presse -- English September 9, 2003 Tuesday

Copyright 2003 Agence France Presse

Agence France Presse -- English

September 9, 2003 Tuesday

SECTION: International News

LENGTH: 463 words

HEADLINE: Finland encourages Estonians to say Yes to EU




Finnish President Tarja Halonen on Tuesday encouraged the population of Estonia, Finland's neighbour across the Baltic Sea, to vote in favour of joining the European Union in a weekend referendum.

"Being in the EU, we can change not only the EU but the whole world," Halonen told reporters at the start of a two-day visit to Estonia, where polls suggest the population to be sceptical toward the benefits of EU membership.

"We are particularly pleased that the enlargement of the EU brings to the Union's sphere of influence our linguistic kins Hungary and Estonia, " Halonen told reporters in the Estonian capital Talinn.

"Our way of thinking is often very similar, so we could pair up well in the enlarged EU," she told a joint press conference with Estonian President Arnold Ruutel.

Links between the two countries have boomed since Estonia restored independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Citizens of the two northern countries now make six million trips each year across the Gulf of Finland -- or roughly one trip per person per year.

Talking of Finland's own experience of joining the EU, in 1995, Halonen said it had enabled her country to carry out "a sort of inventory of who we are, what it means to be Finnish".

"The Estonians are more trained in this, due to the break-up of the Soviet Union" in 1991, to which the Baltic state had belonged, she added.

Polls suggest that support for Estonia's EU accession wavers between 52 and 69 percent. High among concerns over membership feature a loss of independence and pressure on the Estonian language and culture.

"We were rather eurocritical during our accession," Halonen said. "But we realized soon that EU membership was the best of choices for Finland."

She said that Finland's own anxieties over the effect of EU membership of its culture and language were proven to be unfounded.

"Things have moved in the other direction," she said. "Our cultural life is varied, alive and rich, at the same time retaining its indigenous basis."

Ruutel said the Estonian people had "a huge amount of fond memories" of Finland's support for their country following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"When we restored our independence from the Soviet Union 12 years ago, we felt the support of the Finns, both on the grassroots level and of the authorities," the president said.

Estonia and neighbouring Latvia, two of the 10 eastern and central European countries admitted to join the 15-member EU next May, are the last to hold a referendum to ratify their entry bid. Latvia will vote on September 20.

Seven future EU members have already voted in favour of joining, while an eighth, Cyprus, will not put the question of membership to the vote.

Swedish PM encourages Estonia to vote yes to EU Agence France Presse -- English August 28, 2003 Thursday

Copyright 2003 Agence France Presse

Agence France Presse -- English

August 28, 2003 Thursday

SECTION: International News

LENGTH: 420 words

HEADLINE: Swedish PM encourages Estonia to vote yes to EU



Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson, whose country will hold a referendum on joining the euro in mid-September, urged Estonia on Thursday to vote Yes to joining the EU on the same day.

Joining the EU "is not about losing influence, it's about gaining influence," Persson said after meeting his Estonian counterpart Juhan Parts.

"Membership in the EU has opened new opportunities for Sweden, as we can have a say in things now which were decided without us before," the Swedish leader told a news conference.

On September 14, Sweden will vote on joining the euro and Estonia will vote on becoming a member of the EU.

Parts said he had discussed the referendum campaign and traded information on Sweden's experience as a European Union member with Persson.

"It was encouraging to hear that Sweden has won a lot from membership in the EU," he said.

Persson said Estonia and the other two Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania joing the union would strengthen the Baltic Sea dimension in the EU.

"The eight countries around the Baltic Sea would constitute a very strong group around the table in Brussels," Persson said.

But should the relatively eurosceptic Estonia vote No to the EU, Sweden would not change its' policy towards Estonia, Persson said.

"There would be no change of course," he said. "Estonia is our neighbour and we need to cooperate, although it would be better if they were in the same union with us."

In Estonia, support for the EU shot up at the beginning of August, to a high of 69 percent, while in previous months support it had wavered around 55 percent.

In Sweden, two opinion polls found that Swedish opponents to the euro widened their already comfortable lead and now command 48 percent of voting intentions. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said they supported joining the single currency.

Asked if he would resign or if there would be a new referendum in case of No, Persson said: "Neither is true."

"We have to divide the two things: the parliamentary process and the euro membership."

The Estonian premier said his government did not have a contingency plan should the result be No.

"There is no such plan, but life will go on, although on a slower course," he said.

Parts added he was keen for Estonia to adopt the euro as soon as possible but that it was premature to set specific deadlines.

"Let's move step by step: first the September 14 referendum on EU membership, and then on to the euro," he said.

Editorial considers Russian influence on Estonian policy serious problem BBC Monitoring Europe - PoliticalSupplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring February 10, 2007 Saturday

Copyright 2007 British Broadcasting Corporation

All Rights Reserved

BBC Monitoring Europe - Political

Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

February 10, 2007 Saturday

LENGTH: 504 words

HEADLINE: Editorial considers Russian influence on Estonian policy serious problem


Text of report by Estonian newspaper Postimees website on 7 February

[Editorial: "Shadow of Russian Bear"]

The influence of Moscow is strong among Estonian politicians.

The visible support of Russia for their fellow countrymen, including for the Constitution Party, is nothing new, but the Bronze Soldier topic as well as the upcomingelections have shed more light than before to the influence of Moscow on Estonian politics. It is not just the Russian minority in Estonia, but also the Estonian parties that could possibly have similar ties to the Kremlin.

The latest poll by Emor indicated that the support for the Constitution Party was zero. Therefore, it is not a big problem if Andrey Zarenkov, chairman of the Constitution Party, receives some kind of support from Russia. Zarenkov has only been given word in the media disproportionate to his support because the Bronze Soldier issue has caused tensions within the Estonian society and the relations between Estonia and Russia. And Russia wishes to use Zarenkov to express the discontent of the Russian minority over the Protection of War Graves Act, which establishes legal grounds for removing the Bronze Soldier.

Thereby, the policy of the fellow countrymen of Russia is like a many-headed dragon, and each head wishes to move in a different direction. With one hand, Moscow supports the local Russians, with the other - it invites them to live in Russia. When Russia encourages its fellow countrymen to remain in Estonia and fight for their "rights" - why would it also invite them home?

Another far more serious problem is how much influence Russia has on Estonian parties. The Centre Party has a cooperation agreement with the United Russia - a party that is loyal to the Kremlin, and Modest Kolerov, adviser to Vladimir Putin for interregional and cultural ties with foreign countries, has expressed confidence that Edgar Savisaar will become the next prime minister of Estonia. But it would be naive to be confined just to the Centre Party - besides, Moscow is not that stupid to bet on only one Estonian party.

The Estonian parties have not been particularly willing to advertize their Russian policy either - a characteristic detail indicating this was the ETV talk show "Foorum", where the parties sent their secondary politicians to speak about Russia - people who are not exactly well-known for their expertise on Russia. Maybe the politicians are haunted by the image that after having been accepted to the EU and NATO Estonia no longer has to worry about its Russian policy.

It does not enhance the relations between Estonia and Russia that the Russian embassy is linked to supporting the fellow countrymen as well as to the making of the documentary that falsified Estonian history. Russia does not see advantages in Estonia's democratic development, but sees it instead as a threat to its security. Therefore, weak Estonian democracy where corrupt politicians are in power serves the interests of Russia.

Source: Postimees website, Tallinn, in Estonian 7 Feb 07

LOAD-DATE: February 10, 2007

Cyberwar I Slate Magazine May 22, 2007 Tuesday

Copyright 2007 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Company, LLC.

All Rights Reserved

Slate Magazine

May 22, 2007 Tuesday


LENGTH: 961 words

HEADLINE: Cyberwar I

BYLINE: Cyrus Farivar


In Estonia, you can pay for your parking meter via cell phone, access free Wi-Fi at every gas station, and, as of two months ago, vote in national elections from your PC. The small, wired country can now add another item to this list of technological achievements: It's the first government to get targeted for large-scale cyberwarfare.

Since late April, the Web sites of various Estonian government entities, banks, and media outlets have been barraged with extraordinary amounts of Web traffic (100 times more than usual), making them very slow and even unusable. The Estonian government has identified as-yet-unknown rogueRussian hackers and the Kremlinas participants in these denial-of-service attacks. Russia has firmly denied these charges.

After the attacks, officials from NATO and the European Union converged on Estonia's capital, Tallinn, to analyze what had transpired. All the Estonians can point to as tangible evidence of these attacks are gigabytes of server logs. Most of the targeted Web sites, which for a brief time were accessible only to traffic from within Estonia, are now accessible to the vast majority of the world's Internet users once again. It's almost as if nothing ever happened. (Indeed, Estonian newspaper Postimeesreported that half of those surveyed were not at all affected by the attacks.)

Even in the absence of the physical evidence generated by traditional warfarecharred remains, bombed-out infrastructurewe've still learned a lot about the nature of online terrorism in the last few weeks. For one thing, cyberwarfare is efficient. Even the smartest of smart bombs takes out adjacent buildings and kills innocent bystanders. When you wage war online, there doesn't have to be collateral damage: It's possible to target a single Web site at a time.

It's also elementary to focus a cyberattack on the upper crust. In targeting Estonia's online seats of political and economic power, the perpetrators sent a threatening message to a country where cabinet-level discussions happen online, and documents are signed by digital signatures. Linnar Viik, the architect of many of Estonia's e-government services and now a government IT consultant, told me that there have been no panicked calls by politicians to completely shut down these online services. If these attacks had happened during March's national elections, however, a lot of bureaucrats might have rethought the country's dependence on e-government.

The Estonia case also shows how easy it is to cause massive panic on a shoestring budget. All you need to deploy a cyberattack is some malicious software, a bunch of zombie computers distributed around the world, and an Internet connection. Sure, you may need to pay for a "professional-grade" botneta network of computers that have been surreptitiously infected to run nefarious software. But surely that costs orders of magnitude less than the price of heavy artillery, battleships, and nuclear submarines.

Perhaps the most telling lesson here is how difficult it is to catch the perpetrators of online terrorism. Covering one's fingerprints and footprints online is relatively simple, compared with getting rid of physical evidence. IP addresses can be spoofed, and an attack that appears to come from one place may actually originate somewhere else. As such, the Kremlin (or anyone else) can plausibly deny that they had anything to do with the attacks, even if the Estonians' server logs show that the attacks first originated from Moscow. If the Russians don't want to hand over data or documentsor even pick up the phone, for that matterthere's not much that Estonia, or anyone else, can do to figure out the real story.

So far, only a single Estonian citizen has been detainedand released in relation to the attacks. There have been no other arrests, indictments, or accusations made against any hackers inside or outside of Estoniaand there's no reason to believe that there will be anytime soon. American government and military sites faced cyberespionage by Russian hackers in 1999 (an operation dubbed "Moonlight Maze") and Chinese hackers in 2005 ("Titan Rain"). To date, no one has been caught for those crimes.

It's clear that these hackers, whoever they are, understand how easy it is to hide in cyberspace. Consequently, they have no reason to stop. While the initial wave started in late April and early May, the head of the IT department for the Estonian parliament told me that as recently as May 18 the attackers hit the sites of theState Chancellery and the Federal Electoral Committee. This continued assault on Estonian Web sites illustrates that these attackersbe they rogue operators or Russian government agentsare relentless pests, first going after one set of sites, then another, then another.

Despite this grim outlook, Estonian officials and their counterparts in the European Union, NATO, and the United States have at least learned quite a lot about how an attack of this scale progresses. Since it may be a while (if ever) before the perpetrators are caught, the best plan is to fight off the attackers, one denial of service at a time. Perhaps in some sense, it's good that Estonia was the patient zero for cyberwarfare. The small, tech-savvy country has provided a good blueprint for what to do to keep these attacks at bay.

Today, a team of Estonian computer and network experts from the various affected agencies is working around the clock in a secure chat room, monitoring their networks and sharing information about attacks and their possible attackers. They have also created blacklists of originating IP addresses and networks that are now banned from accessing Estonian Web sites. Until we develop better tools and techniques for catching hackers, that's the best anyone can do.

Web Sites Under Attack in a Murky War The Moscow Times May 24, 2007 Thursday

Copyright 2007 Independent Press

All Rights Reserved

The Moscow Times

May 24, 2007 Thursday

LENGTH: 1141 words

HEADLINE: Web Sites Under Attack in a Murky War

BYLINE: Natalya Krainova, Staff Writer


Estonia has created a stir with its accusations that Kremlin-based hackers targeted government web sites. But it is not alone in grappling with cyber attacks.

Hackers in recent months have targeted outspoken pro-Kremlin youth groups, opposition forces, ultranationalist organizations and media outlets, crashing their web sites with what is known as Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attacks -- the same type of attack that Estonia says was launched against its sites.

And by all appearances, cyber attacks are becoming a popular means of silencing political opponents, and some observers see the recent wave of attacks as a rehearsal for upcoming State Duma and presidential elections.

Targeted organizations almost without exception blame political opponents.

"It's clear that the attacks were inspired and ordered by the Kremlin, no matter who executed them," Alexander Averin, spokesman for the banned National Bolshevik Party, said of a DDoS attack on his group's web site that left it offline for about 30 days in February and March. "It was an attempt to suppress the opposition's resources."

Hackers this year have also attacked the sites of groups as politically disparate as the ultranationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigration; the pro-Kremlin youth groups Nashi, Young Russia and Mestniye; and The Other Russia, the opposition coalition that has organized a series of Dissenters' Marches this year.

Alexander Kalugin, a spokesman for Young Russia, said a six-hour DDoS attack on his group's web site in March was likely the work of Estonian nationalists angered over its protests outside the Estonian Embassy over plans to relocate a Soviet World War II monument in central Tallinn that sparked a recent diplomatic dispute.

"We were burning Estonian banners and trampling an effigy of the Estonian president," Kalugin said.

The Movement Against Illegal Immigration had 40 of its regional web sites struck by DDoS attacks from early February to early April, said Alexander Belov, the organization's leader.

Belov blamed the security services for carrying out the attacks under the pretext of battling extremism.

Not only political organizations have been attacked. Two of the country's last independent-minded media outlets -- the Kommersant newspaper and Ekho Moskvy radio -- both had their web sites targeted earlier this month.

Kommersant web editor Pavel Chernikov said the May 2 attack was likely retribution over the transcript of self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky's questioning by Russian investigators in London over the poisoning death of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko.

Ekho Moskvy editor Alexei Venediktov said the attacks, which paralyzed the station's site from May 1 to May 4, were the work of "political forces not interested in people's free access to information."

"This attack was a rehearsal ahead of State Duma elections on how to subdue an informational web site," Venediktov said.

The radio station has appealed to the Interior Ministry to open a criminal investigation into the attacks.

Oleg Panfilov, head of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, echoed Venediktov's assessment, calling the attacks on opposition web sites an "information war" aimed at "suppressing freedom of speech on the Internet."

But experts say there is little chance that the hackers will be brought to justice in these attacks, or those on Estonian sites.

At the height of the Russian-Estonian dispute this month over the relocation of the Soviet monument, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet issued a sharply worded statement that "cyber terrorist attacks" against Estonian government web sites had been traced to computers in the Russian presidential administration.

NATO has since sent a computer expert to Estonia to assess the ongoing attacks, which Estonia says started April 27, and Estonian Defense Minister Madis Mikko has likened them to military strikes.

In a DDoS attack, hackers use a so-called botnet, a network of computers that have been covertly infected to run malicious software. The botnet bombards a web site or server with requests from thousands of computers across the globe, thus making it inaccessible to legitimate web traffic. A computer owner might not even know that his computer is infected and sending the requests to a target server.

This is why the Estonian claim that the attacks came from the Russian presidential administration "may have some grounds and may not," said Mikhail Polyakov, who, when reached by telephone, identified himself as a top adviser in the administration.

Polyakov's name appeared as a contact on a list of IP addresses from which Estonia says the DDoS attacks have been conducted, a copy of which the Estonian Foreign Ministry provided to The Moscow Times.

The list includes the names, phone numbers and the work addresses for people who had registered with the IP addresses, and one of the addresses included is 4 Staraya Ploshchad, where the headquarters of the presidential administration are located.

The IP addresses in the Estonian list belong to various Russian government structures, including the Duma and the Federation Council, Polyakov said.

But even that doesn't mean Duma deputies or senators were somehow associated with the attacks, experts said.

"A professional connects to the server through anonymous IP addresses, and in this case there's no way he can be tracked down," said Yury Mashevsky, a computer virus expert with Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.

"It's rare to find the true criminal," said Paul Sop, chief technology officer of the London-based Prolexic Technologies, which specializes in mitigating the consequences of DDoS attacks.

According to the Russian Criminal Code, anyone convicted of hacking can face up to two years in prison, while spreading computer viruses carries a maximum three-year sentence.

Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky suggested that Vladislav Surkov, the powerful deputy head of President Vladimir Putin's administration, was running a "special department" orchestrating the attacks in order to "block information" ahead of the Duma elections in December and the presidential vote in March.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov firmly denied such possibility, however.

"As far as I know, among the departments that Surkov supervises there are no departments in charge of the Internet," Peskov said.

Commenting on the information about attacks on Estonian web sites coming from the Russian president's administration, Peskov said: "I've repeatedly said that it doesn't represent the facts. These are very serious accusations. Estonia should have proof of them."

Peskov could not explain, however, why web sites of the Russian president's administration were detected by the Estonian security systems. Asked whether hackers could have used the presidential administration web sites like that, he said: "That's impossible."

LOAD-DATE: May 23, 2007


Copyright 2007 Baltic News Service

All Rights Reserved

Baltic News Service

March 5, 2007 Monday 11:57 PM EET

LENGTH: 331 words




Sunday's parliamentary elections in Estonia demonstrated the major split in Estonian society, the chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house) foreign affairs committee says, predicting problems in Estonian-Russian relations if a right-wing coalition is formed in the Baltic state.

"The elections have confirmed the deep political split in Estonian society concerning many fundamental issues, from war graves to relations with Russia," Konstantin Kosachyov told Russian news agency Interfax today.

The liberal Reform Party won the elections ahead of the left-leaning Center Party by a narrow majority of 1.5 percent which in no way gives grounds to talk about an overwhelming victory of rightist forces, the lawmaker said.

He also pointed out that the most radical political force in Estonia, Pro Patria and Res Publica Union, lost considerable ground, as the two parties that ran separately in the previous general elections then secured 32 seats in the 101-member parliament but won only 19 now.

If a right-wing coalition is formed in the parliament one can expect problems in Russian-Estonian relations, Kosachyov said.

In Kosachyov's opinion, the failure of Estonia's Russian-speaking parties to cross the 5 percent election threshold to win parliament seats does not mean that they enjoy meager support. "The main reason is that over 200,000 Estonian residents are still denied voting rights," he said.

The European Union and the Council of Europe should do something about this situation, the Duma committee chairman said.

"The inconsistency of the EU, the whole international community is perplexing: the outcome of the parliamentary elections in Abkhazia is denied recognition on the grounds that a large part of former residents of this republic did not take part in them, but at the same time 200,000 Estonian residents are likewise unable to vote but for some reason this does not faze the international community. I find this a glaring example of double standards," Kosachyov said.

Baltic News Service / - BNS

December 16, 2010 Thursday 9:51 AM EET

Estonian MP: linking me with Russian interests connected with elections

LENGTH: 639 words

Estonian MP: linking me with Russian interests connected with elections

TALLINN, Dec 16, BNS - Vladimir Velman, a Centrist member of the Estonian parliament, said that linking him and Chairman of the Center Party Edgar Savisaar with working in Russian interests was immediately connected with the approaching parliamentary elections.

"It is very funny for me what is now taking place; it is quite clearly connected with the parliamentary elections in March. This shows that we are gradually arriving in the 1930s when all methods were welcome with respect to political enemies. I have a bad feeling because of what is taking place in Estonia at present, but nothing doing, this is what Estonia is like at the moment and we must live here," Velman told BNS.

He said that everything published in the daily Postimees article on Thursday was bluff and there was no truth behind it.

"I would like to recall that Edgar Savisaar was one of the few Estonian politicians thanks to whom the Republic of Estonia gained independence without bloodshed," he added.

Velman said he had not noticed that special services had been interested in him in any way. "I am absolutely not interested in it. I do not know any state secrets. I am not afraid of them, because I have nothing to fear, if a special service starts mentioning my name, I shrug and I have nothing else to say about it," Velman said.

The daily Postimees wrote on Thursday that the Estonian counterintelligence describes Chairman of the Center Party and Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar as a Russian agent of influence. According to the paper the president, the prime minister and the interior minister have a report in which Savisaar is described as a danger to the security of the country.

Ain Seppik, Savisaar's party colleague, has generally helped organize the mayor's contacts in Russia, but this spring Vladimir Velman went to Russia together with Savisaar. According to the Security Police report the trip laid the basis to a story that was called "the most harmful of the past twenty years for the morale of our country."

The Postimees article states that already since the beginning of summer Savisaar has been considered as a security risk for counterintelligence officials and the term "agent of influence" was used about him.

The paper wrote that the document brought to the notice of leaders of the country had asked through mediators 1.5 million kroons in order to increase Russia's influencein Estonia .

The publication notes that this time is not just the political career of a party chairman that is at stake but the face and credibility of the whole country. In such cases the counterintelligence of the Security Police usually informs the president, the prime minister and the interior minister of the result of its work. Andres Kahar, chief superintendent of the Security Police, told Postimees at its inquiry that he could not make any comment on the documents at the disposal of leaders of the country.

According to the information available to the paper, the Security Police has not interviewed Savisaar or has asked him for a conversation. Neither has a suspicion been brought against Savisaar. On Wednesday Savisaar told the paper that he could give no comment on the documents at the disposal of the country's leaders.

Russian historian Boris Sokolov wrote in the publication Russki Zhurnal in November that Moscow was shifting from supporting nationalist Russian parties to supporting parties that have an actual influence in politics, including the Center Party, and money flows were also redirected accordingly.

Although there have been speculations in the local media that Savisaar was looking for Russian contacts in order to get money for his political activity, no such links have been proved, the daily Postimees reported.

Baltic News Service / - BNS

February 2, 2011 Wednesday 6:22 PM EET

Moscow slams OSCE for not taking tough stance on Estonia elections

LENGTH: 328 words

Moscow slams OSCE for not taking tough stance on Estonia elections

TALLINN, Feb 02, BNS - The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday criticizing what it described as detached position of experts of the human rights office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Estonia, a country which does not permit non-citizens to take part in general elections.

"The ongoing parliamentary election campaign is taking place in Estonia in accordance with the already familiar scenario," Interfax news agency quoted the ministry press release as saying. "Nearly 100,000 Russian-speaking permanent residents of the country, who properly pay taxes, have been left aside of political life and deprived of the right to influence the outcome of the election to the legislative body of the Republic of Estonia," the Russian ministry said.

According to the statement, a situation like this results "largely from the detached position of the so-called experts of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, who prefer not to notice serious human rights violations in the Baltic states."

The Russian ministry expressed surprise over the ODIHR report examining the pre-election situation in Estonia, which in its words only focuses on positive aspects of the election process and mentions the barring of a remarkable portion of the population from the elections merely in a stating manner.

Describing the decision of ODIHR not to send a full-scale monitoring mission to the Estonian elections as demonstrative and even provocative, the Russian ministry said this gave testimony of the preservation of the practice of double standards, which in turn led to a decline in trust in ODIHR and OSCE, and showed slant and lack of objectiveness of the procedures applied by ODIHR and of the human rights institutions and monitoring mechanisms of the OSCE.

Baltic News Service / - BNS

December 21, 2010 Tuesday 8:09 PM EET

Russian Railways chief promised EUR 1.5 mln to Estonia's Savisaar in election funds - security police documents

LENGTH: 778 words

Russian Railways chief promised EUR 1.5 mln to Estonia's Savisaar in election funds - security police documents


TALLINN, Dec 22, BNS - The president of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin promised to chairman of the Estonian Center Party and mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar that the Center Party will get 1.5 million euros for parliamentary elections, it appears from a document published by the Estonian security police on its website Tuesday night.

One-third of that money would be delivered in cash and two-thirds by bank transfer on the basis of invoices, Yakunin told Savisaar, Tallinn Deputy Mayor Deniss Borodits, chief of the administration of the president of Russian Railways Vladimir Bushuyev and the coal transit businessman of the AS Petromaks Spediitor company Sergei Petrov in what the security police described as a "conspirative conversation" in the Kiltsi Manor compound in Estonia on June 24 this year. Petrov is the person in charge of solving the issues related to the construction of the new church of the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate in the Lasnamae district of Tallinn, while Bushuyev was to start handling issues of the church construction on Moscow's part.

According to the publication by the Estonian security police, Yakunin emphasized to participants in the conversation that "nobody must speak anything about the deal, anywhere." In the course of the conversation Petrov and Borodits were named as the persons responsible for the forwarding of the money and making it legal.

It appears from the document, formally titled order of the security police director general Raivo Aeg on early lifting of classification on a state secret, that Savisaar and Centrist MP Vladimir Velman agreed the visit by Yakunin to Estonia during their trip to Russia on May 10-11.

According to the document, Bushuyev arrived in Estonia on June 22 and visited the construction site of the church at Lasnamae in the company of Petrov, Borodits and Jevgeni Tomberg the following day. On the evening of June 23 Yakunin arrived in Estonia and attended Midsummer's Eve celebration at Savisaar's Hundisilma farm.

Before noon on June 24 a boat trip in the Bay of Tallinn was arranged for the guests, in the course of which Yakunin told Borodits that "the three asked will not be received, but 1.5 will."

On Sept. 13, Savisaar and Borodits visited the residence of Russian Railways in Moscow, meeting with Yakunin and Bushuyev. Among other things the Center Party financing scheme was discussed there, in which connection Savisaar reaffirmed what had been agreed at Kiltsi manor - one-third in cash and two-thirds by transfer. Savisaar remarked that paying the entire sum in cash would be solvable as well.

"In the following V. Yakunin demanded full sticking to conspiracy in interaction between the parties in the future, referring in this to his long-time experience in undercover work," it stands in the document. The demand consisted of a full ban on the use of telephone to discuss matters related to the money allocation, agreeing of meetings and in other sensitive matters.

Petrov visited Estonia on Oct. 27 and attempted in vain to contact Borodits, who was abroad. Petrov left Estonia the following day and once in Moscow immediately informed Bushuyev about the failure to meet.

On the basis of the gathered information the security police had grounds to believe that the Russian side was actively searching for contacts to hand over money to the Center Party. The security police decided to converse with Savisaar and Petrov on the eve of the Nov. 4 anniversary event of Eesti Raudtee, the Estonian state railway company, in which Yakunin and Bushuyev took part.

In the conversation personnel of the security police pointed Savisaar's attention to possible compromising with regard to his person and the party in connection with the asking of money for the party from a foreign country and the security threats arising from that. On the following day personnel of the security police also talked to Borodits.

The document says that on Nov. 6 Savisaar and Yakunin talked about the need to sign a three-way agreement on legalizing the money allocated for the construction of the Lasnamae church and preventing a possible scandal. The agreement on financing the church construction was signed on Nov. 26 and Savisaar presented it in the city government the next day.

Savisaar is chairman of the Center Party, the largest opposition party in the Estonian parliament that governs in the capital city in a coalition with Social Democrats.

Next parliamentary elections in Estonia are scheduled for March 6, 2011.

Global Insight

December 23, 2010

Estonia's Centre Party Embroiled in Corruption Allegations

BYLINE: Sarah Tzinieris


LENGTH: 333 words

In the build-up to the Estonian general election, scheduled for March 2011, the leader of the Centre Party of Estonia (KESK) has become implicated in a corruption scandal. Edgar Savisaar, who has led KESK for nearly four years and is also mayor of Estonia's capital Tallinn, is accused of embezzling Russian funds for his party'selection campaign. The Estonian intelligence agency KAPO alleges that Savisaar illegally requested 3 million euro (US$ 3.93 million) from OAO Russian Railways chief executive Vladimir Yakunin. The centre-left KESK drums up the majority of its electoral base from the Russian ethnic minority in Estonia, and traditionally has held strong ties in Russia. KESK's website, meanwhile, claims that the 3 million euro was intended to help construct an Orthodox church. The party has also argued that the Estonian authorities are attempting to undermine the party's chances in the upcoming election through provoking ethnic and religious challenges. It has not yet been established whether a formal investigation will be launched by the Estonian authorities.

Significance:Estonia's March 2011 election will be a high-profile event, given the country's expected adoption of the euro on 1 January and recent economic progress following the severe downturn during the 2008-09 financial crisis (seeEstonia: 15 December 2010:). Recent opinion polls indicate that the current centre-right coalition government is likely to remain in power in Estonia, although KESK will continue to present a credible threat to the incumbent government. KESK led the country preceding the 2007 election, and since 2009, support for the party has steadily risen among its traditional Russophone power base. However, the recent Savisaar scandal will no doubt undermine confidence in the KESK leadership. The party's penchant for leftist policies and links with Russia may also weaken support, with the economy expected to increasingly open up to the European Union market following adoption of the euro.

Baltic News Service / - BNS

March 4, 2011 Friday 12:40 PM EET

Russian electoral committee keen to look at Estonia's e-voting arrangement

LENGTH: 369 words

Russian electoral committee keen to look at Estonia's e-voting arrangement

MOSCOW, Mar 04, Interfax-BNS - The Russian Central Electoral Committee wishes to send its representatives to the March 6 parliamentary elections in Estonia to get familiar with the arrangement of Internet voting in the Baltic country.

"We will discuss this subject with our colleagues from the Estonian electoral body, in order to be able to go there for the polls. What interests us the most is related to the procedure of voting over the Internet," said Igor Borisov, the official responsible for international cooperation at the Russian Central Electoral Committee.

He said that of special interest was information as regards advance voting, in which nearly one-third of eligible voters cast their vote according to figures supplied by the Estonian National Electoral Committee.

"This goes beyond the parameters set out by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has always criticized large turnout in advance voting," Borisov said.

Borisov admitted that the Russian electoral body started its preparations for attending the Estonia vote a little bit late.

"With all this bustle with our own elections we overlooked it a bit that they [in Estonia] are going to have an Internet ballot," the official said.

By the end of e-voting and advance voting in Estonia's forthcoming parliamentary election at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 249,811 people or 27.4 percent of all voters had cast votes.

The opportunity to vote via the Internet which was available for seven days was used by 140,846 people and 108,965 people cast ballots at polling stations during three days of advance voting, the National Electoral Committee said.

In the local elections in 2009 a total of 236,384 votes had been cast by the end of advance voting, of them 104,413 electronically. The percentage of voters who participated in e-voting and advance voting was 21.6 percent.

In the previous general election four years ago 19.2 percent of voters took part in e-voting and advance voting, and in the 2003 general election 14.5 percent of voters cast ballots in advance.

On election day, March 6, polls will open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

The NEC informed the OSCE/ODIHR EAM that some 106 international observers were

accredited. The civil society organization Transparency International coordinated some 30

domestic observers. The political parties in general deployed very few observers on election day. Some political party interlocutors told the OSCE/ODIHR EAM that they did not expect any problems in the polling stations and had full confidence in the professionalism of the DCs.

Finland (2000P, 2003L, 2006P, 2007L, 2011L)

No intervention.

France (2000R, 2000P, 2002L, 2005P, 2007P, 2007L)

No intervention.

Germany (2002L, 2005L, 2009P, 2009L, 2010P)



• 2009L: Germany is relying in no small part on Russian capital to save one of its major employers, the carmaker Opel, an unprecedented move driven by one reason -- an approaching general election.

Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck announced Saturday that Canadian auto parts maker Magna International which is expected to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States on Monday.

The bid is being bankrolled by Russia's state-owned Sberbank, which would gain a 35 percent stake in Opel.

"Money doesn't smell at election time," said Andrew Wilson of the European Council of Foreign Relations.

With the September 27 general election rapidly approaching, safeguarding as many of the 25,000 jobs at Opel as possible has become a priority for the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

(“As vote looms, Germany welcomes Russian investment,” Agence France Presse, May 30, 2009)

• 2009L: Whenever Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has traveled to Russia during her four years in office, she has usually brought with her a dossier on human rights violations.

Even though Germany is Russia's largest trading partner, Mrs. Merkel has tended to spend more time discussing political issues and civil liberties than economic and trade ties.

So when Mrs. Merkel went to meet the Russian president, Dimitri A. Medvedev, last week in his official summer residence at Sochi on the Black Sea, she brought up human rights. But this time, her bag also contained a big shopping list.

(“With Jobs a Concern, Germany Warms Up To Deals With Russia,” Late Edition, August 19, 2009)

Greece (2000L, 2004L, 2005P, 2007L, 2009L, 2010P):

Actors (Actions):

Albania (Alliance)

Description: In 2004, the right-wing New Democracy, under Mr. Konstandinos Karamanlis, came to power winning over the PSOK Socialist. Aside from economic issues, the campaign hinged heavily on the issue of national policy towards Albanian immigrants. Members of the Albanian left-wing parties partnered with their Greek counterparts in producing propaganda materials and issuing public statements against the New Democracy party.


Albania: What did Mr Karamanlis promise? He said that his government would not expel the emigrants. On the contrary, it would simplify the procedure for their legalization by eliminating a series of artificial bureaucratic hurdles, so that everyone is served as soon as possible. In other words, the new Democratic government of Mr Karamanlis would treat the emigrants like other EU countries. This means that the hitherto treatment of them will come to an end. In this way, Mr Karamanlis responded to the malicious voices coming from local left-wing politicians and their Albanian mouthpieces from the same part of the political spectrum that if right-wing forces came to power in Greece they would expel foreign emigrants.

Hungary (2002L, 2003R, 2004R, 2005P, 2006L, 2010L, 2010P)


Ireland (2002R, 2002L, 2002R, 2007L, 2008R, 2009R, 2011P):

Description: There seems to have been EU interference in the 2009 Referendum in which Ireland accepted the terms of the Lisbon Treaty. Pro-EU propaganda materials were distributed by EU officials, which figures, according to EU law, as electoral bias.


EU (Alliance)


EU: The European Commission used tax-payers’ money to finance a Newspaper Supplement for pro-Lisbon Treaty propaganda on the 2009 Irish Referendum. “The Irish Supreme Court’s decided in the 1995 McKenna case that it was unlawful to use taxpayers’ money to further one side in a referendum.” (2009, John Anthony Coughlan, The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements,

Italy (1999R, 2000R, 2001L, 2001R, 2003R, 2006L&P, 2008L, 2009R)


USA (Alliance)

Spain (Corruption)

Belgium (Fair)

EU (Fair, Corruption)

Description: The dominance in Italian politics of the neo-Fascist Right, embodied in the strong personality of Silvio Berlusconi,  has prompted a somewhat strong response from EU Member States such as Belgium, Spain, and the EU Commission itself. They sought to condition breaking up of normal relations with Italy on the failure of the Right’s bid to win consecutive parliamentary elections, but unlike in the case of Austria, when Haider’s election prompted sanctions from the European community, Berlusconi’s party and allies have prevailed. On the other side, elements within the UK and the U.S. administrations have at times shown greater affinity with the Italian Right and Berlusconi himself, with Margareth Thatcher and George W. Bush publicly defending his administration. There is some evidence that the U.S. has at least three times sought to influence Italian elections in favor of Mr. Berlusconi, probably to keep in place an administration that was very friendly toward the United States, and whose troops might leave Afghanistan and Iraq should the Left-Center come to power.



Premier Silvio Berlusconi

reiterated on Tuesday that US President George W. Bush wants

him to win the April general elections, blasting an Italian

daily for saying he had fibbed.

"The president believes Premier Berlusconi has provided

strong leadership. Under his leadership Italy has been

one of our closest allies and made enormous contributions to

peace and security," White House spokesman Scott McClellan

said after the talks on Monday.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, after talks with Bush at

the White House, the premier said the American government

"feared a change in government in Italy."


-          Both the staff of presidential advisers and the State Department diplomats must have known that publishing an advisory warning American tourists about the risk of violence in Italy, echoing Berlusconi's own propaganda by immediate return of post, would be read in political and electoral terms.

It is impossible not to conclude that the only real difference between Italy and Spain, France, or the United Kingdom is that a parliamentary election in which not national security, but the power of the most loyal of the European governments is at risk is about to be held here, but not in the other European nations. And if this US administration - assuming that the decision to issue the advisory was spontaneous, and not discreetly prompted by Rome, as Prodi is hinting without actually saying so - really had no intention of pulling on the lever of fear, it might have recalled what even Bush knows, which is that we are two weeks away from an election, which means that every move, every signal sent out from the capital of the Western empire will be interpreted in an electoral light.

(La Repubblica, Rome, in Italian 24 Mar 06 pp 1, 21)

BELGIUM/Spain/EU: The Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel suggested that Brussels impose sanctions should xenophobes come to power. Italy under a Berlusconi government, which included Mr Bossi, should be treated as Austria was after far-right leaderJorg Haider's Freedom Party entered the government, said Mr Michel. Mr Michel was told not to interfere by Italian prime minister Giuliano Amato andthe alliance.

A Spanish judge demanded that Mr Berlusconi's parliamentary immunity be waived so that he could face corruption charges and EU partners questioned the democratic credentials of his coalition.

The persistence of Spanish anti-corruption magistrate, Balthasar Garzon, who wants the Italian parliament to lift the media mogul's immunity, has also causedMr Berlusconi problems. Mr Garzon has complained about delays at the European parliament in processing a request to waive Mr Berlusconi's immunity as a Euro MP. Mr Berlusconi is accused of funnelling millions through Swiss bank accounts to Spain's Socialist leaders between 1982- 86 to discourage inquiries into his tax affairs and ownership of the television network, Telecinco.

(ENEMIES ATTACK BUT BERLUSCONI SCENTS VICTORY; Frances Kennedy, The Independent London, March 4, 2001)

Latvia (2002L, 2003P, 2003R, 2006L, 2010L)


USA (Alliance)

Russia (Alliance)

Description: Despite its entry into the EU and NATO, Latvia remains deeply conscious of foreign interference in its domestic politics, both from Russia and the USA. The U.S. seems to be more successful, however, getting the Latvian Parliament to align its legislative actions closely with its interests in the region. Russia, on the other hand, has consistently interfered in Latvia in a self-defeating manner. Much like Venezuela in Mexico, Latvian candidates who are seen to have ties with Russia tend to perform very badly in the elections.


RUSSIA: The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (CEPA) supervisory committee on Tuesday agreed to postpone review of Russia's proposal to resume international monitoring over Latviabecause none of the meeting participants supported the draft resolution, said the MP Juris Dobelis, who represented Latvia at the meeting.

The committee resolved to return to the issue after general elections in Latvia scheduled for Oct. 5 and the planned visit by the CEPA supervisory committee chairwoman to Latvia.

Dobelis said that the meeting saw even some reproaches to Russia which "must be intending to interfere with our movement to NATO and building the fifth column in Latvia."

The Latvian lawmaker said his colleagues had warned him that "Russia will continue its activities and try to find other ways to achieve its goals."


-       The real Vladimir Putin and his real attitude toward Latvia is not seen through holiday cards or banquets. He demonstrated his real face in Moscow shortly before the last Saeima parliamentary election in October 2002 , when he met the leader of PCTVL For Human Rights in a United Latvia , Janis Jurkans. He did the same by demonstratively sending his greetings to Vasiliy Kononov, who has been accused of genocide in Latvia. This is not an example of Russia respecting Latvia's rights, as our president has said. Russia clearly feels that it has the right to interfere here and to issue instructions to Latvia.

(Latvians have no reason to be optimistic about Vladimir Putin – newspaper; Lauku Avize, Riga, in Latvian 7 Jan 03)

-       Russia, however, has previously called onLatvia to take a critical look at the whole institution of naturalization. Now 17 years have passed since it was established, perhaps it is time to get rid of it, or at least liberalize it? In this area our proposals were formulated when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Latvia last December. First of all, we proposed the introduction of the automatic awarding of citizenship to all children born in Latvia since January 1, 1999. Right now people have to file documents for that to happen, and that is a bureaucratic obstacle which hinders the ability of people to live normal lives in their own country. During the course of one generation, the problem of non-citizens in Latvia would be resolved. Second, if we look at older people in a humane way - why should they be forced to take naturalization examinations? If they want to be citizens, give them that opportunity! Then you will not have to worry about the pace of naturalization to such a great degree. Third, why should non-citizens not be allowed to vote in local government elections? Where is the logic? An EU citizen who has lived in Latvia for six months has such rights, but people who have lived here for decades, who pay taxes, who observe all of the country's laws still cannot elect their local government. These are issues that have been brought up, but there have been delays for the time being in terms of the resolutions. That is why Russia took its own step of lifting the visa regime for non-citizens. I hope that in the future, Russian and EU citizens will not need visas at all when visiting each other.

(Russian envoy to Latvia discusses bilateral relations; Latvijas Avize, Riga, in Latvian 21 Jul 08; pp 3,4)

-       In terms of the even more nebulous question of Russian interference behind the scenes in domestic politics, there are arguably grounds for concern. The tendency of right-wing politicians in Latvia to view the left-wing parties that draw most of their support from the ethnic Russian minority—and won one-quarter of the seats in parliament at the last two elections—as mere vehicles for the extension of the Kremlin's influence is overblown, although Russia has contributed to the persistent exclusion of these parties from government.

(“In NATO, but still nervous: The Baltic States still worry about their big neighbor.” The Economist, December 1, 2006:

USA: The Latvian prosecutor-general is allowed to refuse to answer questions that are posed by journalists, but the Saeima should launch an investigation to find out which ambassadors the Latvian prosecutor-general met, what he discussed with them, what promises he gave, and what services he provided. Even the prosecutor-general is not allowed to refuse to answer questions from an investigations commission. Right now, however the Saeima is quite Americanized. The majority of MPs are prepared, at the slightest hint from the US embassy, to leap through burning hoops and to dance on their hind legs. One doubts whether these people will find the courage to defend Latvia's independence. One can only hope that the next Saeima [an election is due in October] will be made up not of puppets of the US embassy, but instead of MPs who can strike a balance between Latvian and EU interests.

(Latvian commentary: USA has unacceptable influence in Latvian politics; Neatkariga Rita Avize, Riga, in Latvian 7 Aug 06)

No one outside Latvia has the right to interfere with the political processes in our country, Latvian President Valdis Zatlers said, commenting on a report by the top national security agency that the general elections in Latvia last year had drawn an increased interest from foreign intelligence services.

Speaking to the press of Wednesday, Zatlers said that Latvia had competent authorities such as the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) to watch out for any foreign influence on the elections.

SAB spokeswoman Baiba Rata-Salina told BNS that following activities of intelligence services' agents from non-NATO and non-EU states that might have been aimed at influencing the parliamentary elections was one of SAB priorities in 2010. SAB observations had confirmed earlier prognoses that spying activities would increase during the general elections, the spokeswoman said, adding that there have been attempts to obtain details on pre-election processes and the forming of the new coalition following the elections.

(No one has right to interfere with political processes in Latvia – president; Baltic News Service, March 23, 2011)

Lithuania (2000L, 2002P, 20003P, 2003R, 2004P, 20004L, 2008L, 2009P)

Russia (alliance)

NATO (alliance)

EU (alliance)

In the 2003 presidential election, candidate and presidential elect Rolandas Paksas was suspected of accepting money from Russia for his campaign fund. Russian PR firms and Russia’s secret service was also accused of helping Paksas obtain victory. In 2004, Paksas was impeached in part because he was perceived to be subservient to Russian interests. Lithuania is also a member of the EU and NATO; Western European countries want to counter Russia’s influence in Lithuanian politics.


1. NATO, Russia (alliance)

• 2003P: Paksas is himself a supporter of membership of both NATO and the European Union, and is not above using chauvinism for political ends. However, the anti-Paksas campaign that has portrayed him as subservient to Russian interests is a manifestation of the Lithuanian elite’s reliance on anti-Russian scaremongering to compensate for their inability to win popular support for their policies.

It is likely that the state security department, headed by Mercys Laurinkus, began spying on the head of state immediately following his election in an attempt to force him from office. Six months later Laurinkas handed a huge dossier against the president and his officials to Paulauskas. Ironically, the dossier was compiled in conjunction with the Russian state security services, which were looking to neutralise business figures such as Borisov who were considered to be potential rivals to the Putin administration and to this end were prepared to make common cause with the Lithuanian elite.

Another unpleasant surprise for Adamkus was the massive funding that Paksas was able to attract to his campaign.9 Official figures indicated that he had a campaign war chest of $1 million, but many pundits believed he had garnered a far larger amount than that. Later, Lithuanian and Russian analysts estimated that Paksas spent $5 to $7 million.10 Most of this money could not be traced because it supported TV spots and the publication of newspapers that were bankrolled by sources outside of the campaign. There were widespread rumors that much of that money came from Russia.

The Russian Embassy in Vilnius has served as a strategic center for Moscow’s campaign to influence internal developments in Lithuania. Specifically, Lopata and Matonis see Yuri Zubakov, a confidant of Yvegeny Primakov, playing a key role in the plot under the former prime minister’s direction. In 1999, Zubakov replaced the incumbent ambassador even though his tour of duty had not expired. For most of his career, Zubakov served as Primakov’s assistant when the latter was the director of security services, foreign minister and prime minister. It was Primakov’s right-hand man then who would orchestrate the campaign to replace the American Valdas Adamkus as 18 Lithuania’s president with a compliant Rolandas Paksas in the 2002 election.

As previously indicated, a significant amount of Russian money was surreptitiously injected into the campaign – secretly, because Lithuanian law disallows foreign contributions in elections. Moreover, Russian PR firms, such as Almax, played a pivotal role in orchestrating Paksas’s victory and links can be traced between Paksas’s major financial supporters and the Russian secret service. Lietuvos Rytas reported that Borisov had been a member of a Soviet military intelligence unit in Afghanistan. 20 Borisov did not act on his own to curry favor with the Lithuanian president or simply to gain a commercial advantage. Anyone involved in the sale and servicing of Russian helicopters must have close ties with the Russian military-industrial complex, which has been involved in subversive activities in Georgia and Moldova.

Later, Paksas’s resignation seemed prophetic: after several years of losing money due to mismanagement, and failing to get a guarantee from a Russian oil company to provide a steady flow of petroleum, Williams sold its shares to Yukos Oil, the Russian giant run by the young oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Moreover, Williams completed the transaction without first informing the Lithuanian government. Free-market champions claim that Williams failed to function in a profitable manner because it had little experience operating abroad and its management did not invest the capital necessary in the venture to make it viable.12 In any case, Paksas gained substantial political capital for having distanced himself from the deal. And this, combined with his well-financed and targeted campaign allowed him to win an upset victory against Adamkus

1. EU (alliance)

"Russia wants Lithuania to be its agent inside the EU and Nato," the party's chairman, Andrius Kubilius, told the Lithuanian news website Delfi. "Unfortunately, some of our politicians do not understand this and call for a softer stance on Russia and pragmatic relations, but this means only one thing – acquiescing to Russia." While western EU members do not want to see Lithuania inside Moscow's orbit again traditional Russian allies like Italy and Germany have been angered by the country's deep antipathy towards the Kremlin.

European diplomats were particularly irritated when Lithuania blocked the resumption of negotiations on a partnership agreement between the EU and Russia in May. Vilnius said it would not sign on unless the EU brought pressure to bear on Russia to stop its aggression towards Georgia, declaring that it was worried the Kremlin could use the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to invade Georgian territory.

Macedonia (1998L, 1999P, 2002L, 2004P, 2004R, 2006L, 2008L, 2009P, 2011L snap)


OSCE (Fair)

EU (Fair, Peace)

US (Fair, Peace, Alliance)

Kosovo (Alliance, Peace)

Albania (Alliance)

Description: Throughout the late 1990’s and 2000’s, elections in Macedonia were closely watched and interfered with by neighboring countries and international organizations. On one side the EU conditioned progress on Macedonia’s membership negotiations on the successful holding of free and fair elections, with election observation being entrusted mainly to the OSCE. The US also played an important role, as the most influential foreign power in the Balkans, in an attempt to help stabilize the region and usher in a Western-friendly post-Yugoslavia era. Macedonian elections have also been key to Kosovo and Albania, for different reasons. Kosovo saw Macedonia’s electoral success and stability as an example to be followed in its path toward independence from Serbia. Albania interfered mostly to attempt to protect and give more clout to the Albanians living in Macedonia, though with only a fringe impact.


OSCE: he Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will deploy an election observation mission to monitor the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Macedonia, said the head of the OSCE/ODIHR [Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights] Election Observation Mission, Ambassador Audrey Glover.

The mission will include 13 experts, 18 long-term and 250 short-term observers deployed countrywide. The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) has requested 250 short-term observers to be deployed shortly before election day. The mission will assess the election process in terms of its compliance with OSCE commitments and international standards for democratic elections and national legislation.

"Our role in the elections is to monitor and report, not to interfere. We are observers, not election police," Ambassador Glover said, adding that OSCE/ODIHR mission kicked off last Tuesday [30 May], more than a month before elections, because what is going on before elections is of equal importance as the election day itself.

(OSCE to deploy over 250 observers to monitor Macedonia elections; Makfax news agency, Skopje, in English 1135 gmt 31 May 06)

Kosovo: Arben Xhaferi, chairman of the Democratic Party of Albanians, denied media reports in which he is quoted as accusing Kosova Prime Minister Agim Ceku of interference in several zones, in order, it is said, to manipulate the election in Macedonia.

"It is not true that I accused Agim Ceku of interference in the election campaign in Macedonia," the PDSh leader told Lajm. Xhaferi terms as lies the reports which allege that Xhaferi accused the Kosova prime minister of sending a number of UCK [Kosovo Liberation Army] members into several zones to manipulate the election in favour of Ali Ahmeti's party, the Democratic Union for Integration [BDI]. He added that he will not react to such statements.

"I have no need to deny lies," he said. The only interference by Ceku during the Macedonian Assembly election was the statements he addressed to political parties in Macedonia, asking them to conduct these elections with dignity, as they are another test for the former Yugoslav republic. Before the election, Ceku also asked the Kosovars not to interfere in any way inMacedonia's internal affairs.

Reports published by the media alleging that Ceku sent his men as support for Ahmeti have been rejected by Kosovo prime minister's spokesperson Ulpiana Lama. She said that Prime Minister Ceku did the opposite, appealing for calm at a time when a number of incidents occurred during the election campaign.

(Macedonian Albanian politician denies accusing Kosovo PM of interfering in poll; Lajm-Ekskluzive, Skopje, in Albanian 10 Jul 06)

-          Prime Minister Agim Ceku called on the Albanians in Macedonia and their political parties to relax tensions and conduct a peaceful electoral campaign. He also called on Kosovars not to interfere on the internal affairs of Macedonia. "I express my deepest concern with the recent electoral campaign incidents. These incidents harm the good image of Macedonia, as well as the legitimacy of the Albanian political parties," said Prime Minister Ceku.

"Nothing is more important to Macedonia at this moment than free, fair and democratic elections," said Ceku. Ceku also said that the Albanian political parties, by showing their political maturity, will contribute a lot for Kosova [Kosovo] in the process it is going through. "I also call on all Kosovar citizens not to interfere in the internal affairs of Macedonia," says Ceku.

(Kosovo PM urges Albanians in Macedonia to conduct peaceful election campaign; KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 27 Jun 06)

EU: The European Commission [EC] is likely to recommend next autumn a starting date for Macedonia's EU accession talks if the country holds democratic elections and wraps up the required reforms, EC official is quoted by Dnevnik daily.

"There should be no doubt that the recommendation for start of EU entry talks depends on reform process, not on the name dispute, which is a bilateral issue. Hence, if Macedonia shows a democratic maturity at elections and completes the required reforms, I see no reason for the European Commission to put off its recommendation," EC official said.

("Fair Elections To Produce Start of EU Entry Talks"; Makfax news agency, Skopje, in English 0926 gmt 27 Feb 09)

-          It is an undisputed fact that the EU representative Erwan Fouere made a number of moves for which he should have even been expelled from the state. Soon after his arrival, following the 2006 election, he openly sought a coalition between the winners in the Macedonian and Albanian blocs. This was an act of flagrant interference in our internal affairs and an appeal for the state's federalization. It is neither his nor Brussels' business - at least not an open one - who will form a coalition with whom.

(Daily condemns EU, US ambassadors' "negative role" in Macedonia; Nova Makedonija, Skopje, in Macedonian 7 Mar 11)

-          EU special envoy Michael Sahlin has said that the 13 March local elections will be watched closely by the EU and the international community since they are a test of Macedonia's stability and maturity. Following, an interview with Sahlin:

Bozinovska: Do you think that these elections will be a test for Macedonia, which is waiting for a response from the European Commission to its responses to the questionnaire?

Sahlin: As I said, the elections are important, but they are just a stage, a phase. Macedonia must do all the things required in this process. I cannot speculate about the European Commission response, if it is given in November. sentence as published This would be the first step. You have already made a decision on the territorial organization; now you will hold localelections that have to be free and fair; and then you will have to implement the decentralization quickly. The local elections are very important for long-term prospects.

Bozinovska: Can successful elections speed up our path to the EU?

Sahlin: Of course. Following the turbulent year last year, this country should show that it can hold local elections and that it can practise politics peacefully. This will be accepted positively by the EU and NATO.

(International community closely watching Macedonian local election - EU envoy; Dnevnik, Skopje, in Macedonian 10 Mar 05 p 7)

-          Diplomatic sources claim that the ambassadors of EU countries had advised SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski not to agitate the interethnic tension in the state. They also recommended DPA leader Arber Xhaferri not to organize counter-rallies of the Albanians.

(Opposition party disputes results of presidential elections; MIC news bulletin, Skopje, in English 18 Nov 99)

Albania: Albanian Ambassador to Macedonia Vladimir Prela was summoned to the Foreign Ministry today to be presented with a stern note of protest over a statement made by Ilir Meta, the Albanian deputy prime minister and foreign minister, to the members of the Albanian Assembly on 2 September this year regarding the course of the election campaign in the Republic ofMacedonia.

The Foreign Ministry reveals that, among other things, the note assesses that the statement by the Albanian head of diplomacy is unacceptable and directly interferes with the domestic affairs of the Republic of Macedonia.

Further concern is expressed over the fact that such unacceptable formulations are used by an official representative of the Albanian government in front of the Albanian Assembly members, which brings into question the declared efforts of the Albanian government to build and develop good neighbourly relations with the Republic of Macedonia.

(Macedonian ministry lodges protest over Albanian official's statement; MTV1, Skopje, in Macedonian 1800 gmt 5 Sep 02)

USA: Macedonia's main opposition party, the SDSM, is organizing demonstrations to protest about the results of the second round of presidential elections, in which its candidate lost to the candidate of the government party VMRO-DPMNE. The SDSM said that it had lost because of fraud in the Albanian-populated areas in western Macedonia, and it criticized the USA for congratulating the winner before the official results had been announced. The following is the text of a report by Macedonian Information Centre Newsletter on 18th November:

The largest opposition party, SDSM [Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia], continues to dispute the victory of Boris Trajkovski, VMRO-DPMNE [Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity - senior partner in the government coalition] candidate, in the presidential elections and claims that the early congratulations from the United States agitate anti-western feelings in the state.

"We are surprised by this attitude from the US Department of State because the State Election Commission has not yet proclaimed the first official results. The State Department has this time shown a big rush, by which it is trying to influence the relations and interfere in the internal affairs," the head of the election headquarters of SDSM Nikola Popovski stated at the news conference on Wednesday [17th November] evening.

Moldova(1998L, 1999R, 2001L, 2005P&L, 2009P&L, 2010R&L)


Russia (Alliance)

OSCE (Fair)

Romania (Alliance)

Description: Russia has consistently tried to promote Communist candidates in Moldova. Throughout the elections there were allegations of Russian financing of Communist candidates, while the opposition was seen as sponsored by Romania. In 2009, the divide became most clear, when the Communists won in a landslide victory heavily criticized by the Moldovan opposition and the Romanian government as not fair. The OSCE electoral mission’s report declared the elections to have been generally free and fair, but Moscow is thought to have pulled strings within the organization to leave any major criticisms off the report, thus legitimizing the Communist, pro-Russian victory.


Russia: The Moldovan Television and Radio Coordinating Council has threatened to cut off broadcasts of Russia's Channel One to Moldova's households if the Russian television station interferes in the country's election campaign. "I am referring to [the Russian TV channel's] coverage of the founding congress of the Moldova Party, an international public organization for the support of Moldovan citizens living abroad. The Vremya program did not hesitate to gravely interfere in the parliamentary election campaign in Moldova by allowing one of the election rivals to comment on the event and denying this right to other commentators. Such a canvassing campaign is unacceptable," he said. Moldova urged Channel One "to refrain until the end of the election campaign from broadcasting programs that can be viewed as a canvassing campaign supporting a certain candidate."

(Moldova threatens to pull plug on Russia's Channel One; Interfax News Agency, February 22, 2005)

-  Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has described a visit by a group of Russian MPs to Moldova's breakaway Dniester region without Chisinau's consent as "interference into Moldova's domestic affairs".

Speaking at a news conference today, Voronin said that "unfortunately nobody informed us about the intention of the State Duma deputies to visit the Dniester region".

"Parliamentary speaker Eugenia Ostapciuc today sent a letter to State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov. We consider such actions inadmissible," Voronin said. He declined to answer the question whether Kremlin political scientists are working in Chisinau. "We will answer this question within one week," Voronin said.

Passage omitted: Voronin says no foreign country is directly involved in the Moldovan elections.

(Moldova says Russia interferes in its domestic affairs; Infotag news agency, Chisinau, in Russian 1310 gmt 9 Feb 05)

NOTE: Unlike in Ukraine, Moldova has no pro-Russian forces. The Equality movement, which includes the Congress of Moldova's Russian Communities, is absolutely marginal. Hence, no confrontation between Russia and the West should be expected. The Kremlin does not have its own people in Moldova. It has long given up on Mr. Voronin as a pro-Russian politician. In 2001, the Communists won parliamentary elections after campaigning for a socially responsible policy, integration with Russia and leaving behind the extremes of the ethno-national self-determination period of the early 1990s. However, Mr. Voronin and the Communist Party leaders soon launched the nationalization process. Moldovan Communists quickly developed into sovereignty promoters defending national territorial integrity and ended up torpedoing the Russian plan for the Transdniester settlement (Dmitry Kozak's initiative).

(NO 'ORANGE REVOLUTION' FOR MOLDOVA; Sergei Markedonov, RIA Novosti, February 7, 2005)

OSCE: The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will not monitor or recognize upcoming elections in Moldova's breakaway province of Trans-Dniester, officials said Tuesday.

"We see that there is a lack of independence, which means it is hard for voters to receive information from different sources," Claus Neukirch, a spokesman for the OSCE mission in the Moldovan capital told the local BBC affiliate. He added that the separatists' secret services interfere in the election process by monitoring each polling station in the province and "the fact that not all candidates can participate equally in the election process."

Trans-Dniester, a pro-Russian province that broke away from Moldova after a brief war in 1992, has scheduled parliamentary elections for Sunday and has invited the OSCE, Ukraine and Russia to send observers to monitor the ballot. Moldova's government has protested the elections, saying the ballot was a plot by Trans-Dniester's authoritarian leader, Igor Smirnov, to legitimize his rule. Moldova has appealed to the international community not to recognize the ballot.

(OSCE will not monitor or recognize elections in breakaway Moldovan province; Associated Press Worldstream, December 6, 2005)

-       In its preliminary election monitoring report issued April 6, the OSCE's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said the vote took place "in an overall pluralistic environment" and "met many international standards and commitments."

While the report noted that Moldova needed to make "further improvements" in order to ensure future votes would be free from what it called "undue administrative interference," critics nevertheless alleged that the OSCE had given the stamp of approval to a fundamentally flawed vote. Moldova's Central Election Commission has since upheld the Communist win after a formal recount.

In an interview with RFE/RL, Baroness Emma Nicholson, a British member of the European Parliament who observed the Moldova election, called the vote "fundamentally flawed," adding that the ODIHR report was inherently contradictory.

Some see this as a direct result of pressure from Russia, which has long seen the OSCE as a tool of Western influence. Moscow has been scathing in its critique of ODIHR, and made observation standards so restrictive in its own country that ODIHR pulled out of both the December 2007 Duma elections and the March 2008 presidential vote.

Speaking to RFE/RL's Moldovan Service, Ioan Mircea Pascu, a Romanian member of the European Parliament, says that with both the European Union and the United States seeking better relations with Russia, there is an increasing reluctance to challenge either Moscow or the increasingly autocratic post-Soviet regimes loyal to it."Everybody understands there are Russian interests in this region and are hesitant to interfere. But we have to call things by their name because if we ignore what happened, the situation will deteriorate," Pascu said.

A similar sentiment could be heard from Vladimir Shkolnikov, who worked for ODIHR for 13 years and monitored more than a dozen elections before moving to his current post as the European office director for the U.S.-based watchdog Freedom House.

As Russian attacks on ODIHR become stronger, he says, there is an "instinctive impulse" in the organization to try to see how Moscow's interests can be accommodated. He adds that Russia, a key member of the OSCE, has many bureaucratic tools at its disposal to disrupt ODIHR's work and prevent it from working against Moscow's wishes.

(Moldova Vote Controversy Highlights Doubts Over Monitoring; Brian Whitmore, Radio Free Europe, April 21, 2009)

NOTE: The opposition Moldovan Centrist Union has joined the acts of protest in Chisinau on 7 April as it believes that the ruling Communist Party rigged the 5 April parliamentary election, the union's leader and Moldovan former Prime Minister, Vasile Tarlev, has said in an interview with a Ukrainian newspaper. Tarlev said he did not support the Moldovan government's idea to calm down the riots by using force, the paper said. He also said that Moldova will have to deal with the situation on its own as both the EU and the CIS have chosen not to interfere.

(Moldovan ex-premier says EU and CIS left president to face unrest alone; Delo, Kiev, in Russian 8 Apr 09)

Romania: President Vladimir Voronin has once again accused neighbouring Romania of interfering into Moldova's domestic affairs and described as "biased and untimely" the latest actions undertaken by Bucharest towards Chisinau.

"To our regret, in his statement, the Romanian president expressed doubts about the conclusion of European observers who have said that the (5 April parliamentary) election in Moldovawas democratic and free. He dared to say that the whole population of the Republic of Moldova is represented by Romanians and pledged to increase the logistical and financial support for all those structures which have been daily speaking about the need to liquidate Moldova. He also promised to take all Romanians from across the Prut River to Europe by granting them Romanians citizenship," Voronin said.

"If all this does not signify interference in the domestic affairs of the Republic of Moldova and incitement to continue street disorders, then, based on the principles of international law, all this could be described in much tougher terms," Voronin said.

In his address, Voronin once again placed the blame for the 7 April mass riots in Chisinau and the storming of the presidential administration and the parliament building on the Romanian authorities and the Romanian mass media "which were openly calling on the population of our country to rebel".

(Moldovan president says Romania interferes in internal affairs; Moldova One TV, Chisinau, in Moldovan 1835 gmt 15 Apr 09)


Netherlands (2002L, 2003L, 2005R, 2006L, 2010Lsnap)


Description: The Turkish government sent thousands of emails to stimulate ethnic Turks living in the country to vote for Fatma Koser Kaya, Turkish immigrant who ran with the social-liberal Democrats for parliament. Though the party lost 50% of its seats in the election, and despite Fatma Koser Kaya being low on the party’s candidate list, she was elected to parliament thanks to 34,564 individual votes gotten ostensibly as a result of the Turkish government’s campaign.

Turkey (Alliance)


Turkey: Yesterday evening, the Dutch television program Nova caused considerable embarrassment in the Netherlands by revealing how the Turkish government influenced last months’ Dutch general elections. In an e-mail sent to thousands of ethnic Turks in the Netherlands the Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs called on them to vote for Fatma Koser Kaya, a 38-year old woman whose family emigrated to the Netherlands when she was six years old. Koser Kaya is a member of the leftist “social-liberal”Democrats 66 (D66) party. On 22 November, D66 lost three of its previous six seats in Parliament. Koser Kaya, however, though only sixth on the list of D66 candidates, was elected as one of the party’s three parliamentarians thanks to the 34,564 individual votes she got, possibly as a result of the Turkish government’s interference.


Norway (2001L, 2005L, 2009L)



Poland (2000P, 2001L, 2005L, 2005P, 2007L, 2010P):


Description: NO INTERVENTION (surprisingly)


Portugal (2001P, 2002L, 2005L, 2006L, 2007R, 2009L)

No intervention.

Romania (2000L, 2000P, 2004P, 2007R, 2008L, 2009P, 2009R):






Description: Electoral interventions in Romania tend to be very subtle. Given the shared cultural heritage and the fact that its population consists of a large number of Romanian citizens, Moldova has high stakes in Romanian electoral outcomes. Perceived as an important part of the Romanian sphere of influence, Moldovan citizens of Romanian nationality usually exert some influence in Romanian elections through endorsement of particular candidates. Russia is equally interested in Romanian elections, as it seeks to limit the Romania’s influence in its “near-abroad” (especially in Moldova). Russia uses its energy supplies as a tool of interference. The EU has not actively interfered in Romanian elections, but does exert a high degree of pressure on Romanian authorities to ensure free and fair elections. In a more blatant instance of foreign interference, the chairman of the major Hungarian opposition party visited several places in Romania to rally and encourage Romania’s Hungarians to vote for candidates of Romania’s Hungarian Civic Party.

European Union -

Republic of Moldova - the elections for the Romanian legislative could be used by Moldovan parties as "partial" testing of the electoral potential of Moldovan voters, which will allow them to correct or improve their electoral strategies and tactics to obtain better results in 2009. Moreover, any result obtained in these elections will represent an alternative political reality to the one imposed on the public opinion in Moldova by the Communist Party regarding the communists' victory in 2009 elections, which will encourage more and more categories of voters to participate actively in the upcoming parliamentary elections (especially Moldovan emigrants who have Romanian citizenship, young Moldovans who study in Romania, the pro-Romanian population of Moldova).

RUSSIA: Due to Romania’s influence in Moldovan politics and energy concerns.  Romania signed a long-awaited bilateral treaty with Russia in 2003, but relations have been strained by Romania's membership of NATO and its decision to allow the US to establish a permanent military presence on its soil. Relations became even more strained in 2006-08, when Mr Basescu repeatedly accused Russia of using energy supplies as an instrument of foreign policy. It will be difficult to repair the rift that has opened with Russia while Mr Basescu remains in office.

Hungary: Even though leaders of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania [UDMR, RMDSZ in Hungarian] asked Viktor Orban [chairman of Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Alliance] not to do it, he threw himself into the campaign of the neighbouring Romania's local government election due on Sunday [ 1 June]. He visited the three most important settlements of Szeklers Land and he did not even waste much tinfoil to encourage his audience - and in a broader sense, the Hungarians in the area - to support the candidates of the Hungarian Civic Party [MPP], which is competing against the RMDSZ and flaunting its affection for Orban and even its humility. In view of the fact that there is a large Hungarian majority in the counties (Harghita and Covasna) visited by the "nation's prime minister," there is not a great danger for a laughing third, namely a Romanian, to come out victorious from the inter-Hungarian rivalry. Therefore, the accusation that, by inciting against the RMDSZ, Orban is playing into the hands of "the Romanians" does not have much validity.

(Editorial by Endre Aczel: "The Campaign Master"; Nepszabadsag website, Budapest, in Hungarian 28 May 08)

Russia (1999L, 2000P, 2003L, 2004P, 2007L, 2008P, 2011L)


OSCE (Fair)

CIS (Alliance)

PACE (Fair)

US (Alliance, Fair)

UK (Fair)

Ukraine (Alliance)

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Fair)

Description: The demise of democracy in Russia has been followed by an increase in international attempts to monitor and discredit its elections. The U.S. and the UK have been particularly vocal about the decreasing levels of freedom and fairness in the Russian polls, channeling money to the Russian opposition through the NGO community. Monitoring has been mostly done through the CIS, OSCE, the Council of Europe’s Parliament (PACE), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. CIS reports, however, have been largely discredited as voicing Russian policy rather than objective observations. Ukraine has also sought to influence the Russian parliamentary composition, before and after the Orange Revolution, for political leverage as well as commercial purposes.


OSCE/US: Foreign observers have not registered violations during the campaign prior to the Russian State Duma election… Around 1,500 foreign observers including representatives from the OSCE  and foreign government and non-government structures will  monitor the vote. About 1,000 foreigners observed the 1995 polls.

The  Central  Electoral  Commission  provided  accreditation   to observers  from  52  countries  and from roughly  80  international  and national organizations… The largest mission includes roughly 450 representatives  of  the OSCE/Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

This mission opened its office in Moscow in early November and  35 observers followed the electoral campaign. Employees of the U.S. Agency for International Development and  of the  Conscience  Call non-government fund will monitor  the  voting...


-       The Kremlin warned foreigners yesterday not to interfere in Russia's parliamentary elections after it cut sharply the number of Western observers permitted to view the polls.

"No country will accept any attempts from abroad to try to influence it," Kremlin deputy spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "It's a matter of sovereignty of the country."

Peskov was speaking after Europe's main democracy watchdog, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said Moscow had imposed "unprecedented" restrictions on its observation mission to the December 2 elections.

(Don't interfere, warns Kremlin; The New Zealand Herald, November 2, 2007)

CIS/PACE/OSCE/Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Central Elections Commission chief Vladimir Churov said Tuesday that excessive numbers of "so-called foreign observers" during upcoming State Duma elections would interfere with Russia's internal affairs. The presence of observers at each of the 95,000 polling stations would "at the very least" be tantamount to foreign interference, Churov told a news conference.

Churov - who earlier this year praised monarchy as a form of government - convened the news conference to defend his commission's decision to limit the number of foreign observers to the Dec. 2 elections. Some 330 to 350 international observers are expected to be in the country on election day, Churov said. Of these, around 100 will represent the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, he said.

Observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE's election watchdog, criticized the 2003 Duma elections, which were monitored by a 450-person OSCE delegation. Despite the drastic reduction, the OSCE has confirmed that it will send monitors and has asked for the full cooperation of Russian officials.

Around 30 observers will represent the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, while another 30 will represent the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Churov said.

(Russia doesn't need many foreign observers; Aleksey Levchenko, RusData Dialine - Russian Press Digest, November 7, 2007)

CIS: A CIS observation mission is expected to monitor presidential elections in 35 Russian regions, Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Vladimir Churov noted during today's meeting with Nauryz Aidarov, head of the mission and deputy head of the CIS executive committee. Churov pointed out that Russian authorities would not create hurdles for the mission, as they were interested in the effective monitoring of the election.

In turn, Aidarov stated that all 100 observers were ready to monitor the election, adding that the mission would not interfere in Russia's internal affairs.

(CIS observer mission to monitor Russian election; RosBusinessConsulting Database, February 19, 2008)

-       The negative evaluation of Russia's prospective presidential election by head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation mission Andreas Gross, breached the principles of impartiality and non-interference, head of the CIS election observation mission Nauryz Aidarov told Interfax on Thursday.

"There are two main principles in the work of election observers. Firstly, all the missions must be politically impartial and must not interfere in internal affairs of the host country," he said. On Wednesday, Gross called into question the fairness of the March 2 election in Russia. He said there was no alternative in that ballot.


US: By eliminating local leaders, Putin has cut off feedback from the people to Moscow's leaders, who are increasingly disconnected from them. Putin has led a brutal crackdown in Chechnya. And people are talking about changing the constitution to prolong Putin's power. In Ukraine, Putin sought to interfere with the election and initially proclaimed the first fraudulent vote to have been fair. Moscow sought to interfere in the recent election in Moldova. And Putin seeks to eviscerate the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe because of its role in exposing electoral fraud in post-Communist states of Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

In his inaugural address, Bush pledged to promote freedom throughout the world. And in Bratislava, Bush again demonstrated that he is good to his word.

In a private meeting and then in public with Putin standing beside him, Bush made clear that Russia's authoritarian drift is unacceptable and that the United States expects that trend to reverse and shift toward more freedom.

The United States has many issues on which we should and we will work with Russia. But only a democratic Russia will be a reliable partner.

(Bush won't let Russia stop freedom's march, Bush made clear that Russia's authoritarian drift is unacceptable; Richard S. Williamson, Chicago Sun-Times, March 12, 2005)

-       U.S. plans to get involved in Russia's election process is an explicit instance of interference in Russia's internal affairs, State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachyov said.

"I am amazed by the U.S. State Department's report. The masks are off. The report directly indicates that the U.S. will fund projects under the upcoming parliamentary and presidentialelection campaigns in Russia," Kosachyov said, commenting on the U.S. State Department's 2006 annual report on human rights and democracy.

"This is an instance of direct interference in a country's internal political life and sovereign affairs, which we cannot accept in any flavor or under any circumstances," Kosachyov said.

(U.S. plans to interfere in Russia's elections unacceptable; Konstantin Kosachyov, Russia and CIS General Newswire, April 10, 2007)

-       The "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy" report released by the US State Department on April 6 has drawn a rather sharp response in Moscow. The Russian Foreign Ministry described it as "politicized"; political analysts have called it an attempt to interfere in another country's internal affairs. Even rights activists, while emphasizing that some passages in the report are fair, note that the United States has lost its moral leadership in the field of human rights.

The report's Russia section doesn't say all that much about defending human rights (it does mention xenophobia and incidents of anti-Semitism). But it says a lot more about the "erosion" of democracy in general, and the consequent need for efforts to ensure that the upcoming elections, both parliamentary and presidential, are "free and fair." For this purpose, the United States intends to organize "political party training, training for mass media representatives on covering political issues, and voter education initiatives."

"Essentially, the United States is moving from election-monitoring and supporting general democratic principles to supporting specific political ideas," says political analyst Sergei Markov. "The United States constantly 'confuses' democracy with its own geopolitical interests - thus undermining confidence in this report."

The "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy" report released by the US State Department on April 6 has drawn a rather sharp response in Moscow. The Russian Foreign Ministry described it as "politicized"; political analysts have called it an attempt to interfere in another country's internal affairs. Even rights activists, while emphasizing that some passages in the report are fair, note that the United States has lost its moral leadership in the field of human rights.

The report's Russia section doesn't say all that much about defending human rights (it does mention xenophobia and incidents of anti-Semitism). But it says a lot more about the "erosion" of democracy in general, and the consequent need for efforts to ensure that the upcoming elections, both parliamentary and presidential, are "free and fair." For this purpose, the United States intends to organize "political party training, training for mass media representatives on covering political issues, and voter education initiatives."

"Essentially, the United States is moving from election-monitoring and supporting general democratic principles to supporting specific political ideas," says political analyst Sergei Markov. "The United States constantly 'confuses' democracy with its own geopolitical interests - thus undermining confidence in this report."

(WILL WASHINGTON ORGANIZE ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA?; Yuri Politov, Izvestia, April 11, 2007, p. 4)

-  William J. Burns, U.S. Ambassador to Russia: We work with a wide range of civil society groups, from election observers to business groups, to organizations concerned about the environment. All of the NGOs we work with are registered properly under the new NGO law and we talk to Russian officials about these issues quite a bit. We publish the details of our programs on our website so that any of you can read them if you want. It is not our business to get involved in the outcomes of Russian elections. That's your business. What we do make available - here as in other parts of the world - are the benefits of our experience. And we make no secret about it and we try to do it in as transparent a way as we can.


-       State Duma members have adopted a statement on what they called "the United States' gross interference in Russian domestic politics." The document was prepared by the Duma Committee for public and religious organizations and it says that such attempts are contained within the U.S. Department of State's report "Supporting human rights and democracy worldwide" issued on April 6.

"Under the disguise of assisting free and fair elections to the State Duma in December 2007 and the Russian presidential elections in March 2008, U.S. taxpayers' money is being spent on training, polls, seminars, and other events which spread propaganda and biased evaluations misinterpreting Russian law, such as the one on non-profit organizations," it says.

"U.S. officials are taking part in the events, some of which are organized by clearly extremist forces. This is how the White House is trying to pursue its economic and political interests by interfering into other countries' internal affairs," it says. The financing of nonprofit organizations by foreign countries for political purposes is unacceptable yet "this activity is practiced by the U.S. government," it says.

(State Duma adopts statement on U.S. interference in internal affairs (Part 2); Russia & CIS Military Newswire, April 13, 2007)

-       The Russian president accused the US of trying to undermine Sunday's general election by influencing a decision by the OSCE's election monitors to pull out of observing the vote.

He said: "We have done everything to safeguard Russia from internal disturbances and to put it firmly on the track of evolutionary development. We will not allow this process to be adjusted from the outside."

(Putin warns countries not to interfere in Russia; Euronews, November 28, 2007)

UK: The Kremlin resumed a campaign of harassment against the British ambassador in Moscow yesterday, with youth activists from the pro-Kremlin group Nashi saying they would sue him.

About 50 activists gathered outside the riverside embassy, holding placards showing a photograph of the ambassador, Tony Brenton, with the word "loser" stamped in red ink across his forehead.

Nashi said it was launching legal action against Brenton after he appeared at a civil society meeting in July 2006 sharing a platform with leaders of the liberal opposition movement, the Other Russia coalition. Brenton is accused of abusing his position by funding opposition parties. Nashi is calling for an apology and his expulsion from Russia. A Moscow civil court is likely to rule on the case next month.

The Kremlin's decision to resume its campaign of intimidation against Brenton follows Sunday's parliamentary elections, which gave a landslide victory to Vladimir Putin's United Russiaparty. The ambassador has been a target of Nashi for a year and a half. Youth activists have disrupted his meetings and harassed his family, and protesters outside the British embassy have compared Brenton to Hitler.

(Kremlin activists dog British ambassador; Luke Harding, The Guardian, December 6, 2007)

UKRAINE: For the first time in many years, Russia and Ukraine have parliamentary elections scheduled at almost the same time. But Ukraine's election will happen slightly earlier - thus giving Kiev time to interfere in Moscow's affairs. Ukraine is showing strong interest in Russia's election campaign: hoping to re-establish contacts with Russia's political elite. In Moscow, almost all participants in the campaign process will attempt to secure support from the Ukrainian parties which are considered pro-Russian.

But even as Moscow has its own designs on the Ukrainian election, Kiev is showing significant interest in the election campaign in Russia. There is no hope of a change in the policy course; but Ukrainian politicians are still hoping for some changes in the composition of Moscow's negotiation team.

(KIEV'S HAND;Ukrainian politicians are very interested in Russia's elections; Leonid Petrov, Versiya, No. 32, August 20, 2007, p. 9; Translated by Elena Leonova)

Yugoslavia_Serbia (2000L, 2002P, 2003P&L, 2004P, 2006R, 2007L, 2008P&L)


US (Fair, Alliance, Peace)

EU (Fair, Alliance)

China (Alliance, Left-Right)

Montenegro (Peace, Fair)

Description: Most blatant was the intervention by the United States, which gave ample training, material, and political support to Milosevic’s opposition. The European Union used some of its active leverage to condition better trade measures to the Western Balkans on Milosevic’s electoral loss. On the other end, China remained fairly supportive of the Serbian leadership under Milosevic until the 2000 Revolution. It provided funding and economic packages to Milosevic’s administration, and heavily opposed NATO interference in Serbia or Kosovo. The autonomous region-become-country of Montenegro also played a role, especially in the 2000’s election, by imposing a “country”-wide boycott on the Serbian elections, aware that Milosevic’s illegal victory would result in an invasion of Montenegro.


EU: E.U. foreign ministers are also set to send a message to the Serbian people urging them to vote in favour of democracy and change in elections on September 24. A package of improved trade measures for the Western Balkans nations is set to be adopted by the ministers. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 18, 2000)

US: Mr. Clinton's comments today -- first at the White House, then in asides during a speech at Princeton University -- were directed therefore at encouraging the popular uprising while making it clear that the United States was keeping its distance. But Washington has hardly been shy about offering incentives to the people of Serbia to take the kind of action that unfolded today. The administration has funneled money to voter education groups and the independent news media in Serbia. Mr. Clinton has often said that he is willing to lift economic sanctions against the country as soon as Mr. Milosevic is gone. That would allow American and other international aid money to pour in, and permit investors to rebuild the shattered country. While the process could take years, officials today were pointing to the speed with which Eastern European countries turned from dumping dictators to opening factories. (DAVID E. SANGER; The New York Times, October 6, 2000)

China: China plans to maintain its close relations with the Belgrade government whatever the outcome of last Sunday's Yugoslav election, foreign ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said on Tuesday. With official results of Sunday's presidential, parliamentary and local government election expected on Wednesday, Sun also urged Western countries not to intervene in the republic. Beijing, as one of Belgrade's few allies, has consistently opposed NATO operations in the Balkans, particularly after the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade last year. Chinese leaders have maintained good relations with President Slobodan Milosevic, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 26, 2000)

-          China has sent the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia aid to the value of 300m dollars and if part of this aid is used to intervene on the foreign currency market, then this could challenge the forecasts by economists concerning the foreign exchange rate trends, Mladjan Dinkic, the coordinator of the G17 group of economists, said today. "A considerable part of this aid was brought in as cash in a diplomatic pouch and some is in the form of loans that are yet to be realized," Dinkic said at today's news conference, adding that "this is an act of political support for the regime". (Beta news agency, Belgrade, in Serbo-Croat; 8 Dec 99)

Montenegro: Montenegro, the junior partner to Serbia in the Yugoslav federation, is boycotting the election, which Montenegrin president Milo Djukanovic has called a sham. Djukanovic said yesterday that Kostunica will win the election, but ''Milosevic will declare victory'' immediately after the polls close and will use his powerful Interior Ministry police forces and the army to keep power. (The Gazette, Canada; September 24, 2000)

Slovakia (2000R, 2002L, 2003R, 2004P, 2004R, 2006L, 2009P, 2010L, 2010R):

Actors (Actions):

EU (Fair, Alliance)

NATO (Alliance)

Description: The European Union has intervened directly on Slovak elections during the 2003 Referendum on EU membership. On a side note, and not necessarily warranting foreign intervention, EU-Slovakia relations deteriorated in 2006, when an EU report criticizing Slovakia's policy on allowing doctors to refuse to perform abortion resulted in a no-confidence vote against the Christian Democrat administration, with elections following suit in which EU-preferences weighted heavily. In the 2002 elections, NATO also exerted much pressure on Slovakia’s parliamentary elections by publicly supporting certain political candidates, and conditioning Slovakia’s entry into NATO upon the electoral results.


EU: When EU support for SDKÚ and its rejection of HZDS became too outspoken, a backlash

effect occurred. Cas Mudde comprehensively documents the Western interference in the Slovak

election and points out that “during the campaign a majority of 57 % of Slovaks expressed

dissatisfaction with the open interference in the Slovak election campaign by Western officials,

while only 30 % supported it… A full 87.5 % of HZDS supporters rejected the interference, while

only 2.5 % supported it.”14 Even the pro-European newspaper SME criticized the interventionism

of the EU. (Katarína Maxiánová, Waking the Dead: Milan Hodža and the Slovak Road to Europe. Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs (Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs), issue: II / 2003, pages: 65 74, on (2003)

2006: a European Union advisory panel of legal experts issued a statement last December saying that medical professionals are not allowed to refuse to participate in abortions. The statement of the EU legal experts was written in such forcible terms that it embarassed Slovak politicians, eager to be taken seriously by their EU partners after several previous snubs. However, though Mr Dzurinda’s Christian Democrat Party originally supported the treaty – on the table since 2003 – after the EU’s criticism the Prime Minister said last Monday that the treaty would allow the Catholic Church to gain too great an influence. Thirteen of the 16 cabinet members spoke out against it, while the three ministers of the Christian Democrat Movement (KDH) defended it. Last Monday KDH leader Pavol Hrusovsky announced that his party’s 15 MPs were going to join the opposition. Because the KDH said that it would vote against the cabinet from now on, there was a real possibility that 76 parliamentarians would vote against the cabinet, whereupon Mr Dzurinda announced that he would call new elections.

NATO: NATO Secretary-General George Robertson has said during his visit to the Czech Republic that if Slovak citizens want to join NATO, they should be voting for those parties in the forthcoming parliamentary elections that can guarantee that Slovakia will be invited to join the alliance a reference to remarks by a number of top NATO representatives who have warned that Slovakia might not be invited to join NATO if former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar returns to power. (Tamara Valkova - Excerpt from report by Slovak radio on 21 March, 2002)

Slovenia (2000L, 2002P, 2003R, 2004R, 2004L, 2007P, 2008L, 2010R)


FINLAND (Left-Right)

Description: Since its separation from Yugoslavia, Slovenia has had very few, if any, cases of proven foreign electoral interference. One case stands out in which Finnish media ushered in a political crisis in Slovenia, charging the Prime Minister of having illegal deals with a Finnish arms company. The affair was harshly dubbed by Slovenian authorities as an attempt by former Communists to increase their chances in the legislative elections.


Finland: [Defeated] Prime Minister Jansa, 50, ran on his leadership of one of Eastern Europe's most successful economies, a nation of 2 million people that joined the EU and NATO in 2004 and switched to the euro in 2007.

But he was dogged by inflation since Slovenia joined the eurozone - and by claims in a Finnish television report that he received part of 21 million euros (30 million dollars) that arms maker Patria allegedly paid in bribes to win a Slovenian defence contract.

Jansa strongly denied the allegations and portrayed it as a smear attempt by former communists. He dubbed the election campaign the dirtiest since Slovenia won independence from the former Yugoslavia in a 10-day war in 1991.

(“Leftist Opposition wins tight Slovenian election” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 22, 2008)

-           The government of Slovenia, with Prime Minister Janez Janša in the forefront, has pressed on with planned action against the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) and its investigative television programme MOT.

On Thursday, Slovenia submitted an official diplomatic note to Finland over the recent MOT programme alleging that bribes were paid by the Finnish armaments manufacturer Patria to the Slovenian PM in return for contracts. In addition, Prime Minister Janša was in direct contact with Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.

Janša sees the claims as a part of the current Slovenian parliamentary election campaign. There have been allegations put forward in Slovenia that the real reason is to help the country’s opposition to win in the election a couple of weeks from now.

The Prime Minister continues to deny the allegations in the story, and warns that the programme could harm the friendly relations that prevail between Finland and Slovenia.

Already on Wednesday the government of Slovenia said that it would file a lawsuit against YLE’s “responsible people” over the allegation that Patria had paid bribes to Prime Minister Janša.

(“Slovenia sends diplomatic note to Finland over YLE bribery allegations,” Helsinki Sanomat, September 9, 2008) Lic. Maria Silvia Rodrigues

Spain (2000P, 2004P, 2005R, 2008P)

No intervention.

Sweden (2002P, 2003R, 2006P, 2010L)

Denmark (fair)

Sweden is a consolidated democracy and does not typically experience electoral interventions, but the raise of right-wing, anti-immigration parties have caused concern in Denmark. In the 2010 parliamentary elections, some prominent Danish politicians called for the Council of Europe to send election observers to Sweden. The Liberal Party of Denmark called the Swedish election free but not fair.


1. Denmark (fair)

• 2010L: Now leading politicians in Denmark -- where immigration controversies over the last 10 years have sharpened the tone of political debate -- are crying censorship. Some prominent Danes even want the Council of Europe to send election observers to Sweden.

"It would be appropriate to send observers to the Swedish elections," said Michael Aastrup Jensen, foreign affairs spokesman for the center-right Liberal Party, according to the Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The Liberal Party rules in a coalition government with the Conservatives in Copenhagen.

Jensen told SPIEGEL ONLINE that he stands behind his call for election observers in Sweden. "Of course I do," he said. The issue is not just an apparent attempt to keep a new party from entering parliament, he said, but also a tendency at Swedish polling stations to hand out ballots according to party, so a voter can't help declaring party allegiance in public.

He said these habits would raise an alarm with international observers. But he stopped short of condemning the Swedish system as unfree. "The Swedish election is perhaps free, in our opinion, but it's not fair," said Jensen.

This position puts Jensen at odds with his own prime minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, also from the Liberal Party. Rasmussen told journalists this week that it was not Denmark's role to interfere in Swedish elections. "An OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) mission has visited Sweden and expressed its total confidence in the electoral system, and I share that confidence," he said, according to the news agency AFP.,1518,715107,00.html

Switzerland (2000R, 2002R, 2003R, 2003L, 2004R, 2005R, 2007L, 2009R, 2010R, 2010P):


Description: NO INTERVENTION. Swiss elections have traditionally been fair and free of outside interventions. However, in recent years the international community has expressed concerns about the rise of the extreme right. For example, in 2007, the UN intervened to eliminate xenophobic elements from the propaganda of one of the anti-immigration parties. While we can expect further foreign intervention in upcoming elections, little evidence other than the UN intervention is available as of now to substantiate a greater claim of foreign electoral intervention.


UNITED NATIONS: During the campaign, the SVP's sheep poster drew accusations of racism from a United Nations expert, who called for it to be withdrawn. (AFP/Google News, October 22, 2007:

a.   The most extreme example of the racist campaign conducted by the SVP is a poster that shows three white sheep on red soil with a Swiss cross, using their hooves to drive a fourth, black sheep beyond the border. The UN special ambassador for racism has officially intervened to protest the poster. (Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz; World Prout Assembly; October 20, 2007:

Ukraine (2002L, 2004P, 2006L, 2007L, 2010P)

Russia (alliance)

U.S. (fair, alliance)

The U.S. State Dept. and USAID supported pro-democracy activists and NGOs, such as Otpor, through monetary funding and training before the Orange Revolution. Russian media portrayed the pro-democracy protestors as led stray by U.S. agents; Russia allegedly supported Yanukovych. In the 2010 presidential election, Russian Pres. Medvedev wrote an open letter to Yushchenko calling his position “anti-Russian.” OSCE and EU sent a combined total of more than 1300 observers to the 2010 elections.



1. Russia (alliance)

2010P: Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev wrote an open letter to Viktor Yushchenko, concerned with the perceived “anti-Russian position of the current Ukrainian authorities.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev waded into neighbouring Ukraine's presidential election campaign on Tuesday, attacking the incumbent as "anti-Russian" and urging the next leader to cooperate with Moscow.

In an open letter to Ukraine's pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, Medvedev said he would postpone sending a new ambassador to Kiev, and accused Yushchenko of putting gas supplies to Europe at risk by disrupting ties with Moscow.”

2004P/Orange Revolution: Russia media portrayed Ukrainian protesters as led stray by Western agents.

“Ukraine remains a divided and distrustful nation of about 48 million people, where the Russian-speaking, industrialized eastern part of the country backs Yanukovych and the more nationalistic, agricultural west wants Yushchenko.”

2. OSCE, EU (fair)

2010P: OSCE sent 60 long-term and 600 short-term observers.

EU member states sent over 700 observers.

3. U.S. (fair, alliance)

• 2004P/Orange Revolution: U.S. State Department and USAID supported pro-democracy activists and trained political organization and nonviolent resistance.

“Some of the $1.8 million the institute spent in Serbia in the last year was "provided direct to Otpor," he says. By this fall, Otpor was no ramshackle students' group; it was a well-oiled movement backed by several million dollars from the United States.”

United Kingdom (2001L, 2005L, 2010L, 2011R)

No intervention.

Asia and the Pacific


Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Afghanistan (2004P, 20005L, 2009P, 2010L)
NATO (alliance, peace)
U.S. (alliance, peace, corruption)
U.K. (alliance, peace)
Canada (alliance, peace)
Pakistan (peace, alliance)
All the elections in the past decade happened during the War in Afghanistan, with U.S.-led NATO troops against Taliban insurgency. In the 2004 presidential election, the U.S. supported Karzai, whom the U.S. picked to head the interim government. In the 2009 presidential, the U.S. favored Ashraf Ghani as a candidate to curb the counfor try’s corruption under Karzai. European and American officials threatened Karzai to concede to a runoff between Karzai and Abdullah. Pakistan’s army chief agreed to limit military problems on election day 2009; Pakistan is perceived to favor Karzai. In 2010, U.S. congressmen urged Karzai to delay parliamentary elections until electoral reform for fear of corruption. International observers monitored both the 2009 and 2010 elections.
1. NATO, U.S., U.K., Canada (alliance, peace)
• 2004P-2010L: War in Afghanistan
• 2004P: “There were 18 candidates in the presidential election, but the U.S.-backed Hamid Karzai, a tribal leader of the ethnic Pashtun group, was the favorite to win… The United States picked Karzai to head an interim government after U.S. and Afghan forces overthrew the Islamic Taliban government in 2001 for providing refuge to Osama bin Laden, the organizer of the Sept. 11 attacks.”
• 2009P: “President
Hamid Karzai’s concession of the need for a runoff election in Afghanistan appears to have prevented his country from slipping into paralysis, but has created a new landscape of risks and uncertainty. Mr. Karzai’s concession was a critical first step toward creating a credible Afghan government, coming after heavy pressure from European and American officials, including veiled threats that his actions could affect pending decisions about troops levels, according to one American official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter.”
2. U.S. (corruption)
• 2009P: “Whatever  HYPERLINK "" Afghanistan, the  HYPERLINK "" Obama administration intends to resume its push for the appointment of a Western-style chief executive in an attempt to curb the worst of the country's endemic corruption and expand the influence of the Kabul government in the face of  HYPERLINK "" Taliban advances.
…The third main presidential candidate, Ashraf Ghani, is favourite for the chief executive slot, a US official familiar with discussions in Washington said yesterday.”
• 2010L: “U.S. Congressmen said Tuesday they are urging Afghan President Hamid Karzai to delay the next parliamentary ballot until electoral reforms are in place or risk American financial support for his government. Karzai insists the elections must be held in May despite widespread concerns about their credibility, the U.S. legislators said.”
3. Pakistan (peace, alliance)
“Pakistanis tend to see Karzai as maybe the best of the two serious options--the other being Abdullah Abdullah--simply because he's a known quantity and a Pashtun who has a reasonably good working relationship with the current government in Islamabad.”
“We've seen senior-level discussions between U.S. military commanders and the Pakistani army chief related to the Afghan election. There is a desire to try and limit the military problems that will happen on election day.”

Australia (2004L, 2007L, 2010L)
No intervention.

Bangladesh(2001L, 2007Lpostponed, 2008L)

Japan (Fair)
Australia (Fair)
Canada (Fair)
Denmark (Fair)
France (Fair)
Germany (Fair)
Italy (Fair)
Netherlands (Fair)
Norway (Fair)
South Korea (Fair)
Sweden (Fair)
Switzerland (Fair)
UK (Fair)
US (Fair)
EU (Fair)
Commonwealth (Fair)
Pakistan (Fair)
India (Fair, Alliance)
UN (Fair)

Obs: The Tuesday Group - Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, US, European Commission, and the resident coordinator of the United Nations.

Description: Bangladesh was the center of international attention due to the long lasting conflict between political factions. The country’s caretaker government formed to conduct elections was believed to be legitimate by the international community, both in 2001 and 2007/2008, but it required heavy international collaboration to mediate between the quarreling factions in an attempt to conduct inclusive elections. India was closely involved in political negotiations, as it sought to ensure an India-friendly regime rose to power. Pakistan likewise sought to counter India’s influence by closely monitoring the polls and urging for free and fair elections. Most of the international pressure, however, came from a coalition of countries and intergovernmental organizations calling themselves the “Tuesday Group” (Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, US, European Commission, and the resident coordinator of the United Nations.), which actively sought to keep the caretaker government in line and on schedule. They also provided election materials, financed training for state officers conducting the polls, and sent in a number of election monitoring delegations.


Japan : The head of a Japanese election monitoring team on Wednesday told Bangladeshi President Shahabuddin Ahmed that Monday's general election was held peacefully and the people participated in it enthusiastically.
Shin Sakurai, a House of Councillors member and vice president of the Japan-Bangladesh Association, made the remarks during a courtesy call on Shahabuddin at Bangabhaban. He informed the president that he observed eight polling centers in different locations and noted a large turnout.
(Japanese election monitor says Bangladesh election peaceful; Japan Economic Newswire, October 3, 2001)
US: US Ambassador Mary Ann Peters urged all political parties to take on the responsibility for a peaceful conduct of upcoming general election in Bangladesh and accepting its results in good grace.
Party leaders should also make a commitment in advance that win or defeat, they will participate in the next parliament and use the House to make their political case to the people, she said.
The US Ambassador in Dhaka made the suggestions as squabbles between the ruling and opposition camps here handicapped the outgoing parliament and cast a shadow on the forthcoming election for a new one.
(US Ambassador-Election; United News of Bangladesh, March 24, 2001)

-       The United States on Friday gave its blessing to this week's election in Bangladesh, saying it accepted the results despite opposition protests of vote-rigging. "The election was well carried out," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, adding that a caretaker government installed to organize Monday's poll had done "a very good job" and that international observers had certified the vote as "free and fair." "We accept those results," Boucher told reporters.
"We think the parties in Bangladesh should accept those results and that judgment and that Bangladesh does need stability and democracy and we look forward to working with the new government in that matter."
(US Gives Blessing to Bangladesh election; Agence France Presse, October 5, 2001)
-       The United States wants Bangladesh to set a date for elections, the US embassy in Dhaka said Wednesday. An embassy spokesman said US Ambassador Patricia Butenis had made the call after visiting the new election commission chief on Tuesday evening. "I, of course, emphasised the desirability of issuing a timeline for the election," the ambassador told reporters of her meeting.
(US envoy urges Bangladesh to set date for polls; Agence France Presse, April 4, 2007)
Commonwealth: Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has reaffirmed support for elections and the return to parliamentary government in Bangladesh as expeditiously as possible.
He expressed the hope that political parties in Bangladesh would play a constructive role in supporting a peaceful environment for the conduct of credible elections
McKinnon made the remarks during a meeting with Awami League president Sheikh Hasina here Thursday as part of his ongoing interaction with Bangladesh's political leaders.
The Secretary-General earlier visited Bangladesh in March this year and had meetings with representatives of the caretaker government and political parties at that time. An official source in the Commonwealth Secretariat said the Secretary-General has constantly emphasised the need for credible elections in Bangladesh as soon as possible.
(AL chief Hasina meets Commonwealth secretary general McKinnon; United News of Bangladesh, April 5, 2007)
-       The head of the Commonwealth urged Bangladesh on Monday to end emergency rule before its December elections, saying the measures were "inconsistent with a normal electoral process." The Commonwealth Secretariat, based in London, plans to send a team to assess the electoral process ahead of the vote, Sharma added. The Commonwealth will wait for the team's report to decide whether to send election observers.
(Commonwealth to Bangladesh: End emergency rule; Parveen Ahmed, Associated Press Worldstream, October 27, 2008)
-       Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma welcomed the lifting of the state of emergency and announced that the Commonwealth Observer Group for the BangladeshParliamentary Elections will be led by former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem.
The Group comprises 10 people, and will be in Bangladesh from December 22 to January 4 January. They will be supported by a staff team from the Commonwealth Secretariat led by Head of Democracy Mark Stevens. The Group was constituted at the invitation of the caretaker government, and follows an Assessment Mission made to Bangladesh in November 2008. This Assessment Mission established that there is a broad welcome for the presence of a Commonwealth Observer Group for the elections and that, providing the state of emergency was lifted, the minimum conditions for democratic elections were largely provided for. The Group will act impartially and independently, and conduct itself according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.

(Commonwealth welcomes lifting of emergency; observes Bangladesh Election; United News of Bangladesh, December 17, 2008)

EU/UK: European diplomats here today urged the government and opposition political parties to sit together, discuss and forge a consensus on the tricky question of reform of the caretaker-government system, as a face-off between the two camps continued.
The ambassadors and high commissioners of the European Union countries offered their help in ensuring free, fair and acceptable elections in Bangladesh, which they consider crucial for safeguarding the democracy. British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury, who chaired the press meet as new EU president, said that under the framework of 'Tuesday Group' they want to provide a forum for discussion among government and opposition politicians and other policymakers to discuss freely and openly how to make the next elections credible.
He mentioned that the group of diplomats had played the same catalytic role during the last general election in Bangladesh as well, and last week they organized an election conference in Pakistan where the Indian Election Commission and a representative of Bangladesh were invited. Apart from that, Choudhury said, the EU would like to provide election equipment like ballot boxes and other materials to assist the Election Commission in smoothly holding theelections.
On this point the German Ambassador, however, said that it is the genuine task of the Bangladesh government to make the election fair while "our offer is to ensure the elections are generally accepted, free and fair".
(EU Ambassadors offer support for holding free and fair elections in Bangladesh; United News of Bangladesh, July 12, 2005)
Pakistan/Observers:  Two provincial election commissioners are among four from the Pakistan Election Commission invited by their Bangladesh counterpart to observe Monday's (December 29, 2008) crucial ninth parliamentary poll in Bangladesh. Incidentally, the Pakistani poll officials are among few invited officially by the Bangladesh Election Commission. There are dozens of Pakistanis involved in poll monitoring in Bangladesh this time in different organizations.
They said, Monday's election will be the most watched poll since 1973 when Bangladesh had its first parliamentary poll. Over 200,000 Bangladeshi and more than 500 foreign observers will monitor the election across the country.
Foreign observer teams include Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), European Union (EU), International Republican Institute (IRI), ANFREL-BD, EOJ, International Democratic Institute (NDI), EU Election Observation Mission, Commonwealth, Asia Foundation (SAARC), British High Commission, US Embassy, Indian High Commission, Swedish Embassy, Nepal, German Embassy, USAID.
US/EU/Japan: Close to 400 international observers - around 300 from the EU and 71 from the US - will be arriving here for monitoring the elections. Besides, thousands of Bangladeshis will be trained to observe the polls.
"Bangladesh is the third-largest moderate Muslim democracy... we are keenly watching it in Washington," US Deputy Assistant Secretary John Gastright said.
The US is closely watching the run-up to the polls in Bangladesh with its envoy, Patricia Butenis, playing a pro-active role, along with envoys from the US, European Union and Japan in engaging all concerned with the polls.
Analysts have said that even though these activities were well beyond the diplomatic call, they helped ease and resolve the political stalemate, especially the revamping of the ElectionCommission.
(Bangla polls will be "most monitored," says US official; Indo-Asian News Service, December 6, 2006)

UN/EU: United Nations and European Union election observers in Bangladesh suspended their activities saying the tumultuous political climate made it impossible to have a legitimate vote later this month.
The European Union on Thursday called back election observers from Bangladesh because of political strife before the Jan. 22 polls.
"It has become clear that we cannot pursue the election observation mission as we had hoped," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in Brussels.
The U.N., meanwhile, suspended all technical support for Bangladesh's polls, including its International Coordination Office in Dhaka, U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said Wednesday at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
"The political crisis in Bangladesh has severely jeopardized the legitimacy of the electoral process," she said.
(UN, EU election observers suspend efforts because of turmoil in Bangladesh; Julhas Alam, Associated Press Worldstream, January 11, 2007)

UK: British Minister of State and Commonwealth Office Dr Kim Howells Monday said foreign aid and investment would largely depend on the future election in Bangladesh, which he said is very important….Dr Howells said the British government is ready to provide all possible assistance for holding a free and fair election in Bangladesh.
(UK Minister says foreign aid, investment to largely depend on future election in Bangladesh; United News of Bangladesh, November 21, 2005)
-       In support to the government of Bangladesh's effort to hold a credible, safe and fair election, the UK has contributed US$ 20 million (Tk 140 crore) towards Bangladesh's `Preparation of Electoral Roll with Photographs (PERP)' project. The PERP is jointly funded by the Government of Bangladesh, UNDP, the UK Government, the European Commission, and the governments of Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands and South Korea. UNDP is coordinating the contributions through a pooled UNDP project.
The PERP's objective is `to prepare a credible voter roll for elections in 2008 and to establish the technical and infrastructure capacity required for the Government of Bangladesh to maintain and update the voter roll thereafter'.
(UK gives US$20m for Bangladesh's photo voter list; United News of Bangladesh, August 30, 2007)
Netherlands: The Netherlands will contribute about 5 million U.S. dollars over three years for completing the photo voter roll in Bangladesh and strengthening the capacity of the Election Commission to prepare for holding fair polls.
The amount would be provided to Bangladesh's Election Commission through the UNDP project titled "Preparation of Electoral Roll with Photographs (PERP)".
(Netherlands to give Bangladesh 5 million USD to complete photo voter roll; Xinhua General News Service, November 27, 2007)
UK/India/Pakistan: Britain, India and Pakistan Tuesday hoped Bangladesh would have a free, fair and credible general election in the shortest possible time to meet the aspiration of the people. The observations came from British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury, Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty and Pakistan High Commissioner Alamgir Babar after their separate courtesy calls on Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury at his office.
Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty said, ‘Bangladesh is a democratic country, India is also a democratic country. We want Bangladesh to have a successful democracy and Bangladesh will decide how to learn to be a successful democratic country.’ Chakravarty said, ‘We’re willing to support any initiative, including those the President may take, in the coming days and which will help address the reservation being expressed by major political parties on the issue of holding free and fair elections, and resolution of which will ensure the participation of all political parties.’
In reply to a question, the High Commissioner said India is keen to remain constructively engaged with this government and ‘We want to know whether we can move forward on various issues, meetings and we got a very clear signal today that this government will remain constructively engaged with India.’
Pakistan High Commissioner Alamgir Babar said they want that the caretaker government would fulfil its programme as soon as possible to have the general election. He said Pakistan and Bangladesh have very positive relations both at the working and political levels and ‘our relationship is moving forward very smoothly.’
(UK, India, Pakistan hope Bangladesh would have a free general election in shortest possible time; United News of Bangladesh, January 23, 2007)

UN: A UN mission recommended several basic elements of a democratic election process for holding the next general election in Bangladesh in a free and fair manner. "Deeply troubled by the high level of political violence in Bangladesh", the UN team suggested constructive dialogue among the key political parties that could help lessen tensions and build public confidence in all aspects of the election.
"The United Nations stands ready to continue to provide targeted assistance in support of Bangladesh's democratic tradition, and to contribute to an election process that is peaceful, credible and accepted by the people of Bangladesh," the UN team said at the end of their pre-election appraisal mission in the country.
The mission from the Electoral Assistance Division of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs visited Bangladesh June 18-27 to assess the pre-election environment and evaluate how the UN may best contribute to elections in the country.
(UN mission recommends basic elements of a democratic election process; United News of Bangladesh, June 28, 2006)
-       UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, concerned about current political developments in Bangladesh, is sending a top aide to the country Wednesday to help ensure peaceful and transparent general elections, private news agency UNB reported Tuesday.
Craig Jenness, director of the UN Electoral Assistance Division, will be in Bangladesh from Wednesday through Friday to meet with the Chief Advisor of the caretaker government Iajuddin Ahmed and other senior officials, election authorities, political party leaders and various interest groups, a UN official here was quoted as saying.
The official said Annan had been following the developments in Bangladesh with concern and wanted to offer UN support to the process "so that these important elections can enjoy the full confidence of the people of Bangladesh."
(Kofi Annan sends top aide to Bangladesh to help ensure peaceful polls; Xinhua General News Service, November 28, 2006)

-       A United Nations monitoring team will arrive in Bangladesh in the coming weeks to assess the nation's parliamentary elections due in December, the U.N. chief said. Ban Ki-moon urged Bangladesh, which has been under emergency rule since January last year, to take all steps to ensure free and fair elections on Dec. 18.
"I have informed the government and the political parties that the U.N. will dispatch a small team of highly capable and prominent individuals who will visit in the coming weeks to assess the conduct of theelection and report to me," he told a Sunday news conference in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, after meeting President Iajuddin Ahmed, interim leader Fakhruddin Ahmed and other political leaders.
"It is in the world's and your best interest to see Bangladesh achieve its full potential for democratic development through free and credible elections," Ban said.
(Ban: UN will send team to assess Bangladesh polls; Associated Press Worldstream, November 3, 2008)

India: Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the India-Bangladesh Friendship Organisation Tuesday, Ahamed stressed that a stable and secular Bangladesh was in the interest of not only India but also the entire region.
"There is already an intense debate in Bangladesh on the coming election. I must admit that there is also a keen interest in India... We hope that the next general election will be truly free and fair," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.
Each election in Bangladesh carries an "India factor" with candidates, parties and alliances taking a stand that is pro- or anti- India, be it pronounced or subtle. The usual target of criticism is alleged Indian "interference" and effort to establish "hegemony."
Past elections have witnessed campaigns that carry a lot of innuendoes. But even without elections, India is painted as a villain, be it the frequent agitations by ill-paid garment workers or explosions that have rocked the country in the last one year.
Indeed, they have gone beyond this, expressing critical views about poor governance, lack of accountability and corruption that has hurt socio-economic development. He said the people in India attach the highest importance to India-Bangladesh relations. "This sentiment is shared by all, cutting across party lines," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.
India has had strong reservations about the role of Islamist organisations in Bangladesh since any persecution of the minorities there has a spillover effect in terms of forced migration and reactions in Indian states alongside Bangladesh.
(India hopes for 'truly free and fair election' in Bangladesh; Indo-Asian News Service, August 2, 2006)
-       New Delhi calls for a secular democratic Bangladesh to emerge out of the forthcoming polls while Washington calls the term secular a political buzzword. At the luncheon hosted by India-Bangladesh Friendship Organizations, E Ahamed said, A strong, stable, secular, democratic and prosperous Bangladesh is not only in the interest of the people of India but also for the region as a whole, and most importantly, for the people of Bangladesh.
Ahamed, a Muslim leader of the Hindu-majority secular India, who came here for attending the SAARC Foreign Ministers' meeting on August 1, said: Let me assure you that there is no dilution, whatsoever, in our commitment to extend all assistance and cooperation to help Bangladesh achieve these goals.
(Delhi, Washington differs on secular Bangladesh:Both commit help for fair election to achieve the ends as political standoff continue; United News of Bangladesh, August 4, 2006)

The Tuesday Group: The [Bangladesh] government has declined to permit Tuesday Group, a club of foreign diplomats in Bangladesh, to arrange a conference on 'the best election practices', saying that such move will amount to interference in the internal affairs of the country.
The Tuesday Group comprises the ambassadors and high commissioners accredited to Bangladesh from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, US, European Commission, and the resident coordinator of the United Nations. The grouping has been planning to hold a seminar in Dhaka sometime in November this year [2005] on "International Electoral Best Practices". They claimed that they would hold the conference to provide Bangladesh with necessary technical assistance to make sure the next general election is held in a free and fair manner.
During the meeting with Foreign Affairs Adviser Reaz Rahman yesterday, the two members of the Tuesday Group requested to allow them to hold the conference for the betterment of Bangladesh, said sources. The envoys told the adviser that the intentions behind the group's move are good and Bangladesh would benefit from the conference if the government allows it to be held.
Reaz Rahman, however, told the envoys that the conference would definitely be counterproductive and tantamount to interfering in the domestic politics. It may also give a false impression that Bangladesh does not want free polls to be held, the meeting source quoted him as saying.
-       US Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs John Gastright, Jr. is also expected to travel to Dhaka on Dec 2 to meet government, political party and civil-society representatives and reiterate US government stand for free, fair and acceptable elections with all the political parties participating.
When contacted, a US diplomat here said Gastright might come to Dhaka but could not say the exact date and time. However, he said many officials from the State Department want to come to Bangladesh.
His planned trip to Dhaka takes place within a month of US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher's visit to Bangladesh, in what is seen as a crisis-management shuttle diplomacy.
Boucher met the President and Awami League and BNP leaders, mainly discussing the tricky issue of the coming elections.
He discouraged military intervention as an option to resolve the pre-election political standoff, but made a point that both the caretaker government and the election commission should discharge their responsibilities neutrally to ensure free, fair, acceptable and peaceful elections.
Besides, western envoys based in Dhaka, particularly from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia and other EU countries, and Asian countries continued their shuttle diplomacy between the government and the election commission and political parties to help ensure a credible election in a peaceful environment.
The diplomats feel that all political parties should take part in the elections by reducing their differences through flexibility and compromise so the election results are seen as legitimate by people at home and abroad.
EU: The EOMB will deploy 28 long-term observers in 14 different places from tomorrow (Thursday). About 30 other short-term observers will join the EU mission a week before the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 1, Miranda Da Silva told reporters. All the long-term and short-term observers are citizens of fifteen member-states of the European Union and will be deployed all over Bangladesh's six divisions.
Miranda Da Silva made it clear that their mission was purely as observers and not to interfere in internal matters of Bangladesh. "But it makes it part of the partnership between EU and Bangladesh in strengthening democracy," Head of the EU Core Team Miranda told newsmen. The EU will be spending nearly one million US dollars for the observation of the polls in Bangladesh.
The EU Election Observation Mission will make a preliminary statement immediately after the results are announced. A substantial report on technical aspects and political observations will be made available two or three days later.
(EU Observers; United News of Bangladesh, August 29, 2001)
-       The European Union (EU) observation mission Thursday said Bangladesh's ninth parliamentary elections held on Monday accurately reflected the will of Bangladesh people. Chief Observer of EU Alexander Graf Lambsdorff told Xinhua on Thursday that "the elections were transparent and credible and met the international standard," despite some minor technical difficulties.
Some 150 EU observers on election day visited about 800 polling booths in all six divisions of Bangladesh to observe the opening, voting, counting and consolidation of results, according to the EU election mission. The EU mission will remain in the country to observe post- election developments.
Totally, some 500 foreign observers monitored Bangladesh's parliamentary elections on Monday, in which Bangladesh's major party led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina won a landslide victory.
(Bangladesh's parliamentary elections accurately reflect people's will: European observers; Xinhua General News Service, December 31, 2008)
-       The European Commission wants Bangladeshi political parties to take part in general elections in December but says it has concerns about holding polls while the country is under a state of emergency. "There are some difficulties in holding the elections while the emergency is in force," the privately owned United News of Bangladesh (UNB) quoted the EC's ambassador to BangladeshStefan Frowein as saying Friday.
Frowein made the comments after meeting the country's chief election commissioner A.T.M. Shamsul Huda on Thursday. Ordinarily the European Union does not send representatives to observe a general election if a country is under a state of emergency. However, Frowein said no final decision had been made on whether an exception could be made.
(European Commission questions Bangladesh polls plan; Agence France Presse, August 29, 2008)
-       The European Union said Tuesday it will deploy a full Election Observation Mission (EOM) of about 150 personnel for the elections in Bangladesh scheduled for Dec. 18. The EU EOM, led by Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, a member of the European Parliament from Germany, will remain in the country for up to three weeks after election day to observe the post-election period.
The European Commission said it is one of Bangladesh's "most important development partners," assisting the country in meeting the Millennium Development Goals by providing support to human and social development, good governance, and economic development.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, said that the EU has attached "great importance" to the political and legal reforms in Bangladesh since January 2007 when a state of emergency was declared in the country.
(EU to send observers for Bangladesh elections; Xinhua General News Service, November 18, 2008)

Bhutan (2007L, 2008L)

India (Fair)
Japan (Fair)
EU (Fair)

Description: Bhutan made its transition from absolute rule to a constitutional monarchy in 2007 and 2008, with the election of its upper and lower houses of parliament. India and Japan provided extensive financial assistance and electoral expertise, with the former being chiefly responsible for supplying the polling equipment. The EU monitored the elections, promising to continue to support Bhutan’s democratic transition.


India : Bhutan's Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangli told The Indian Express that at virtually every step in their move to democracy, they have taken the assistance of theElection Commission of India.
Following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two Election Commissions in May 2006, 4,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are being sent to Thimphu, manufactured by the Electronics Corporation of India. In months to come, as many as 252 Bhutanese electoral officers, security officers, election fund staff and observers will visit New Delhi for election-related study tours. Seventy more Bhutanese officers have been picked to observe the upcoming Assembly Elections in Punjab and Uttarakhand.
The Indian legal luminaries provided us with sound Constitutional advice and several of their suggestions have been incorporated by us," the Chief Justice said. The Chief Justice added, "We are hoping Bhutan will be a multi-party democracy like India one day. But for the moment we have settled for a two-party system like the USA. We do not want the new Government to be taken hostage by too many political parties and fragmented votes."
-       The Government of India congratulates the Royal Government of Bhutan for the successful conduct of the first ever elections for National Council (Upper House) of Bhutan that were held on December 31, 2007 for 15 Dzongkhags.
This is indeed a great moment in Bhutan's history and an important step in Bhutan's transition into a new system of governance. India is committed to extending full support in the establishment of institutions required for the consolidation of Democratic Constitutional Monarchy in Bhutan.

India is assisting Bhutan by supplying Electronic Voting Machines and deepening linkages between the Election Commissions of both the countries in conduct of elections. The Election Commission of India had deputed three election observers who witnessed the polling for National Council elections in Bhutan. Indian security agencies have been cooperating with their Bhutanese counterparts in maintaining law and order in the border areas.

(INDIA SUPPORTS ESTABLISHMENT OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS IN BHUTAN; US Fed News, Verbatim from Indian Office of the External Affairs Ministry, January 1, 2008)

EU: The EU Commission Wednesday hailed Bhutan's first parliamentary elections, saying the polls in the tiny Himalayan kingdom met international standards despite falling short "in certain areas".
"I am pleased to hear that the first-ever national assembly elections in Bhutan have demonstrated a clear commitment of the Bhutanese people and state institutions to support democratic change," said EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner in a statement.
The EU Election Observation Mission sent by the EU's executive arm, in a preliminary statement, said the election process "generally met international standards for democraticelections, but fell short in certain areas," she added.
"I am sure that the Bhutanese government will address carefully the findings of the mission and build upon its recommendations notably with regard to candidacy requirements, free campaigning and appeal modalities." She pledged that the European Union would continue to support Bhutan "on its way of democratisation".
(Brussels welcomes Bhutan vote as commitment to democracy; Agence France Presse, March 26, 2008)
Japan: Government of Japan will provide grant assistance of over a million US dollars to Bhutan. The grant provided through the United Nations Development Programme will fund projects under the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) and the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).
The minister counsellor at the embassy of Japan in New Delhi, Mr Takio Yamada, who is in the kingdom, said he had brought with him a letter to His Majesty the King from the chief cabinet secretary, government of Japan, Mr Nobutaka Machimura, on Japan's decision to grant aid to Bhutan for the parliamentary elections. Mr Nobutaka Machimura is the chairman of the JapanBhutan Parliamentarian Friendship League.
The grant will also fund training for staff of the Election Commission, establishment of temporary polling stations and office equipment and producing and broadcasting TV programmes related to elections and democracy.
A press release from the UN Development Programme says under the project, nearly 6,000 electoral officers who will be engaged in the smooth conduct of the elections will undergo a final round of training before the National Council election in December.
(Japan to fund expansion of TV for Bhutan elections; Bhutan Broadcasting Service text website, Thimphu, in English 0000 gmt 28 Nov 07)

Cambodia (1998L, 2003L, 2008L)

UN (Fair)
EU (Fair)
US (Fair, Alliance)
Vietnam (Alliance)
Japan (Fair)
ASEAN (Fair)

Description: Most of the international intervention in Cambodian elections has aimed at ensuring that the Hun Sen regime, placed in power through a coup d’état in 1996, allows free and fair elections to take place. Up to 1998, when the first post-coup elections took place, the U.S. recognized the ousted Prince Ranariddh as the country’s rightful leader, seeking to bolster his vote. Both the UN and Japan in particular have spent a lot of money in Cambodian elections, especially in the training and deployment of international election monitors. ASEAN, the EU, and the US have also consistently monitored elections to verify electoral irregularities. Vietnam has allegedly influenced Cambodian politics by propping the Hun Sen Regime to power after enlisting him as a “puppet” of Hanoi’s administrations.


Interview with Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan:
“The communist Vietnamese aggressors and race exterminators, their dictatorial and fascist regime and their lackeys the puppets headed by Hun Sen have engaged in contradictions with our nation and with people of all social strata. There have been contradictions in everything, from bottom to top and from top to bottom. The recent events in Phnom Penh clearly attest to this situation; developments will continue to attest to this.
The end of 1996, and 1997 and 1998, are a decisive period. Whether or not communist Vietnam and its lackeys the puppets organize the election, contradictions will certainly increase. All of this is within the framework of the fact that the communist Vietnamese lackey-puppet regime with Hun Sen as its chieftain is becoming more and more anaemic in all fields and in every way. It is in short of people's forces and workforce because the entire nation and people oppose it. It is anaemic both economically and financially. It is in acute contradiction with our nation and people of all social strata, and within its internal ranks; therefore, it is rotting and crumbling.”
(Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan interviewed on defections; Radio of the Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia in Cambodian 2330 gmt 20 Nov 96)
ASEAN: As for Cambodia, the Asean foreign ministers have put themselves in an awkward position. While proclaiming that they have no desire to interfere in Cambodia's internal affairs, the Asean foreign minister went ahead and made a plea to the co-chairmen of the Paris peace conference to interfere in that country. Given that Cambodia is a sovereign state, a request of this nature should have come from the Cambodians themselves, be it from King Norodom Sihanouk or the Cambodian co-prime ministers, and not from an outsider. Asean is in no position to put forward the request without the prior permission from or acquiescence of the Cambodian government and people. In both cases, therefore, Asean is obviously interfering in the internal affairs of Burma and Cambodia.
(DILEMMA OF NON-INTERFERENCE POLICY; Darmp Sukontasap, Emerging Markets’ Datafile, The Nation, July 7, 1997)
-       Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Domingo Siazon said Friday he was to lead an ASEAN mission to convince Cambodia's rival leaders to end the violent conflict in Phnom Penh that led to the delay of the country's entry into the regional group.
Siazon said the delegation would first seek an audience with Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk, who is in Beijing, during which the Association of Southeast Asian Nations would ask him to mediate between the warring prime ministers.
Siazon said the ASEAN delegation - which will also include the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia - would then hold separate meetings with First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Second Prime Minister Hun Sen.
"We would try to get some arrangement or formula to improve the situation, have peace, forge a real ceasefire, maintain a coalition government and set elections for next year," Siazon said. "For us, the most important is to have peace and stability in the region."
On Thursday, ASEAN indefinitely postponed Cambodia's admission to the regional group due to the military conflict, saying the group would like to see the coalition between Hun Sen and Ranariddh maintained.
The ministers said: "In the light of the unfortunate circumstances which have resulted from the use of force, the wisest course of action is to delay the admission of Cambodia into ASEAN until a later date." Burma and Laos will be inducted as scheduled on July 24.
(ASEAN moves to convince rival Cambodian leaders to end conflict; Deutsche Presse-Agentur, July 11, 1997)
JAPAN: Interview with Truong Mealy, Cambodian Ambassador to Japan
Q: What sort of help do you want Japan to offer for Cambodia to hold the general election?
Mealy: Because of the bloody events on 5 and 6 July, it is all the more important for Cambodia to ensure that a free and fair election take place smoothly on May 23, 1998, as scheduled. It's eight months away, and time is running short. Since this is the first national election organized and sponsored by Cambodia itself, only a 5-year-old democracy, we need a lot of help in expertise and money. We estimate the election will cost about 25-40 million dollars. Next month, Cambodian officials will come to Tokyo to learn Japan's experience of having electionsand to request financial assistance.
(Cambodia seeks Japan election aid: Political Stability Is Overriding Concern, Ambassador Says; Satoshi Isaka, The Nikkei Weekly, September 22, 1997)

UN: The roughly 500 international observers meant to check on Cambodia's election here are a hodgepodge of serious watchdogs and communist ideologues, zealous democrats and ordinary folks. "Foreign observers are definitely better than having no observers, but you wonder about people who come from governments even more repressive than Cambodia's," says Rich Garella, a spokesman for opposition politician Sam Rainsy.
Politicians here rely on international observers because they don't trust their own. The election bureaucracy is rife with ruling-party sympathizers. A local news report revealed many of the 59,000 national observers have links to the military and to Hun Sen. "Cambodians have lost their trust in their rulers, their public authorities," says Lao Mong Hay, director for the Khmer Institute of Democracy, who works for a local election watchdog.
Some observers are veterans of the 1993 election. For others, the two-day training is sort of a refresher course. The Philippines' eight-member delegation is from the National Movement for Free Elections, the country's top election watchdog. The team from the United States includes two Burmese nationals, although they are pro-democracy exiles. Another international observer is an expatriate Canadian restaurant owner in Phnom Penh.
Laos and Vietnam - Communist neighbors with one-party systems - sent a combined 15 observers. Then there's China, the Communist stalwarts who consistently jail young democrats at home. It will have eight observers at the polls. "This will be a very valuable experience for each of us," says Yang Houlang, a Chinese observer in Phnom Penh, who was plucked from China's Asia affairs department in its Foreign Ministry.
Jacques Carrio, who leads the UN team coordinating the international observers, says they don't spend any more time training those from nondemocratic nations than others. "That would be discrimination," Mr. Carrio says. They do pair off their observers so representatives from two nations work at each polling area. "It works as a check and balance," he adds. "This is a way to get close-to-impartial views."
(Maybe They'll Know It When They See It; Chris Seper, Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 1998)

EU: Marianne Mikko, elected to the European Parliament from Estonia, will Sunday be observing the parliamentary elections in Cambodia. Mikko, of the Social-Democrat faction, belongs to the European Parliament's observation delegation of seven; it is the duty of the delegates to observe that the elections are free and fair. Mikko said the observers were prepared to interfere into any violations. She underlined that Cambodia was one of the world's poorest countries and both the United States and China were keeping an eye on it as both the countries were interested in the small Asian nation's oil reserves.
US: Cambodia has enjoyed peace for just over four years. The United States is now interfering in the country's internal affairs and rekindling civil war by supporting Prince Ranariddh and by providing a framework for resistance fighters along the border to oppose the Phnom Penh government, which is Cambodia's legitimate government.
It is a general habit of the United States to instigate conflicts in Cambodia as well as in other countries the world over and to make them fight. Otherwise the United States would not be called a superpower and the already-produced weapons would have no buyers.
(USA's "interfering" in affairs "unjust and detestable" , says paper; 'Chakkraval', Phnom Penh, in Cambodian 24 Sep 97 pp 1,2)

Does not hold elections.

East Timor (1999R, 2001L, 2002P, 2007P&L)
UN (Peace, Fair)
Indonesia (Alliance)
US (Fair)
Australia (Peace, Fair)
ASEAN (Fair)
EU (Fair)
Philippines (Fair)
Malaysia (Peace, Fair)
Description: East Timor has only relatively recently gained independence and ceased to be a conflict zone. Its independence referendum and first election were completely organized and carried out by UN mission, in which the EU, ASEAN, the US, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Australia took active leadership. Indonesia still exerts major pressure in certain areas of the country through paramilitary forces aligned with the Indonesian military. While today the East Timor government has relative independence, up to the mid-2000s its decisions were heavily controlled by the UN.
UN/Indonesia/Australia: Jakarta will suggest the country best suited to lead the UN forces in East Timor, says Wiranto in Singapore INDONESIA will not interfere in the United Nation's choice of which country to lead the UN peacekeeping forces in East Timor, but will suggest which it thinks is best suited for the job, General Wiranto, its newly appointed Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security Affairs, said yesterday.
The UN Transitional Authority for East Timor (Untaet) is due to replace the Australian-led International Force for East Timor (Interfet) by early 2000.
The heavy Australian presence in East Timor has soured ties between Canberra and Jakarta. Indonesia has indicated repeatedly it prefers an Asian country to lead the operations. Australia also said it is prepared to scale down its presence once Untaet takes over.
On the Indonesian military's future role, Gen Wiranto said that apart from defence and security, it would "perform various efforts in helping the people's welfare, which we call nation-building and national development".
UN/INDONESIA/US: Only five days after Monday's ballot to effectively decide whether the East Timorese want independence, four locals employed by the UN are confirmed dead and six others are missing.
But in the face of this rapidly deteriorating situation, the UN can only plead with Indonesia to ensure an inadequate police force does its job and restores control.
"What can we do about it?" said UNAMET spokesman David Wimhurst yesterday. "We will do what we have been doing all along: urge the Indonesians to do something about it. It is Indonesian authorities that are responsible for maintaining security. The UN itself can't do anything about it. Only Indonesia can."
But there are grave doubts within the UN, as Wimhurst admitted yesterday, as to whether Indonesia can control its own security apparatus. What the next step might be if they can't or won't is troubling the UN and foreign governments.
According to Charles Costello of the US Atlanta-based Carter Centre, which is monitoring the referendum: "We are concerned, gravely concerned, about the prospects for renewed violence in the post-ballot days."
(A fragile society tears itself apart; Don Greenlees, The Weekend Australian, September 4, 1999)
Indonesia/ Australia/ Philippines/US/EU/UN: Indonesia invited Australia yesterday to play a leading role in a vote for East Timorese to decide their future - and promised the territory a chance to "separate in peace".
Indonesia's President, Dr B. J. Habibie, revealed plans for Australia to join the United States, Japan, the Philippines and the European Union to co-ordinate preparations for a United Nations-supervised vote on the offer of autonomy for the territory, scheduled for July.
(Revealed: our Timor role; LINDSAY MURDOCH, Sydney Morning Herald, April 21, 1999)
INDONESIA: The Indonesian army is training a 300-strong militia to send to East Timor, a newspaper reported yesterday.
The Darah Erah militia, headed by a man named Afonso Pinto, is training at army headquarters in Jakarta, the Weekly Expresso said. Thirty newly-trained fighters would land on Friday in Dili, the paper said. It did not name any sources, and independent verification was not immediately possible.
The report comes less than a week after Indonesia's Defence Minister General Wiranto promised pro-independence leaders that his forces would not interfere with the a planned UN-supervised referendum on the future of East Timor.
UN officials said Mr Annan would make his assessment on Friday on whether to go ahead with the referendum on August 21-23, depending on cooperation by the Indonesians, who have failed to make good on promises to rein in anti-independence militias.
(Indonesian army 'training militia for East Timor'; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, July 12, 1999)
ASEAN: Fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Sunday called on Indonesia and pro-Jakarta militias to respect East Timor's overwhelming vote for independence and urged that the confrontation there be resolved peacefully. "The result on the voting cannot be changed by resorting to violence by any party," a Singapore Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
"The people of East Timor should be allowed to continue to determine their future in the peaceful manner in which the voting took place," he added.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar offered his congratulations to East Timor but added that what was important now was to establish peace, stability and order to ensure that the people of East Timor would be able to build an independent state.
The Philippines-based Asia-Pacific Coalition on East Timor (APCET) on Sunday urged ASEAN to "bear on Jakarta" to prevent violence from breaking out as pro-Jakarta gangs rampage through the East Timor capital, Dili.
"Indonesia would be best served if it exits gracefully," APCET said in a statement. "Doing so could be the first step in their need to redeem their pulverized image."
"ASEAN would be best served if it convinces Indonesia to do so," the statement added. "It could also be their initial way of atoning for their silence in this 24-year saga."
ASEAN in the past recognised East Timor as part of Indonesian territory and maintained it should not interfere on problems in East Timor because the former Portuguese territory is a domestic matter for Indonesia.
(ROUNDUP: ASEAN calls for peaceful transition for East Timor; Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 5, 1999)
UN: Just days after the reported resignation of East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao from the country's National Council, four Cabinet members have threatened to quit, calling themselves "caricatures of ministers in a banana republic".
In a letter to the head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), Sergio Vieira de Mello, who administers the former Indonesian province, ministers Joao Carrascalao, Anna Pessoa, Mari Alkatiri and Father Filomeno Jacob threatened to resign over inability to exercise their power.
Established by the UNTAET, the 36-member National Council serves as East Timor's de facto parliament, representing a cross-section of Timorese society.
It debates legislation proposed by the eight-person Transitional Cabinet, although ultimate executive power is held by Mr Vieira de Mello, who is in Brussels and will not return to Dili until Thursday.
The threat of resignation has been used often as a political tool in East Timor. During the congress of the major political umbrella group, the National Council of Timorese Resistance, its president Mr Gusmao the man most likely to be the first elected president of East Timor and his deputy, Jose Ramos-Horta, quit their posts twice.
(Give us a free hand or we quit, leaders say; Mark Dodd, Sydney Morning Herald, December 5, 2000)
Malaysia/ASEAN: On East Timor, he said Malaysia was ready to lead UN peacekeepers there
despite the reservations of East Timorese independence leaders.
"If we are given the role of commander of the UN forces, yes," Dr
Mahathir said. "We have done this in Somalia and we think we have enough
"We have been very supportive of the UN and I think we have a legitimate
hope that we would be appointed as commander of the UN forces in East
Timor," he added.
East Timor independence leader Jose Ramos-Horta had said on Friday that
the territory would not accept the leadership of Asean members for a UN
transitional administration.
"We will not accept anyone from the Asean because they are not neutral,
they have been accomplices of Indonesia," the 1996 Nobel Peace laureate
had said.
The UN peacekeeping force will take over from the multinational
intervention force, known as Interfet, which was sent to restore peace and
security in East Timor.
(PM: US leaders should be more sensitive in dealing with us; New Strait Times, Malaysia, October 17, 1999)

Fiji (1999L, 2001L, 2006L, 2011L)
Commonwealth (Fair)
China (Alliance)
Pacific Islands Forum (Fair)
US (Fair)
Australia (Fair)
New Zealand (Fair)
EU (Fair)
Description: Most of the electoral intervention in Fiji comes from its neighboring countries, New Zealand and Australia, which seek the island to return to democracy. The Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum have equally sanctioned Fiji until free and fair elections are held. The US and the EU have followed along in pressuring the country to hold elections as a condition to resume the flow of aid, but this has only drawn Fiji leaders closer to China, which has almost doubled the amount of aid to Fiji following the 2006 coup.
Commonwealth/Pacific Islands Forum: FIJI'S military ruler Frank Bainimarama has thumbed his nose at the Commonwealth and told it to kick his country out of its ministerial group.
Commodore Bainimarama, in power since overthrowing Fiji's democratic government in December, 2006, has rejected a new six-month deadline set by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to hold an election, saying Fiji will not go to the polls this year.
The self-appointed leader said he was expecting Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to phone him soon to discuss the decision to suspend Fiji from the group if it did not restore democracy.
``I will tell him . . . nothing's going to change,'' he told Auckland's Radio Tarana. ``If they want to suspend Fiji . . . they can do it now.
``The group deplored the fact that Fiji remained in contravention of Commonwealth values and principles,'' said a statement, issued after a London meeting of representatives from nine Commonwealth countries. A separate deadline set by the Pacific Islands Forum in January requires a poll date be set by May 1.
(Asia-Pacific Go ahead, kick us out, says Fiji ruler; TAMARA McLEAN, AUCKLAND, The Advertiser, March 6, 2006)
-       Cabinet has today accepted in principle the report of the independent technical assessment of election timetable for Fiji. Cabinet has further agreed in principle that a parliamentaryelection in Fiji could be held in the first quarter of 2009.
The report was commissioned by the Pacific Islands Forum-Fiji joint working group on the situation in Fiji and released on Thursday 7 June.
The prime minister said that the report calls for the provision of international technical assistance for the boundary redistribution, voter registration update, voter education and information programmes, and to the Electoral Commission and the Elections Office. He said that the European Union, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and governments of USA, Australia and New Zealand have welcomed the report and its findings.
"It is now for the European Union and governments of Australia and New Zealand to provide Fiji financial and technical assistance for the convening of national census, boundary redistribution, voter registration, voter education and information programmes, to the Electoral Commission and the Elections Office."
(Fiji cabinet accepts Pacific Forum team's proposal for 2009 poll; Fiji government website, Suva, in English 19 Jun 07)
-       The formation of a conservative, indigenous Fijian-dominated government looked almost certain yesterday, as the deposed ethnic Indian prime minister, Mr Mahendra Chaudhry, claimed his Labour Party was the victim of huge electoral fraud.
However, the election supervisor, Mr Walter Rigamoto, said that such a level of fraud was impossible in a small country that had extensive checks and balances.
International poll monitors, including from the United Nations and the Commonwealth, have said they believe the voting was free, fair and credible. The observers have yet to deliver findings on the counting process.
(Speight's party to share power as Chaudhry alleges poll rorts; Craig Skehan, Sydney Morning Herald, September 7, 2001)
EU: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not aware of a decision by the European Union to suspend bilateral development assistance to Fiji as stated by the Citizen's Constitutional Forum CCF yesterday. This was confirmed by the permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs, Taina Tagicakibau.
However, CCF director Rev Akuila Yabaki reaffirmed that the decision was made over the weekend by the EU, but this has not been implemented yet.
Mr Yabaki said the onus now lies with the Bose Levu Vakaturaga BLV, Great Council of Chiefs to return Fiji to democracy and only then will the EU consider restoring the development assistance scheme provided for under the Cotonou Agreement. According to Mr Yabaki, the EU have given four benchmarks which the BLV should consider during their meeting on Tuesday 13 March , the four benchmarks being:
- an unbiased constitution. They explained that the new constitution currently under construction would have to meet with international standards and those international conventions ratified by Fiji;
- referendum In the absence of parliament, the EU will demand that the new constitution is eventually adopted through a popular referendum or perhaps through convening a national convention;
- coup leader George Speight and supporters. The EU will demand that Speight and his associates are removed/suspended from public office;
- and free and fair elections These are to take place within one month as offered by the interim administration.
Mr Yabaki said the EU will recommend that all non-humanitarian development cooperation is frozen until the four benchmarks are renewed, which will then be recommended for a six-month review by the council.
(Fiji government denies EU decision reached to suspend AID; Fijilive web site, Suva, in English 12 Mar 01)
US/EU/New Zealand/Australia: New Zealand has banned not only Commodore Frank Bainimarama and his officers, but also his top civilian appointees and their families from entering our country (which has inadvertently impacted on Fijian soccer and netball teams).
Cabinet has terminated military co-operation and suspended about four-fifths of New Zealand's aid to Fiji, including new scholarships, government-to-government training, and assistance to bodies such as the Fiji Human Rights Commission and Fiji Law Reform Commission, regarded as co-opted.
Government-to-government negotiations to facilitate the Regional Seasonal Workers Scheme, now up and running for five other Pacific countries, were frozen.
Australia has imposed similar sanctions. The United States response was less formal, but the US ambassador has expressed his criticism publicly.
US diplomats have scaled down their contacts with the Interim Government and elements of military co-operation have been postponed. The European Union temporarily suspended negotiations for the European Development Fund potentially putting at risk $400 million in aid over the next five years.
Furthermore, partner governments have all offered aid to facilitate the election process, ranging from Australia's offer to fund the salary of a Supervisor of Elections to New Zealand's technical assistance to augment the Electoral Office and Boundary Commission work. Partner governments meet periodically with Fiji officials in the Forum Joint Working Group to map a route to an election.
All have indicated that current sanctions may be reviewed at any time and lifted in proportion to specific steps taken to hold an election and restore constitutional authority. Grassroots aid and aid channelled through international agencies and non-governmental organisations regarded as of direct benefit to the Fijian people have been maintained by all partner governments.
('Gently does it' policy best way to lead Fiji down the road to reform; Stephen Hoadley, The New Zealand Herald, March 6, 2008)
-       FIJI'S prime minister and military strongman Frank Bainimarama has accused Australia of being an international bully that seeks to interfere in his country's internal affairs. The self-appointed leader made his swipe in response to a push by the Rudd government to persuade the UN to replace Fijian troops serving in international peacekeeping operations.
Speaking on New Zealand television, the military chief said he was ``sick of being bullied'' by Australia.``Right now Australia is trying to get us out of the United Nations peacekeeping (role),'' Commodore Bainimarama said.
Australia's push is aimed at undermining support within the military for Commodore Bainimarama, who seized power in a coup in December 2006 and who has shelved initial promises to move quickly towards elections and the restoration of democracy.
Australia's push is the latest in a series of attempts by the international community to make life difficult for the regime. It follows Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth and a cut in sugar aid from the European Union.
(Bainimarama `sick of being bullied' by Australia; Cameron Stewart, The Australian, September 16, 2009)
China: Amnesty's report urges international donors and investors to press the Suva military government -- which has been in power for almost three years, and says it will not hold elections for a further five -- to return to the rule of law.
``In particular, China, which has massively increased its financial assistance to Fiji since the 2006 coup, should use its influence to resolve the constitutional crisis,'' the report says.
Amnesty's Asia-Pacific deputy director, Donna Guest, said: ``China has long claimed it doesn't interfere in another country's affairs, but in Fiji China has clearly favoured one side of a long political dispute, and in the process ignored the human rights situation.''
(Amnesty presses China over Fiji; Rowan Callick, The Australian, September 8, 2009)
Australia/New Zealand/Commonwealth: Fiji's military strongman leader Frank Bainimarama ordered James Batley and New Zealand's High Commissioner out of the country.
Bainimarama, who overthrew the government in a 2006 coup, also recalled Fiji's envoys to Australia and New Zealand as he railed against international pressure to restore democratic rule.
Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth over its refusal to hold early elections.
(Fiji kicks out top Aussie diplomat; Michael Harvey, Herald Sun, Australia, November 4, 2009)
Australia: Fiji's self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is reluctant to replace the latest Australian diplomat expelled from the South Pacific nation.
Commodore Bainimarama told news website Fijilive that even if guidelines were established for an acting high commissioner in Fiji to replace Sarah Roberts, Australia would continue tointerfere in Fiji's affairs.
Ms Roberts, who left Fiji on Wednesday, is Australia's second diplomatic chief to be thrown out of the Fiji in nine months as the two countries argue over Fiji's return to democracy.
Commodore Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup and has deferred elections until 2014, sacked judges and cracked down on the media.
He said he expelled Ms Roberts because Australia had meddled in Fijian affairs by seeking to stymie a regional meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, slated for next week.
On Wednesday, Commodore Bainimarama warned the promised 2014 elections in Fiji might not go ahead because of Australia's behaviour.
(Fiji reluctant to replace Aust diplomat; The New Zealand Herald, July 16, 2010)

India (2004L, 2007P, 2009L)
Pakistan (alliance)
In the 2004 parliamentary elections, Pakistan is accused of broadcasting programs to instigate Muslims in India. Radio Pakistan’s Punjabi Durbar programs have criticized the United Progressive Alliance, a centrist party, for neglecting Muslims. In addition, Radio Pakistan, a state-run broadcasting service, attacked various political parties of India that have given “tickets” to criminals to get them to coerces voters, but Indian officials refuted these charges as mere rumors.
• Pakistan (alliance)
2004L: “Pakistan is spreading rumours by broadcasting programmes to instigate the Muslims residing in India. People of all religions, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs live together in India. Pakistan is trying to create misunderstanding among them.
“In Pakistan, people of same religion fight with each other. They should take care of their country first,” said Nagina Begum, Chairperson of Baba Hazirattan Muslim Welfare Committee of Bathinda.
“The Punjabi Durbar programmes have been making allegations critical of the United Progressive Alliance Government of India for ‘neglecting minorities’ in the country.”
2004L: “While the world press is projecting Indian elections as an event where millions of people are exercising their democratic right to choose their representatives to the national parliament, the Pakistan radio seems to be worried that it is not perfect.
Radio Pakistan has been pointing out in its Punjabi Durbar programme that various political parties of India have given tickets to criminals, who, with the help of bad characters, would force people to vote in their favour.
The Indian poll process, widely known for its impartiality, also has its faults. But voters in India listen to everybody but take decisions on their own. If anybody tries to force them to do anything, they react against it.”

Indonesia (2004L, 2004P, 2009L, 2009P)
U.S. (fair, alliance)
China (alliance)
Japan (alliance)
USAID was the largest donor in supporting the 2009 general elections. The U.S.’s interest in Indonesia include 1) rise of radical Islamist, 2) the country’s strategical location in SE Asia, 3) expansion of democratic governance. China and Japan have economic interests in the country.
1. U.S. (fair, alliance)
• 2009L/2009P: “First, American security interests could potentially be threatened should radical Islamists rise in Indonesia. The strong performance by the Democrat Party and other national secular parties in the 2009 parliamentary election indicates that Islamist political fortunes are declining and not rising as had been feared in the wake of the 2004 elections. Second, Indonesia is a strategically located state and a leader in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional organizations in Asia. As such, American geopolitical interests can be furthered by the election of a government that would seek to work with the United States to further mutual geopolitical and security interests in the region. A third factor concerns the expansion of democracy and the rule of law in Indonesia and the region. U.S. foreign policy also would hope that the elections produce a government in Indonesia that would strengthen human rights, religious freedom and bilateral trade ties.”
USAID was the largest donor supporting the 2009 democratic election process for Indonesia’s Parliamentary and Presidential elections.
2. China, Japan (alliance)
“Foreign investment is suddenly picking up in Indonesia, an indication that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's pro-business policies are finally starting to pay economic dividends in spite of the recent nationalistic and anti-foreign economic regulations passed by Parliament.
New business ties with both Japan and China promise to push Indonesia on to a higher economic-growth trajectory in the years ahead. Last week Yudhoyono signed a big new free-trade agreement with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first wide-ranging bilateral pact Indonesia has ever entered with another country.”

Japan (2000L, 2001L, 2003L, 2004L, 2005L, 2007L, 2009L, 2010L)
No intervention.

Kazakhstan (1999P&L, 2004L, 2005P, 2007L, 2011P)

OSCE (Fair)
CIS (Fair)
EU (Fair)

Description: Kazakh elections have been heavily monitored by the OSCE and the CIS. Both the OSCE and the European Union invested a considerable amount of money in materials for election monitoring and electoral/voter training. The CIS has also consistently monitored the country’s elections, though its credibility as an election monitoring institution has been somewhat harmed by its liaisons with Moscow.


OSCE: The Kazakh government and the Organizaton of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) signed an agreement on mutual accord and cooperation today 23rd June in Almaty. This document, which covers some issues, includes the democratization of society. For example, to keep the members of society well-informed about the elections to parliament in autumn 1999 and with the aim of making people more active to broadcast the UN's special video programmes on the issues of democratization on all TV channels. The OSCE will provide all the materials.


-       The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has again criticised the OSCE on Wednesday 10th November and accused it of applying "double standards" in its relations with Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev also criticised the OSCE last week.

In his interview with journalists on Wednesday, the head of state said that OSCE criticism about parliamentary elections in the republic was unfair. He thinks that "much work is being done for the development of democracy" in Kazakhstan.
Moreover, the head of state thinks that the republic is "the most democratic state in Central Asia". Nazarbayev said that by criticising Kazakhstan the OSCE "is ignoring those states which do not conduct free elections and where there is no independent media". Thus, "double standards" should not be applied, Nazarbayev thinks.
(Kazakh president criticises OSCE for "double standards"; Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty, in Russian 0735 gmt 10 Nov 99)

-       In Kazakhstan, the Forum of Democratic Forces, which is in opposition to the authorities, expresses solidarity with the OSCE assessment of the parliamentary elections held in the republic in September-October and supports the activity of the international organization in the republic. The forum's statement, which was circulated at a news conference by its co-chairmen on Tuesday 16th November and which was addressed to the OSCE summit due to open in Istanbul on 18th November, says this.
It follows from this statement that the forum participants condemn the criticism by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the OSCE's activity in Kazakhstan. The OSCE, as reported earlier, said that the parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan did not meet world democratic standards . Meanwhile, Nazarbayev accused the OSCE of using "double standards" in assessing the parliamentary elections and also of interfering in the internal affairs of the republic.
(Kazakh opposition supports OSCE view of parliamentary elections; Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty, in Russian 1500 gmt 16 Nov 99)

-       Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has won an crushing election victory, saying he now has "carte blanche" to continue national reform. The country's Central Election Commission said he had won 95.5% of votes, based on partial results. Mr Nazarbayev, 70, told supporters he would "continue the course of economic, political and social reforms".
International observers criticised the election, saying it failed to meet international democratic standards. In a statement released on Monday, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said: "Reforms necessary for holding genuine democratic elections have yet to materialise." The head of the international monitors in Kazakhstan, Daan Everts, said the vote "could and should have been better". Before the vote the OSCE - which had nearly 400 monitors in the country - had complained about the lack of transparency, competition and media freedom.
(Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev wins re-election; BBC News, April 4, 2011:

-       In a report issued on March 21, the election observer mission of OSCE/ODIHR assessed the campaign environment this way. "Thus far, only the campaign for the incumbent is highly visible," the report noted. Efforts are being made to call on citizens to vote, with billboards displaying portraits of the president and performances of pop singers under way."
The reported stated that campaigns of the other candidates "are less visible, although they have started holding events and some billboards and posters are in evidence."
OSCE/ODIHR noted "significant" legal shortcomings in the electoral process, citing restrictions on potential candidates and on freedom of assembly, and flaws in a mandatory Kazakh language-proficiency exam used to vet potential candidates.
(Kazakhstan's Election Campaign That Wasn't; Farangis Najibullah, March 26, 2011:

OSCE/EU: The European Union (EU) supports the OSCE declaration concerning the Kazakh parliamentary elections held in November, the head of the European Commission's external department for foreign relations with the CIS, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Cornelius Wittebrood said on Tuesday 23rd November in an unofficial meeting with the republic's leading mass media agencies. As it is known, the OSCE mission observing the elections deemed them not meeting world democratic standards. Wittebrood said that the EU admitted there were instances of breaching legislation during the elections.
Cornelius Wittebrood said that the EU deemed it was necessary to introduce certain changes into the republic's electoral legislation. According to him, Kazakhstan "needs time and support" from various international organizations for fully-fledged democracy in the country. Wittebrood said that the EU proposed to help Kazakhstan tackle issues "of improving electoral legislation".
(EU supports OSCE view of Kazakh parliamentary elections; Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty, in Russian 0504 gmt 23 Nov 99)
CIS: The CIS Election Monitoring Organization, CIS-EMO [international organization of observers], has sent a letter to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev asking himinterfere with the situation in which the Kazakh Central Electoral Commission [CEC] stripped the organization of its accreditation to monitor the presidential election.
"On 21 November, we sent an open letter to President Nazarbayev, as the guarantor of state power, asking him to sort out the misunderstanding which should be duly dealt with," the head of CIS-EMO in Kazakhstan, Marina Bogdanovich, told a news conference in Astana today.
Bogdanovich criticized the decision of the CEC. "I have thoroughly studied the constitutional law [on elections] and I know that under Clause 10 of Article 20-1 of the Kazakh law onelections, the CEC can revoke the accreditation of an observer from an international organization only if he violates the country's legislation or commonly accepted norms of international laws," she indicates in the letter to the president, the text of which was circulated at the news conference.
"I consider what has taken place a conspiracy against a presidential candidate, Nursultan Nazarbayev. This might appear imaginary, but it is so," she said, making it clear that the cessation of the mission's work in Kazakhstan would lead to the fact that "there will be many questions about the results of the presidential election" afterwards.
(International observers appeal Kazakh leader to step in row with poll body; Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty, in Russian 1113 gmt 22 Nov 05)

North Korea
Does not hold elections.

South Korea (2000L, 2002P, 2004L, 2007P, 2008L):
US (Alliance)
North Korea (Alliance)
Description: Both North Korea and the United States have a long history of influencing elections in South Korea. North Korea often seeks to polarize South Korean politics, changing its level of animosity towards the Southern neighbor strategically, often in veiled support of the Democratic Party (DEP), which is much further away from the US and the West than the Grand National Party (GNP), which also happens to be much more belligerent towards the North. The United States, on the other hand, has a clear preference for the Grand National Party and its tough stance on the DPRK, and though it does actively assist the GNP’s campaigns against the DEP, its behavior towards South Korea certainly suggests their distaste at the DEP’s “reconciliationist” tone.
US: Ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate Roh Moo-hyun yesterday fired his foreign policy adviser over controversial remarks in which he urged the United States not to interfere with the Korean presidential election. The dismissal of Lee Chung-yeol, a special aide on international relations, came a day after a weekly newspaper reported that Lee had demanded the United States take a hands-off approach to the Korean presidential election. The newspaper said Lee conveyed the message to the Bush administration and the Republican Party during his recent weeklong trip to Washington. (The Korea Herald, May 2, 2002)
-          Voters brought to power a leader from a younger generation who is strongly committed both to domestic economic and political reform and to reconciliation with North Korea. They rejected an experienced mainstream conservative who is more in tune with U.S. policy.
Roh Moo Hyun, a civic activist and former labor lawyer, has been highly critical of U.S. policy, reflecting rising anti-U.S. sentiment in Korea that suggests growing friction between the allies. (Michael Zielenziger, The Philadelphia Inquirer; December 22, 2002)

North Korea: The [2010 Regional Electoral] campaign… began May 20th, the same day Seoul released the results of an investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan, conducted by an international team of experts. As Lee went on the attack against North Korea, the GNP’s main opposition—the Democratic Party (DEP)—went on the attack against Lee.
-          And, even if North Korea was involved, the DEP incredulously argued, the Cheonan incident may have been “provoked” by Lee’s abandonment of the “Sunshine Policy”—a policy seeking peace with Pyongyang through appeasement—that had been followed by two previous DEP administrations.  Instead of embracing the Cheonan incident as a “Pearl Harbor moment” to unify the country against North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, the DEP sought to use it for political gain by undermining Lee’s credibility.
As embarassed GNP party bosses resigned, an audacious Pyongyang announced it was satisfied with the South’s election results.  Feeling its oats and seeking further intimidation of Seoul, Pyongyang warned on Sunday it would retaliate against South Korea for its “intolerable” campaign to punish North Korea through the UN. (James Zumwalt, “North Korea’s Influence on South Korea’s Elections”; Human Events Conservative News Source; June 16, 2010:
-          On 2007 Elections: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has become a central player in South Korea's presidential campaign with postponement of the North-South Korean summit from late this month to early October. The question, though, is whether he will really host South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun in Pyongyang or advance another reason for putting off a meeting that is sure to have a bearing on the election for Roh's successor on December 19.
The GNP, having initially endorsed the summit, now is demanding its postponement until after the election so it will not become a central campaign issue or interfere in the election process. That plea, however, will clearly get nowhere, since there would be no reason for Kim to want to receive Roh in the last month or two before the inauguration of his successor in February.
North Korea in the past has warned that a GNP victory in December would severely damage inter-Korean relations and has attacked Lee in language reminiscent of its harangues of South Korean conservatives before Kim Dae-jung’s defeat of a conservative foe in December 1997.
For Kim Jong-il, the summit may be a gamble in which North Korea exerts influence among Southern leftists, tipping the balance in the election in favor of a malleable successor to Roh. The gamble, however, could turn into disaster, jeopardizing much-needed aid and trade, if Pyongyang's rhetoric further alienates a majority of South Koreans who see the business-minded Lee as best qualified to deal with the issue at the heart of Roh's unpopularity, not North Korea but his economic policies. (Donald Kirk, “Third Man Overshadows Korea’s Election”; Asia Times Online; Agust 22, 2007:

Kyrgystan (2000L, 2000P, 2003R, 2005L, 2005P, 2007R, 2007L, 2009P, 2010R, 2010L)
Russia (alliance)
U.S. (fair, alliance)
China (alliance)
OSCE (fair)
EP (fair)
The three major interests in Kyrgystan’s elections are Russia, U.S., and China. Russia has been the most active in intervening in Kyrgystan’s elections. During the 2005 Tulip Revolution, Russia’s Vladimir Putin allied acting President Kurmanbek Bakiev. While Russia allowed the overthrown Askar Akayev into the country, it did not support any restoration of power. The U.S. played a role in the Tulip revolution through its USAID democracy promotion work, such as setting up the country’s only independent printing press—allowing for the publication of grievances against the established government leading up to the electoral revolution. Chinese officials indicated that they might deploy combative forces during the Tulip Revolution. The 2010 parliamentary elections following riots and a second government overthrow involved the same international players. Russia, again, was the most active—supporting candidates the country finds favorable. Russian TV channel, NTV, featured a program smearing candidate Ata-Meken Party leader, Omurbek Tekebayev. At least two candidates have traveled to Russia to meet with Russian leaders. The U.S. has special interest in Kyrgyzstan because it has a strategic military base there; head of a leading party in the 2010 parliamentary election warned that the rent for the air base will increase by $40 million. OSCE and the European Parliament sent monitors to the 2010 parliamentary elections.
1. Russia (alliance)
• 2005L,P: OSCE officials and legal experts are now on hand to help the Kyrgyz elite negotiate a solution. But in a political environment in which power politics can trump rule of law, a solution would be greatly facilitated if Akayev were to formally resign. Feliks Kulov, now in charge of the organs of state security, has promised that if Akayev resigns, he could return home and be safe from prosecution. And this is a guarantee being offered by the one politician that Akayev sent to prison; Kulov was released on March 24, five years into a ten-year term.
Akayev seems certain to be refused foreign assistance in any attempted restoration of power. Fearful of losing yet another strategic partner, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has already exchanged greetings with acting President Kurmanbek Bakiev. Bakiev, as well as his newly appointed foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva, have reassured Moscow that they plan to continue Kyrgyzstan’s tradition of close cooperation with Russia. Both had made sure to travel to Moscow in the lead-up to Kyrgyzstan’s disputed parliamentary elections.
Kyrgyzstan’s neighbors, however, remain nervous. From the point of view of Kazak, Uzbek and Tajik rulers, no good can come out of the situation in this border state. Democratic rule in Kyrgyzstan would put their authoritarian regimes at risk, and these men have all been reluctant--to varying degrees to be sure--to support the development of democratic institutions in their countries.
• 2010R,L: If Kyrgyzstan's "Tulip Revolution" in 2005 looked like an imitation of the "Orange" revolutions (it was timed to coincide with the parliamentary elections and took the form of a protest against election rigging), it is hard to call the present events in the Republic anything but a coup. The clan standoff, on top of Kurmanbek Bakiyev's
Vladimir Putin has compared the actions by Bakiyev that led to the coup to the policy of his predecessor Askar Akayev, who is inclined to nepotism. It is true that a key role in the Republic was still played by the president's relatives - Bakiyev's son became head of the investment agency that controlled substantial (for a poor Republic) financial flows, while his brother was chief of the highly influential state security. And Bakiyev's son was openly being named as a possible successor to his father - so it was a question of the creation of a ruling "dynasty". But there is also a significant difference.
BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union - Political
Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring
April 9, 2010 Friday
• 2010R,L: Russian pundit Contrasts Kyrgyzstan "coup" with 2005 Tulip Revolution
As the Kyrgyz parliamentary elections near, Moscow’s attempts to influence the elections’ outcome is becoming more obvious. By using both its hard and soft power, the Russian leadership has been supporting favorable candidates, while marginalizing others before the vote on October 10. At least two political leaders contesting the elections have traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian top officials. Simultaneously, Russian TV channel, NTV, featured a program smearing Ata-Meken Party leader, Omurbek Tekebayev.
Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, was the first to argue that Kyrgyzstan’s experiment with democracy might turn “catastrophic.” “We are constantly told about parliamentary democracy. Our Kyrgyz friends took this route. But for Russia, I fear, and for Kyrgyzstan, parliamentary democracy –is a disaster,” Medvedev said (, September 10).
• 2010R,L: And despite successive regime changes on both sides, Russia has played a major role in the lives of the Kyrgyz people ever since. That has been especially noticeable during Kyrgyzstan's current parliamentary election campaign, with polls set for October 10.
Just as two centuries ago, leaders of the top Kyrgyz political parties have been beating a path to the Russian capital.
Social Democratic Party leader Almaz Atambaev, Respublika leader Omurbek Babanov, and Ak-Shumkar (White Falcon) party leader Temir Sariev have all visited Moscow in recent weeks.
But the man who received the most attention, both in the media and at the Kremlin, was Ar-Namys (Dignity) party leader Feliks Kulov, who met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and took full advantage of the photo opportunity. Ar-Namys even signed a well-publicized cooperation agreement with the ruling United Russia party.
Central Asian expert Erica Marat, author of Freedom House's "Nations in Transition" report on Kyrgyzstan, says Kyrgyz politicians who are seen to have good ties with Russia do well with many voters in Kyrgyzstan.
Marat says that for Kulov and Ar-Namys, meeting with Russia's president or its ruling party "does create an image...that he and his party are supported by Moscow. And we should remember that Russian influence is considered to be positive in Kyrgyzstan, especially among the urban population."
2. U.S. (fair, alliance)
Now it has happened again in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan - although this time the "evil genius" blamed for fomenting the relatively peaceful uprising has a face - and he looks like Father Christmas.
"Mission accomplished," said Mike Stone, the pudgy, bearded American in question, in his office outside the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, where just over a week ago a crowd drove out President Askar Akayev and his family.
Aged 52, Mr Stone is project director for Freedom House, a pro-democracy foundation part-funded by the American government.
It set up Kyrgyzstan's only independent printing plant, publishing the opposition newspapers that fuelled popular discontent in the weeks prior to the so-called tulip revolution.
But he denies promoting the government's overthrow. "When I say mission accomplished, it has nothing to do with the revolution," he said. "We printed newspapers. The intention was to assist media development. It wasn't to create a revolution."
Nevertheless, Washington is keen to describe recent events in Kyrgyzstan as part of a wave of democratisation - and it is happy to take some of the credit. Aid workers admit that Freedom House and other organisations raised an awareness in Kyrgyzstan that things could be done differently. US involvement in the small, mountainous country is higher proportionally than it was for Georgia's "rose" revolution or Ukraine's "orange" uprising.
Brian Kemple, a lawyer who runs a project working with the Kyrgyz government reforming the legal system for USAid, the development arm of the US government, said internal dissatisfaction with a corrupt regime was what motivated the protests.
He said: "There's a perception among many of the leaders of these countries that the people are idiots, that they couldn't possibly do these things on their own. But they did."
• 2010R,L: Last spring, members of the interim government had expected the election to pivot on issues of political freedoms and corruption in the government of the ousted president, Kurmanbek S. Bakiyev. Their criticism of his rule included allegations that United States military contractors had made financial deals with his family and associates.
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- The head of a leading party running for election in Kyrgyzstan said Thursday that an incoming coalition government would likely sharply increase the rent for a U.S. air base in the Central Asian country.
Ak-Shumkar leader Temir Sariyev said in an interview with The Associated Press that a government including his party would seek $100 million in annual rent for the Manas base, up from the current $60 million.
Sariyev is widely viewed as the main contender for the influential post of finance minister should the Ak-Shumkar-supported coalition gain power in Sunday's parliamentary election.
The United States last year risked losing the base, which acts as a key transportation hub for the military effort in Afghanistan. But former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was deposed in bloody street protests in April, then approved a new one-year lease after Manas was designated as a transit center and the annual rent was increased more than threefold.
4. OSCE, EP (fair)
• 2010R,L: The international observers monitoring the parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan will present their preliminary post-election statement at a news conference on Monday, 11 October, in Bishkek, OSCE press-service reported Saturday.
The international observation is a common endeavour involving the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), and the European Parliament (EP).
The preliminary statement will be delivered by Morten Hoglund, appointed as Special Coordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission and Head of the OSCE PA delegation, followed by Katarina Neved'alova, Head of the EP delegation, and Corien Jonker, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR long-term election observation mission.
This joint undertaking comprises a total of 266 observers from 36 countries, including 40 long-term and 206 short-term observers deployed by the OSCE/ODIHR, as well as nine parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA, and 11 from the European Parliament.
4. China (alliance)
• 2005P,L: China has important interests tied to Kyrgyzstan. Its volatile province of Xinjiang, the scene of periodic ethnic clashes involving China’s Uighur minority, borders Kyrgyzstan and the last thing Beijing wants is for Uighur terrorists to establish a safe haven there. The Chinese government rapidly delivered communications equipment, tents and other defence items to Kyrgyzstan to help its government ward off a 1999-2000 incursion by Islamist terrorists. Indeed, Chinese policymakers consider developments in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan so important that, during the chaos of the country’s 2005 Tulip Revolution, Chinese officials even indicated that they might deploy combat forces there (though local and Russian opposition ultimately prevented any Chinese military operation in Kyrgyzstan).
More recently, the growing number of Chinese nationals and businesses in Kyrgyzstan has shaped Beijing’s perceptions of its evolving interests in the country’s security. Although no Chinese nationals were injured during the April riots, some Chinese businessmen suffered property losses when their shops were looted and burned along with most other business establishments in Bishkek.

No intervention.

Malaysia (1999L, 2004L, 2008L)

Thailand (Alliance)
Philippines (Alliance)
Indonesia (Alliance)
USA (Fair, Alliance)
IMF (Corruption)
UK (Fair)
Canada (Fair)
Australia (Fair)

Description: The United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia have been harshly accused in several instances of colluding with the Malaysian opposition to unseat the government through electoral means. The countries, while denying the charges, have admitted to financial electoral awareness campaigns and certain Malaysian civil society groups that the incumbent government believes to be aligned with the opposition. Certain opposition leaders have also received aid and been hosted by the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, from which countries they continued what the government termed “subversive” propaganda. The IMF has also been accused of interfering in the country by PM Mahatir.

Thailand/Philippines/Indonesia: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today its neighbours should not interfere with Malaysia's internal affairs. "We cannot accept any interference," Abdullah told reporters when asked if Malaysia would seek help from its neighbours since several key supporters of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have been faxing Press statements purportedly from Manila, Bangkok and Jakarta.
He said if the supporters wanted change, they should return to the
country and talk to the people.
"Whatever problems we are facing, including those related to the
leadership, we should let Malaysians decide.
"They should not go abroad to beg for foreigners to help in their cause.
Have they no confidence in their own ability to obtain support from the
rakyat?" he asked.
(Don't meddle in our affairs, Malaysia tells neighbours; Esther Tan, New Straits Times, Malaysia, October 8, 1998)

-       A REUTERS report from Batam on Tuesday says President B.J. Habibie of
Indonesia and President Joseph Estrada of the Philippines voiced concern
over the political situation in Malaysia following the sacking and
detention of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
"During their private tete-a-tete, the situation in Malaysia was briefly
touched upon," Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas told a news briefing
on the two leaders' first meeting since taking office earlier this year.
"The two Presidents reiterated their concerns about what is happening
there and expressed the hope that the present situation could be overcome
by the Government."
In any case, both Presidents are better off being concerned with the
situation in their own countries than saying things that may jeopardise
relations with their neighbours.
Already they have done enough to disconcert many Malaysians by holding
high profile meetings with renegade Anwar supporters in their capitals.
It may be their right to do so and to allow these people to use their
territories to launch a smear campaign against Malaysia, but some
Malaysians may not take this very kindly.
In the case of Habibie, his stance on the Anwar issue is totally
understandable. Besides being good friends, it is to his advantage if the
Indonesian reformasi is adopted in Malaysia.
It may not be his intention to interfere in Malaysia's domestic affairs
or to prejudge Anwar's guilt or innocence, but keeping the reformasi
slogan alive is good for his politics.
Habibie knows he needs the reformasi movement, which was largely
responsible for making him the accidental President in May this year, on
his side if he wants to "legitimise" his presidency at an election.
(Respect policy of non-interference; A. Kadir Jasin, New Straits Times, Malaysia, October 18, 1998)
USA: Had our leaders, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad included,
decided that being popular with the liberal West was more important than
the distribution of wealth, Kuala Lumpur could have been like Jakarta.
SO who is Al Gore to tell us what to do and say who among us is brave? He
bolted immediately after insulting us and inciting violence.
Only a mentally incapacitated person of Gore's stature would suggest
that street violence is the legitimate way of bringing down a
democratically elected Government.
Or maybe Gore, being a typical American leader, is not aware that except
for 21 months between 1969 and 1971, this country has always been ruled
democratically since it became independent in 1957.
Still if Mr Gore and the people he openly supported in Kuala Lumpur are
so intensely against Dr Mahathir and his Government, the democratic way of
getting rid of them is through the ballot box.
(Malaysia is an Evolving Society; A. Kadir Jasin, New Straits Times, Malaysia, November 22, 1998)

-       Asked in an interview with Reuters on how he saw ties with Washington
one year after Gore made the infamous speech in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Mahathir
said: "I must say that Al Gore's speech still rankles. We are very sore
about it.
"We would like to be as friendly as possible to the United States but
statements being made off and on do not help."
He said the United States made several "unkind remarks" about Malaysia
without due examination.
"Courts' decisions for example were not thoroughly studied before
remarks were made. It was just an off-the-cuff remark and it affects our
credibility," he added.
But Dr Mahathir said the sharp rhetoric would not hurt long-term ties
between the two nations.
"I think we will continue to try to have good relations with the United
"But I do hope that leaders in the United States are more sensitive and
will stick to facts rather than come here and make statements that these
demonstrators are brave people and things like that," he said.
(PM: US leaders should be more sensitive in dealing with us; New Strait Times, Malaysia, October 17, 1999)

-       The United States' refusal to recognise Barisan
Nasional's victory in the recently-concluded general election reflects
that it has a "hidden agenda", Minister of International Trade and
Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said today.
She said this was clearly indicated when US State Department spokesman
James Rubin congratulated the Opposition, in particular Parti Keadilan
Nasional president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for securing the
Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, formerly held by her husband Datuk Seri
Anwar Ibrahim.
Rafidah said even though it was obvious that the BN had won with more
than the two-thirds majority, this appeared not to be accepted or endorsed
by the US.
Speaking after the BN victory celebration here, Rafidah, who is Kuala
Kangsar MP, said the US action showed that it had ulterior motives. "That
is why we have to be very cautious and ensure that we do not fall into the
hands of foreign powers," she said.
(Hidden agenda' of the US; Mimi Syed Yusof, New Straits Times, December 6, 1999)

IMF: The Malaysian Government is inciting xenophobia as part of its re-election strategy on June 21, 1999. Advertisements blaming foreigners for Malaysia's problems, or claiming that foreigners are seeking to undermine Malaysia's stability are becoming increasingly common. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) held its annual congress on June 21, with Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, blaming foreign organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund, for seeking to interfere in Malaysia. Non Government organisations (NGOs) have also formed alliances with Opposition parties, including the Malaysian People's Justice Movement (GERAK) and the Coalition for People's Democracy (GAGASAN).
(Mahathir's message of meddling foreigners; Tony Boyd, The Australian Financial Review, June 22, 1999)

USA/UK/Canada/Australia: Canadian and British High Commissions and the United
States Embassy today denied allegations that they have provided funds to
local opposition parties for the general election, with one describing the
claim as "ridiculous and unbelievable".
However, they admitted that officials had attended political ceramah,
press conferences and programmes organised by the Opposition as well as
the Government.
The diplomatic missions were responding to a front-page report in the
Utusan Malaysia today which quoted Umno Youth exco member Abdul Azim
Zabidi as saying that there were attempts by several embassies and high
commissions to provide funds to opposition parties and non-governmental
organisations for the general election.
Abdul Azim said senior officials from the Canadian, British and
Australian High Commissions, and the US Embassy had been "active" in
meeting politicians and attending ceramah and press conferences called by
the Opposition.
(Foreign missions deny providing Money; New Straits Times, November 25, 1999)
-       Malaysia told envoys from Britain,
Canada, Australia and the United States yesterday not to
interfere in its internal affairs following allegations they had
given money to opposition parties for next week's elections.
''There is no interference. It's a false claim,'' Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy told reporters in Ottawa.
''The only support we have been offering is to a couple of non-governmental organizations . . . to provide monitoring of the election itself. But we have given no money to opposition parties or any political support.''
Syed Hamid said Malaysia would file protests with the four governments as opposition parties had admitted links with the foreign missions.
On Wednesday, Malaysia accused foreign diplomats of funding opposition politicians with a view to toppling Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government, which has had prickly relations with Western nations for years.
(MALAYSIA TELLS WEST TO BUTT OUT; The Toronto Star, November 26, 1999)
-       The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the envoys of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia respectively to seek their clarification on allegations that they have been providing funds to opposition parties and some non-governmental organizations in Malaysian ahead of general elections.
Foreign Minister Datuk Sri Syed Hamid Albar said what they had done was something impolite and breached the ethics in diplomatic relations between countries.
[Syed Hamid] We strongly protest the action. We informed them that they had no right to interfere in the political affairs of a country. We told them, hands off Malaysia - lay off your hands from Malaysia [preceding nine words in English]. Do not interfere in Malaysia's internal affairs. The foreigners should look after the affairs of their own respective countries and maintain cordial diplomatic relations with our country. The way to maintain good ties is by not getting involved in Malaysia's political affairs.
(Western envoys told to keep "hands off Malaysia"; RTM Television, Kuala Lumpur, in Malay 0430 gmt 26 Nov 99)
-       Malaysian Foreign Minister [FM] Datuk Syed Hamid Albar said that diplomats from Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States were engaged in more than information gathering during the recent Malaysian general election.
Their actions implied that they were rooting for the success of the opposition, the 'Straits Times' here reported today.
Last month, the envoys of the four countries were summoned by Wisma Putra for explanation on allegations that their countries have given financial aid and support to the opposition in the general election.
Syed Hamid said the US, Australia, Britain and Canada have a track record of getting involved in the affairs of "many countries and on many occasions" .
"We are not talking in a vacuum," he said.
He said that the statement by the US State Department congratulating National Justice Party (Keadilan) president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on her victory showed that Malaysia's charges of foreign interference were spot on.
Syed Hamid said Malaysia should be left alone to chart its own development and policies.
(Minister criticizes activities of foreign diplomats; Bernama news agency web site, Kuala Lumpur, in English 0000 gmt 18 Dec 99)

Mongolia (2000L, 2000P, 2004L, 2005P, 2008L, 2009P)
Canada (alliance)
China (alliance)
Russia (alliance)
U.S. (fair, corrupt)
The U.S. trained poll-watchers in preparation for the 2004 parliamentary elections and 2005 presidential elections. In the 2008 parliamentary election, protesters accused Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Energy of intervention and burned effigies of the company’s chairman. Chinese media frequently quoted Russian media’s accusation of U.S.’s involvement in the post-election violence. China is Mongolia’s largest trading partner and Russia is its second largest.
1. Canada (alliance)
• 2008L: “After the 2008 parliamentary elections that vaulted the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP; the former Communist Party) into power, protesters rioted in the streets. When the dust settled, five people were dead and the MPRP’s headquarters scorched. Sometimes, Ivanhoe has also found itself at the centre of the storm. For instance, in 2006, effigies of Friedland and then-president Nambaryn Enkhbayar were set ablaze in Ulaanbaatar during protests about the government’s alleged mishandling of mineral wealth.”
2. China, Russia (alliance)
• 2008L:
Chinese media had been quoting Russian press reports attributing last week's post-election violence in Ulan Bator to a U.S.-engineered "color revolution" aimed at
countering Russian and Chinese influence in resource-rich Mongolia. A commentary widely circulated in Chinese cyberspace, including the
website of People's Daily, asks with obvious sarcasm whether the unrest in Mongolia resulting from "electoral chaos" constitutes a "millennium challenge"
“Currently, over 700 Chinese enterprises are operating in Mongolia, their combined investment accounts for about half of the total investment by foreign‐owned firms in the country. In the past few years, some big Chinese state‐owned companies have started to invest in Mongolia’s oil and mining industries. China Investment Corporation, sovereign wealth fund of China, has invested US$1.2bn in Mongolia’s coal and iron ore assets in 2009.”
“Russia is the second largest trading partner of Mongolia after China. In 2008 trade turnover between the countries reached US$1.3bn (US$732.2mn in 11M2009).”
3. U.S. (fair, corruption)
• 2004L/2005P: In its political party work, IRI trained poll-watchers in all 21 aimags in preparation for the 2004 and 2005 Parliamentary and Presidential elections. Because of that work, both were relatively free of fraud. IRI’s suggestion that opposition parties coalesce behind single candidates in 2004 also led to a dramatic impact on proportional representation: 49% of the electorate was represented by only four MPs after the 2000 election, but by 34 MPs after the 2004 election. Nation-wide public opinion polls in the lead-up to the two elections helped candidates on both sides identify key issues important to the Mongolian electorate.

Myanmar (2008R, 2010L)

Laos (Alliance)
Japan (Fair)
UN (Fair)
Singapore (Fair)
China (Alliance)
Russia (Alliance)
Philippines (Fair)
Indonesia (Fair)
Thailand (Fair)
US (Fair)
UK (Fair)
Australia (Fair)

Description: Particularly after the imprisonment of Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi, Myanmar underwent calls from the international community for free and fair elections. While the US, the Philippines, the Uk, the EU, and the UN led the Western outcry against the elections organized by the military Junta and kept from any international monitoring, regional powers either remained silent or offered support to the Myanmar government, as was the case of Laos. China and Russia were equally opposed to chastising Myanmar, with China actually praising its polls despite Western claims that they were not legitimate. Within the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations, only Indonesia and Thailand became vocal in urging the Junta to allow free and fair elections. Japan, one of Myanmar’s biggest aid donors, modestly criticized the Myanmar regime on the lack of legitimate polls, withholding certain aid packages.


Laos : Burmese junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe won full support for Burma's Nov. 7 elections from the Laos government during his official visit, the Burmese state-run media reported on Monday.
In a flurry of foreign trips ahead of the parliamentary elections in Burma, Than Shwe made a three-day visit to Laos on Friday and met with President Choummaly Sayasone and Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh
The Laotain president expressed full support of Burma's elections during Than Shwe's visit, according to Burmese state-run newspapers.
However, the Vientiane Times, Laos' official English-language newspaper, did not mention or stress the Burmese elections in coverage of the visit on Monday and instead said that "both sides pledged to extend further support to each other in both the regional and international arenas."
(Laos offers support for Burmese election; Irrawaddy website, Chiang Mai, in English 4 Oct 10)
Japan/UN: The UN envoy to Myanmar made a joint call Thursday with Japan for the military regime to move ahead with elections next year, saying the rest of the world would respond positively.
Ibrahim Gambari, a special advisor to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, was visiting Japan after spending four days in Myanmar where he tried to nudge the military regime towards dialogue with the democratic opposition.
Japan, the top donor to Myanmar among the OECD major economies, in 2003 suspended most assistance other than emergency aid and some training funding.
Japan cut its assistance further after Myanmar cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrations in 2007.
But Japan refuses to join Western allies in slapping punishing sanctions on Myanmar. China, which often spars with Japan for influence, is the main political and commercial partner of Myanmar.
(UN envoy, Japan encourage Myanmar on vote; Agence France Presse, February 12, 2009)

Singapore: Goh, who served as Singapore's prime minister from 1990 to 2004, acknowledged that the ongoing trial of Suu Kyi is a domestic affair but added that there is an international dimension to the issue which the junta should not ignore, according to Channel NewsAsia. He also said Myanmar's planned elections in 2010 must be inclusive and Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy must be part of the process of national reconciliation, Channel NewsAsia reported.
Than Shwe and Thein Sein assured that the opposition needs to recognize that the military plays a pivotal role in the reconciliation process, Channel NewsAsia said, adding that they also promised that the planned elections will be fair and free. Singapore last month urged Myanmar to release Suu Kyi from detention after she was charged in court. However the city-state, which has trade and investment ties with Myanmar, has rejected calls from some quarters to expel Myanmar from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
(Senior Singapore leader meets Myanmar junta chief, Japan Economic Newswire, June 9, 2009)
UN/China/Russia: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that elections in Myanmar must be free and fair, amid mounting concerns that they won't be. Ban said he was working hard to keep the pressure on General Than Shwe and other of Myanmar's leaders to live up to their commitments to hold legitimate elections in 2010. At a minimum, the U.N. wants Suu Kyi and 2,000 other political prisoners released. A transcript of Ban's remarks were made available at the U.N. in New York.
Than Shwe has resisted U.N. demands to open up democratically, ignoring four Security Council statements and direct entreaties by Ban and a top envoy. Suu Kyi has been in detention for 14 of the last 20 years since her pro-democracy party won in the polls but was denied power. China and Russia, two of Myanmar's main weapons suppliers and trading partners, oppose the idea of a U.N.-backed international arms embargo, and they also blocked the council from making anything more than a tepid protest of Suu Kyi's return to house arrest on Aug. 11.
(UN, West pressure Myanmar for change from within; JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Worldstream, August 31, 2009)
Japan: Hatoyama also said that given the recent progress being made, including the resumption of dialogue between the military government and the Nobel Peace laureate, Japan will expand, in phases, humanitarian and human resources assistance to Myanmar.
Hatoyama added that if Myanmar holds general elections next year in a manner that would allow anyone concerned to take part, Tokyo will then be able to strengthen various forms of assistance to the country.
The bilateral talks, which were held on the sidelines of the two-day first summit meeting between Japan and five Mekong-region countries, came several days after U.S. officials made the highest-level visit to Myanmar in 14 years.
The visit comes as the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to engage in dialogue with the military regime, in a reversal of the previous George W. Bush administration's policy of isolation of the country.
(Japan urges Myanmar to release Suu Kyi before elections next year; Japan Economic Newswire, November 7, 2009)
-       Japan, which unlike major Western nations has maintained trade and dialogue with Myanmar, also said it was "deeply disappointed" by the vote and called for Suu Kyi's immediate release.
(West dismisses Myanmar poll but China hails 'step forward'; Agence France Presse, November 8, 2010)
Philippines: Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo yesterday called on Myanmar's junta to conduct and ensure a "free, fair, credible and all-inclusive" general elections scheduled to take place this year.
Romulo issued the statement after Myanmar 's foreign minister told Southeast Asian counterparts that the long-delayed polls in the military-ruled state would finally be held within the year.
(Philippines: Foreign affairs chief asks Burma's junta to conduct 'free, fair' polls; The Daily Tribune website, Manila, in English 16 Jan 10)
-       On a visit to Washington, Romulo said he expected the fellow Southeast Asian nation's military regime to release Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent most of the past 20 years under house arrest. "I believe the election will go through in September -- around that time -- and I believe that perhaps from what we hear that Aung San Suu Kyi would be released before the election," Romulo said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank.
The Philippines has been outspoken in demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, with Romulo calling his country a "strong and sometimes solitary voice" on Myanmar in the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations. US President Barack Obama's administration has called for a free election as part of its policy of engagement with Myanmar. Romulo said it supported the new US approach to Myanmar, long a pariah to Western nations.
(Philippines sees Myanmar vote 'farce' in September; Agence France Presse, February 5, 2010)
Indonesia/Thailand: The visiting Thai foreign minister said in an interview here Sunday that as the two most democratic members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Thailand and Indonesia could help Myanmar achieve this goal.
"Without being seen as interfering in Myanmar's domestic issues, as friends and members of the ASEAN family we would like to see national reconciliation and peace in Myanmar. Holding free and fair elections will allow the country to bring peace and reconciliation back," he said. Kasit said Thailand would offer training for Myanmarese officials to make sure the elections ran according to democratic principles.
Indonesia has voiced the need for Myanmar to include Suu Kyi and her party in the election, as well as to guarantee fair and transparent elections, vowing also that it was ready to send observers to Myanmar if asked by the junta. However, Indonesia was also very careful to avoid being seen as meddling in Myanmar's domestic affairs, with Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa saying in an interview with The Jakarta Post that Indonesia chose to include those not considered democratic in the ASEAN process.
Indonesia: Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that while there was no official agenda for the discussion of Myanmar issues during the summit, members would set aside time for this during a session on regional and global current affairs.
President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono, who left Jakarta Monday to visit the Shanghai World Expo, will attend the ASEAN summit.
Indonesia's standpoint was "crystal clear", Marty said over the weekend, which was proven in the fact that the Indonesian government had repeatedly called on the Myanmar government to fulfil its commitment to carrying out a "free, democratic and transparent" election.
Indonesia had also called on Myanmar "over and over again" to give third parties the opportunity to witness the election process to ensure its credibility, he said.
(Indonesia to raise Burmese election at Vietnam ASEAN summit; The Jakarta Post website, Jakarta, in English 26 Oct 10)

US: The US government has condemned as "a mockery" new election laws in Myanmar effectively barring Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's opposition leader, from standing in national polls expected later this year. The laws banning any candidate with a court conviction deal a blow to the Obama administration's policy of engagement with the military-run nation, PJ Crowley, a spokesman for the US State Department, told reporters.
(US condemns Myanmar poll 'mockery';, March 11, 2010)
-       General elections in Myanmar, the first in nearly 20 years, were "deeply disappointing" and far from inclusive, the U.S. State Department said. The U.S. State Department said the election was troubling given the regime's failure to allow observers into the country. "The electoral process was severely flawed, precluded an inclusive, level playing field and repressed fundamental freedoms," the State Department said in a statement. "As a result, the elections were neither free nor fair."
(World shuns Myanmar's election; UPI, November 8, 2010)
-       The West denounced army-ruled Myanmar's first election in 20 years, but state media in key ally China hailed the polls as a sign of progress Monday and most other Asian nations remained silent. Led by US President Barack Obama, numerous countries decried the vote as neither free nor fair and called for the release of political prisoners including democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who was sidelined in the ballot.
(West dismisses Myanmar poll but China hails 'step forward'; Agence France Presse, November 8, 2010)
US/Australia: "Australia and the United States underlined their deep regret that the Burmese authorities failed to hold free, fair and genuinely inclusive elections on November 7," they said in a joint communique. In the statement, both countries urged the regime's leaders to ensure that "post-election institutions be transparent, accountable and responsive to their citizens's aspirations."
"They called on the Burmese authorities to release without delay or conditions Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, respect basic human rights, and begin genuine dialogue toward national reconciliation." Clinton had earlier said that Washington was "deeply disappointed" with the polls, which foreign media and independent election observers had been barred from monitoring. She said the administration of President Barack Obama would still speak to Myanmar's military leaders but maintain "rigorous sanctions" against them while they hold political prisoners, abuse human rights and ignore the opposition.
(US, Australia regret Myanmar's failure to hold free polls; Agence France Presse, November 8, 2010)
Australia: Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Sunday said he held "very grave reservations" about Myanmar's upcoming election, the first to be held in that country in two decades. Myanmar's government is refusing to allow foreign election observers or international media into the country for the November 7 vote which has been criticised as a sham election intended to put a civilian face on military rule. "We have very grave reservations about the elections...They are being conducted under patently unfair election laws that place severe restrictions on political parties," he said in a statement.
(Australia has 'grave reservations' about Myanmar polls: FM; Agence France Presse, October 31, 2010)
UK: The British government doesn't recognize the Sunday general election in Myanmar as a legitimate competition, a Foreign Office minister said. Jeremy Browne, the British minister of state at London's Foreign Office, said in an interview with Channel News Asia that London didn't have much faith in the contest.
"We don't recognize the elections as being legitimate," he said. "There are over 2,000 political prisoners in Myanmar; people who would wish to stand for election are not able to do so, so it is not an accurate reflection of the view of the people of Myanmar, and for that reason we don't think the elections are a legitimate process."
(Myanmar vote illegitimate, London says; UPI, November 3, 2010)

China: China respected the path of development chosen by the people of Myanmar and hoped the scheduled multi-party general election in Myanmar runs well, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said here Thursday.
Hong told a regular news briefing that to maintain Myanmar's internal social stability and hold the election successfully served the fundamental interests of Myanmar people and the regional peace and prosperity.
(China hopes Myanmar election runs smoothly; Xinhua General News Service, November 4, 2010)
·          A leading Chinese state-run newspaper on Monday welcomed weekend elections in military-ruled Myanmar, which have been condemned as a farce by the West. In an editorial titled "Myanmar's election a step forward," the official Global Times said Beijing supported "Myanmar's plan to transform its political system, but knows it will not happen overnight."
"The US and some Western countries have often accused China of playing an 'immoral role' in Myanmar's move towards democracy, because China did not join them in forcing Myanmar to change," it said."This is actually an attempt by the West to share the cost of overthrowing Myanmar." China is one of Myanmar's closest allies and has long helped it to keep afloat through trade ties, arms sales, and by shielding it from UN sanctions over rights abuses as a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council.
(Chinese state-run newspaper welcomes Myanmar vote; Agence France Presse, November 8, 2010)

Nepal (1999L, 2008L)

Japan (Fair)
UK (Fair)
US (Fair)
EU (Fair)
UN (Fair)
India (Fair)
Denmark (Fair)

Description: The Nepalese 2008 Constituent Assembly elections represented a major turn for the country, as the Monarchy gave way to a republic. The UN, India, and the US exerted heavy pressure to pacify the country, mediating between the Maoist faction and the Nepalese government, before elections could take place. The UN was as much as accused of tampering with the wishes of the Nepalese people by pushing for a delay in the polls from November 2007 to April 2008. Denmark, the UK, Japan, and the EU contributed with election monitors, and funds to sustain the heavy costs ($30mi, approximately) of holding elections.


Japan: A Japanese official said here that Japan was keen to help Nepal's peace process particularly in holding the elections to constituent assembly, a local leading news media group's website reported on Tuesday.
"I have come here to show Japan's strong support to peace process and to help Nepal be a democratic nation," said Chihiro Atsumi, the Director General of the Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs at the Department of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after he arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu in Monday afternoon.
He said he would discuss with the top government officials on how Japan could help Nepal in the constituent assembly elections.
(Japanese offers assistance for election; Xinhua General News Service, January 23, 2007)

UK: British Department of International Development (DFID) funded Nepal with 961,822 Euro ( some 1.5 million U.S. dollars) for procuring voter registration equipment.
The assistance is provided to the Election Commission in Nepal to facilitate post-constitution general elections in Nepal.
Issuing a press release on Tuesday, DFID Nepal Head of Office Sarah Sanyahumbhi said "I am pleased to make the announcement of nearly a million pounds to acquire voter registration equipment to support Nepal's Election Commission."
The Election Commission's voter registration plan will be helped by procuring 1,000 registration kits to support two phases of voter registration.
(Britain commits 1.5 mln USD aid for elections in Nepal; Xinhua General News Service, March 30, 2010)

UN: The United Nations mission in Nepal on Monday told the Himalayan nation's government to get a move on and organise scheduled elections crucial to the impoverished country's future.
Under the terms of a peace deal struck late last year between the interim government and Maoist rebels, Nepal is supposed to hold elections by mid-June for a body that will redraw the constitution.
But the head of the United Nations Mission In Nepal (UNMIN), Ian Martin, said the deadline could be missed, leaving the country stuck in political limbo and the peace process exposed to more pressure.
(Hurry up on elections, UN tells Nepal; Agence France Presse, February 12, 2007)
- A UN team of election monitors has started its first tour to monitor the constituent assembly elections. The team members include: Dr Rafael Lopez (team leader, Spain); Eman Ayub (Syria); Stephani Luthi (Switzerland); Antonio Reis (Brazil); and Bangchuk Son (Republic of Korea) [all names as published].
According to a statement issued by the UN, the team, directly appointed by the secretary general, will regularly monitor the election process. The secretary general wanted to ascertain if theelection process is moving in the way desired by the Nepalese people. In the course of monitoring, the team will hold meetings with all the stakeholders including the government, members of parliament, political parties, civil society, national and international electionobservers.
The team will submit its report to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and later the secretary general will notify the Nepal government about it. The team is not part of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and will be providing technical assistance to the Election Commission. But it will not be working within the office of the Election Commission.
(UN team in Nepal to monitor elections; Rajdhani, Kathmandu in Nepali, 13 Jun 07, p1)
- A top UN election monitoring team has arrived in Nepal to review the preparation for the crucial Constituent Assembly election to be held in November. The UN Electoral Expert Monitoring Team (EEMT) will review the technical aspects of the assembly poll process and report to the UN Secretary-General, the UN mission in Nepal said.
Nepal has fixed November 22 as the date to hold the crucial CA election to rewrite the country's constitution, which was the major demand of the Maoists, who fought a decade long civil war. The EEMT was formed by UN Secretary General under the mandate of the UN Security Council Resolution 1740.
(UN election monitoring team arrives in Nepal; The Press Trust of India, July 30, 2007)
- There is strong possibility that the United Nations will be involved in attempting to postpone elections. The Nepalese people have seen only the bright side of the UN. They are unacquainted with the murky and opaque bureaucracy inside this world organization.
The special representative of the UN secretary-general in Nepal, Ian Martin, has been saying that elections should not be held until the participation of the marginalized and backward classes is ensured. According to Martin, law and order cannot be restored until the problems of the political parties, especially those of the Maoists and the marginalized communities, are resolved. But these questions are linked with the UN Mission's bureaucratic interests. If elections are deferred once again in Nepal, those with jobs at the UN Mission in Nepal will be happy. For this reason, the UN Mission wants to see the elections postponed further.
If the talks with the Tarai [southern plains] groups drag on and the Maoists continue to feel that their movement has been weakened due to the UN Mission, it is certain that the election environment in Nepal will get murkier. Moreover, if the UN Mission welcomes the poll deferral, the international community will not be in a position to oppose it.
(UN may attempt to "postpone elections" ("UN Mission in Nepal may back election postponement"); Annapurna Post, Kathmandu, in Nepali 7 Aug 07, p8)
- In a video message taped today, Mr. Ban said it is his "fervent hope" that the polls are a success, especially given the efforts so far by Nepalese political leaders to reach this point. "They now have a critical responsibility to ensure that voters can freely exercise their democratic right in a secret ballot, without fear of violence, intimidation or manipulation," he said. "So much hinges on the success of theelection, and the acceptance by all of the will of the people."
The UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Nepal) issued a joint report yesterday warning that while momentum was building towards the elections, violent clashes and acts of intimidation involving supporters of rival political parties were still marring the campaigning.
Mr. Ban said the election is "an opportunity not only to reinvigorate democracy, and uphold the centrality of human rights, but also to further cement the peace process in Nepal? This Constituent Assembly election is a historic milestone for the people of Nepal. You have waited long and patiently for this day to come." He also noted that the international community is closely following the election process, including through the presence of hundreds of election observers.
- Voting in landmark elections in Nepal ended Thursday, with the United Nations praising the "overwhelming enthusiasm" for the polls that will define the country's political future. "Clearly there has been overwhelming enthusiasm on part of the people to come out and and cast their vote," Kieran Dwyer, spokesman for the UN peace mission in Nepal, told AFP as polling stations closed at 5:00 pm (1115 GMT). "There have been reports of incidents in some constituencies across the country, but so far in a relatively small number of areas," he said of the calmer-than-expected election day.
(Nepal polls close, UN praises elections; Agence France Presse, April 10, 2008)

EU: Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, has congratulated the people of Nepal, the country's political parties and participating candidates for their commitment to the historic elections in Nepal.
The EU has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Nepal, led by a Member of the European Parliament, Jan Mulder, as a contribution to democracy and stability in Nepal. The preliminary statement, presented by the Chief Observer Mr. Mulder together with the Head of the European Parliament delegation, Mr. Borrell Fontelles, on the 12th of April, concluded that election day was largely successful despite a tense campaign period.
The EU EOM deployed 120 observers from 22 EU Member States and Norway and Switzerland throughout Nepal to observe and assess the electoral process, in accordance with international standards for elections as well as the laws of Nepal. The EOM will stay on the ground until mid May to observe the post-election developments and the tabulation of results. The EU EOM will publish a final report covering the elections and containing recommendations on the electoral process in the next few months.
(EU Commissioner praises elections in Nepal; Hidustan Times, April 15, 2008)

Denmark: The Government of Denmark provided an additional support of 1,830,000 U.S. dollars to the Nepal Peace Trust Fund (NPTF). According to a press release issued by the Embassy of Denmark to Nepal on Sunday, the Government of Denmark has made a second support to the Nepali government in a accordance with the agreement signed between the two governments on April 4, 2007. Prior to this, the Government of Denmark has given initial support of about 1,850,000 U.S. dollars which is earmarked chiefly for preparation of the forthcoming election to the constituent assembly (CA) scheduled to take place on Nov. 22 later this year.
(Denmark provides over one mln USD to Nepal for peace process; Xinhua General News Service, August 6, 2007)
US: The U.S. Mission to Nepal, through USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), has provided more than $200,000 in technical equipment to Nepal's Election Commission to support a successful voter registration campaign and timely Constituent Assembly elections, a senior U.S. diplomat said today.
Since 1999, USAID/Nepal, the humanitarian and development assistance arm of the U.S. Mission to Nepal, has supported programs strengthening elections processes, including support to theElection Commission to strengthen its capacity to credibly plan, manage, and conduct national and local elections that conform to international standards and best practices. Among other achievements, the program, effective in more than 30 districts, resulted in increased awareness of election procedures and the electoral process among district election officials, local political party and civic leaders, and general voters.
- The U.S. Carter Center has deployed a 13-member international election observation mission in Nepal in all five development regions of the country, a leading newspaper, The Himalayan Times reported on Saturday. The Carter Center International Election Observation Mission field office, established in Kathmandu in early January, will manage the observation mission, it added.
"The Carter Center welcomes this opportunity to support the Nepali people in their transition to sustainable peace and multi- party democracy and encourages all parties to the process to participate actively and ultimately to respect the will of the people," David Carroll, director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program, was quoted by the paper as saying.
The Carter Center has been active in Nepal since 2003 and was invited by the government of Nepal, several political parties, and the Election Commission of Nepal to observe the Constituent Assembly election process, the report said.
(International election observation mission deployed in Nepal; Xinhua General News Service, March 10, 2007)
- The United States, in a statement "heartily" congratulated the Nepali people for holding the election, saying Nepal has taken a huge step forward on the path of peace and democracy. "Overwhelmingly across the country men and women were able to cast their ballots in a peaceful and orderly way. This represents an historic achievement and is a tribute to the courage of the Nepali people and the conduct of the Election Commission," said a statement issued by the US embassy in Kathmandu.
Besides, the US has urged patience and respect for the results of the election as it will take weeks. "We stand ready to assist the people of Nepal in their pursuit of a more peaceful, democratic and prosperous future," the statement said.
(UN, US, China congratulate Nepali people;, April 11, 2008)

India: India has delivered 200 electronic voting machines to the Election Commission (EC) of Nepal for the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) elections slated for Nov. 22, local newspaper The RisingNepal reported Tuesday.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, on behalf of chief election commissioner of India, handed over the machines to EC Monday. For the first time in Nepal's election history, the people of Constituency No. 1 of Kathmandu district will cast their votes through electoral voting machines, the EC said.
(India provides voting machines to Nepal; Xinhua General News Service, October 2, 2007)
- India on Friday expressed disappointment over the multi-party Nepal government's decision to defer the Constituent Assembly elections for the third time to stave off a deadly confrontation with the Maoists. "We are disappointed over the postponement of the elections in Nepal, which has occurred for the third time.
The repeated postponement of elections erodes credibility and affects the process of democratic transformation and legitimisation in Nepal," external affairs ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said. "We hope the special session of the Interim Parliament will address all relevant issues democratically to enable the people of Nepal, who have sacrificed so much, to choose at the earliest their own future and the manner of their governance, through a free and fair election process," he said.
- India would support any political system chosen by the Nepalese people as long as it is through a legitimate election process, Indian Prime Minister's envoy Shyam Saran said here Friday [12 October], stressing full support to the peace process in the Himalayan nation. India would support whatever political system the people of Nepal would decide, Saran said, adding that the best way to get the mandate of the people is through the legitimate means of election. "India regards holding free and fair constituent assembly election of central importance for ensuring lasting peace and multi-party democracy in Nepal," said Saran, who held high-level discussions with a wide range of political leaders including Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, Communist Party of Nepal-UML (CPN-UML) General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist chief Prachanda among others. "In India's view, election is the only way for the people of Nepal to choose their future, including the manner in which they want to be governed," said Saran, a former Indian foreign secretary.
(Indian special envoy urges "legitimate election process" in Nepal; PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1353gmt 12 Oct 07)
- India is against the demand by Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) that Nepal's interim parliament declare the country a republic, a special envoy from the Indian premier said Friday. Shyam Saran told journalists in Kathmandu that while India would support the decision of the people of Nepal on how they want to be governed, the interim parliament "would not reflect" the wishes of the people.
Saran's stress on the need to have fresh elections to decide the future of monarchy comes a day after a special session of Nepal's parliament convened Thursday to decide on twin Maoist demands of declaration of a republic through the parliament and choosing a fully proportional electoral system for the stalled Constituent Assembly election. Saran, a former Indian ambassador to Nepal sent to Kathmandu by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for consultations, also said that Nepal's peace process and the assembly election are "crucially linked" and neither can move independently of the other.
(India warns against declaration of republic by Nepal's parliament; Japan Economic Newswire, October 12, 2007)
- Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood handed over Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to secretary of the Election Commission (EC) in Nepal.
"The supply of EVMs to Nepal reflected India's continued commitment to support institutionalisation of multi-party democracy in Nepal," said Sood. Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel was also present on the occasion, which was held on Thursday. In a statement, the Indian Embassy said India would give 470 new EVMs, 1212 battery packs and 400 ballot units. The assistance was part of India's overall support to the peace process and was based on requests from the Nepal Government, putting India's assistance to the peace process to around Rs 2.7 billion, the statement added.
(India hands over Electronic Voting Machines to Nepal; Hindustan Times, April 3, 2009)

New Zealand
No intervention.

Pakistan (2002R, 2002L, 2007P, 2008L, 2008P)
EU (fair)
US (alliance, fair)
Asia (fair)
Al-Qaeda (alliance)
Asia Foundation (fair)
The EU expressed disapproval for the 2002 referendum, which General Pervez Musharraf called to ensure his rule for 5 more years. Some EU officials said that Musharraf's move to hold the referendum is illegal and might undermine EU-Pakistan relations. The EU and the Commonwealth sent observers to the 2002 presidential referendum. The US keep its voice low on the referendum, because Musharraf has been an ally in the war on terrorism in Pakistan. Condoleeza Rice commented that the US expected Musharraf to carry out his promise to hold general elections in October 2002. The US observers said the 2002 general elections were conducted in a transparent manner. The EU said it would increase its economic assistance three-fold if the 2007 presidential elections were conducted in a free and fair way. The U.S. spent $10 million to computerize new voter rolls for the 2007 presidential elections. Shortly before the 2007 elections, Al-Qaeda's leader Bin-Laden issued a new audio message urging voters not to vote for Musharraf, but it is seen to have a tiny impact. Observers from the EU approved the 2008 parliamentary elections and expressed grief for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. President Bush and Condoleezza Rice condemned Bhutto's assassination. The US State Department requested Democracy International to monitor the 2008 parliamentary elections; they conducted that "the serious assault on Pakistan's constitutional order and fundamental flaws in the pre-election environment prevented the election from meeting international standards." Ahead of the 2008 legislative elections, he UN provided monetary support for the Election Commission of Pakistan and voter education. The Asia Foundation support local NGOs for voter mobilization and domestic vote monitoring. The US provided support for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and some support to political parties through National Democratic Institute for International Development.
• 2002R: Two key members of the European Parliament have expressed deep concern at the referendum called by Pervez Musharraf to decide on his continuance in power saying the vote was in conflict with the Constitution andPakistan President's own roadmap for democracy.
At a meeting of Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, its chairman Elmer Brok acknowledged thatPakistan's Constitution provides for a referendum on any matter of national importance.
He pointed out, however, that using this procedure to elect a President was in conflict both with the Constitution and President Musharraf's own road map for democracy.
(EU Parliament members express concern over Pak referendum, April 24, 2002, The Press Trust of India)
• 2002R: Tehran - The European Union (EU) has expressed its disapproval of a referendum expected to be held in Pakistan today to give President Pervez Musharraf an opportunity to stay in office for another five years, the Pakistani press reported yesterday.
The media quoted some EU officials as saying that President Musharraf’s move to hold the referendum is illegal and likely to undermine EU-Pakistan relations.
(EU disapproves of referendum in Pakistan, April 30, 2002, Middle EAst News Online)
• 2002R: Islamabad: The head of a EU observation mission Friday 16 August said it was determined to carry out its task of assessing October elections in Pakistan, even though it had yet to receive a formal invitation to do so.
The EU mission, led by Irish Member of the European Parliament John Cushnahan, arrived in Pakistan this month to be accused by Pakistani Information Minister Nisar Memon of interfering in Pakistan's internal affairs. Local media have also quoted the Election Commissioner Irshad Hassan Khan as saying the EU should confine itself to observing the poll and not oversee the entire election process, which was the job of the electioncommission.
(EU determined to observe Pakistan poll despite lack of invitation, August 17, 2002, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts)
• 2002R: The European Union has criticised Pakistan's elections as "seriously flawed". Chief EU electionobserver MEP John Cushnahan (EPP-ED, Ireland) said the Pakistan authorities "engaged in a course of action that resulted in serious flaws in the electoral process". As results came in from the October 10 poll, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) released a five-page interim report saying the authorities had misused state resources to favour political parties, especially the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam.
The report noted the Pakistan Election Commission's failure to curb the use of state resources to back particular parties, particularly the Pakistan Muslim League loyal to military leader General Pervez Musharraf. Mr Cushnahan said that the EU would watch in the coming weeks and months whether or not the transition of power was smooth. "The holding of the general election does not in itself guaranty the establishment of democracy", he said. Mr Cushnahan cited widespread complaints that voters were not provided identity cards and a significant number of voters were turned away because their names were not found on voter lists.
(EU/Pakistan: Observers Slam Flawed “Flawed” Elections, October 16, 2002, European Report)
• 2007P: The European Union (EU) would increase its economic assistance three-fold after Pakistan's transition to full democracy through the upcoming general elections, the EU's Ambassador to the Islamic nation Jan De Kok has said.
"The EU has finalised a plan to increase Pakistans annual grant assistance three-fold to offer an all-time high 400 million euros but the Union wants fair, free and transparent election to sustain democracy and avoid emergency or the martial law," the 'Dawn' reported today, quoting Kok as saying here.
(EU assures reward for free and fair elections in Pakistan, August 22, 2007, The Press Trust of India)
• 2008L: Kashmore, 20 February: The visiting EU Election Observers have congratulated the people of Pakistan on successful conduct of 18 February general elections.
Speaking at a briefing here EU observer Saint Paitor said the political parties have to show acumen to work to uphold the Constitution. There is need for all the political parties to move forward for the development and prosperity of the country with the spirit of national reconciliation.
The EU observers noted that they want economic development and prosperity of the country and also want that there should be a government of people's representatives in the country rather than an individual. Expressing grief over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto prior to general elections they said she was a great leader and the international politics stands deprived of a great leader due to her death. They observed that democratic process will gain further momentum because of February 18 general elections.
(EU observers congratulated Pakistani people for successful polls, February 21, 2008, BBC Monitoring South Asian - Political/Associated Press of Pakistan)
EU, Commonwealth (fair)
• 2002R: Islamabad: A group of international observers comprising Commonwealth and the European Union EU countries will visit Pakistan to monitor the forthcoming presidential referendum on 30 April. Principal Information Officer (PIO) Ashfaq Gondal said this while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Media Centre "Referendum2002, Public Secretariat" here on Monday.
(International bodies to monitor Pakistan referendum, April 23, 2002, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts)
• 2002R: "It's up to the Pakistani courts and the Pakistani people to decide," said a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy here, adding: "This is the beginning of a process that will lead to democratic elections."
No one in Islamabad, the serene capital of a poverty-stricken nation of 140 million, pretended surprise at the U.S. reaction.
"It's called expediency," said Rukhsana Siddiqui, a professor of international affairs at Quaid-i-Azam University.
Musharraf was told publicly in September to choose between the United States and the terrorists who had launched attacks on New York and the Pentagon from their refuge in neighboring Afghanistan. He has sided with Washington and savored its new embrace ever since. In exchange for allowing the U.S. military access to Pakistani air bases and wide latitude to American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Pakistan escaped both the sanctions and pariah status.
Just days before Musharraf announced the referendum earlier this month, U.S. officials acknowledged that American satisfaction with the general had achieved new heights. Backed by FBI agents, Pakistani police captured Abu Zubaida, the most senior official taken alive from the al Qaeda terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden.
(U.S. Offers Musharraf Leeway on Democracy; Warnings of Past Absent as Opposition Decries Referendum, April 13, 2002, Washington Post)
• 2002R: The White House on Thursday called for "free and fair" elections in Pakistan, where a referendum that kept President Pervez Musharraf in office for five more years was decried as a fraud.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer did not discuss the outcome itself, but said the United States "stands squarely behind" democratic, civilian rule achieved through constitutional means.
"We look forward to the holding of free and fair national and divisional elections in October, as ordered by the Supreme Court and agreed to by President Musharraf," Fleischer said.
Final results published Wednesday showed 97.7 percent of Pakistani voters backed Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup. Turnout was over 50 percent.
Musharraf has sided with the United States in the Afghan war.
The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said referendum organizers loyal to the government allowed widespread cheating. The group said it had videotaped evidence that some people voted several times and others, such as prisoners, civil servants or those with business ties to the government, were coerced into voting.
A commission representative, Asma Jehangir, said the group plans to expose the alleged fraud to the world community, rather than challenge the results before the Supreme Court. The high court last week ruled the referendum legal.
(White House Backs Pakistan Elections, May 2, 2002, Associated Press Online)
• 2002R: Domestic and international controversy over the validity of President General Pervez Musharraf's referendum(see Pakistan: 1 May 2002: Musharraf's Referendum Victory Raises More Questions Than It Answers) has not subsided. However, this has not prevented Musharraf from declaring the vote, which granted him a five-year extension in the presidential office, 'fair and transparent'. Election officials confirmed on 1 May their earlier projections that 97.5% voted in favour of Musharraf's proposals, and claimed that the 30 April poll attracted a turnout of up to 56%. The latter figure has been put in doubt by the claims of opposition groups that the real turnout was closer to 5%, and that multiple voting and other techniques of manipulation were used by Musharraf. Internationally, the subdued reaction from the US was the most noteworthy response to Musharraf's ploy to gain another five years as President. US national security adviser Condoleeza Rice commented that the US expected Musharraf to carry out his promise to hold general elections by October and return the country to democracy. Clearly, the administration of US President George W. Bush is concerned about what impact criticism of Musharraf's controversial referendum could have on its war against global terrorism. The support by Musharraf for the US since 11 September 2001 has been pivotal for efforts to eradicate the al-Qaida terror network. Pakistan's other major ally China congratulated Musharraf on his victory, while regional arch-rival India criticised the referendum as being stage-managed. It seems unlikely that international criticism will become an issue for Musharraf before the October elections but if he then maintains military rule, as is widely expected, it will be interesting to see how the US reacts.
(Controversy over Referendum Continues, May 3, 2002, World Markets Analysis)
• 2002R: Raising questions for the first time on legitimacy of Pervez Musharraf remaining the self- appointed President of Pakistaneven after electons scheduled later this year, the United States has said that constitutional mechanism allowing him to do so remains unclear.
"On August 14, the Government announced that electons on the national and provincial level are scheduled to take place between October 1 and 11, 2002. However, President Musharraf announced on several occasions that he intends to remain in office after the elections are held. The constitutional mechanism allowing Musharraf to do so remains unclear," the State Department said in its annual human rights report.
It also said that corruption and inefficiency remained acute despite reforms initiated by the Musharraf government to reduce corruption. However, it said, these reforms have had some effect on officials in higher levels of government.
(US questions legitimacy of Musharraf Presidency post-elections, March 5, 2002, The Press Trust of India)
• 2002L: As Pakistanis vote today for new legislators and provincial governments, the Bush administration faces a delicate balancing act. Even before the election, Gen. Pervez Musharraf was fairly criticized for undermining the integrity of the vote in a number of ways. And problems with the election could reflect back on the United States, since Pakistan's leader has become so close to President Bush that he is jokingly referred to as "Busharraf" in Pakistan and beyond. But given Mr. Musharraf's important help in the war on terror, Mr. Bush must be careful to preserve the friendship. In the final analysis, though, Pakistan has reaped handsome dividends from its cooperation with America and the White House may have more leverage than it is currently exercising. With a steady hand, the Bush administration could urge Mr. Musharraf to allow democracy to take root incrementally. By failing to take careful action, the United States could face other threats in Pakistan.
Today's elections were mandated by a 1999 Supreme Court decision, which followed the bloodless coup that brought Mr. Musharraf to power. But he won't be up for election. In order to circumvent a vote on Pakistan's leadership, Mr. Musharraf held a referendum which he claims, unconvincingly, proves his mandate to rule for the next five years.
Also, Mr. Musharraf has set comically arbitrary guidelines for the election, preventing anyone who doesn't have a college education, has ever defaulted on a loan or failed to pay utility bills from running. Pakistan's leaders of the two main political parties, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, have been barred from participating. The campaign period was cut from 90 days to 40 days, making it more difficult for the opposition to counter the political messages of state-run radio and television channels. Mr. Musharraf also has given the military a permanent policy-making role in government by writing constitutional amendments, which can now only be overturned with a two-thirds majority in the new legislature.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has benefited from its close U.S. ties. It has rescheduled $3 billion in debt with U.S. institutions and may write-off another $1 billion. The International Monetary Fund has resumed a $1.3 billion loan program it had previously suspended. In January, Pakistan will reschedule $12.5 billion of debt with Paris Club creditors. This help has been in part responsible for the 60 percent rise in Pakistan's stock index this year - the world's best performance. Pakistan's role in Afghanistan's reconstruction, both current and anticipated, is also bolstering Pakistani stocks. While America needs Pakistan, Pakistan also needs America.
Mr. Musharraf's attempts to marginalize secular, established and historically pro-American parties could strengthen the power of Islamic fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are expected to capture only a few seats in the legislature - anywhere from 10 to 20 out of 342. But they are expected to gain power in areas critical to U.S. interests, such as the region along the border with Afghanistan. And with the military's strengthened role, Pakistan's positions on the disputed region of Kashmir could become radicalized - a frightening prospect, since both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers.
The Bush administration therefore faces risks in allowing Mr. Musharraf to undermine the elective process. But Mr. Bush must be careful not to overplay his hand. America's alliance with Pakistan and stability in that country are paramount to U.S. interests.
(Pakistan in the balance, October 10, 2002, Washington Times)
• 2002L: The spokesman of the US State Department has declared that based on the information of the US Embassy and the EU observers, the general elections in Pakistan were conducted in a transparent manner.
The full text of the spokesman's statement is reproduced below:
"We welcome these elections in Pakistan. We think it's an important milestone in Pakistan's transition to democracy. There were observers from the US Embassy, the European Union, the Commonwealth and a number of international NGOs who monitored the elections. The initial impression from the observers indicate that the voting day proceeded in a relatively free and orderly fashion despite the concerns that they had expressed about the pre-election environment.
If these initial impressions are borne out, we would accept this result as a credible representation of the full range of opinion in Pakistan and we look forward to the observers' full assessments. While these elections are an important step towards a restoration of full democracy in Pakistan. Government and political leaders now have a joint responsibility to ensure the smooth transition to a sustainable form of democratic and civilian rule.
The next crucial step is the transfer of power to the new National Assembly and establishing and establishing its role and we're pleased to see that President Musharraf has said that he expects to hand over Chief Executive's authority to a new Prime Minister sometime around November 3."
(Statement by spokesmen of the U.S. state department, November 6, 2002, Pakistan Newswire)
• 2002L: State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States welcomes the recent elections in Pakistan as an "important milestone" in the country's transition to democracy.
"[W]hile some questions about restrictions on candidate qualifications in campaigning exist, these elections are an important step towards the restoration of full democracy in Pakistan," Boucher said, briefing reporters at the State Department in Washington October 15.
The spokesman said Pakistan's government and political leaders have a responsibility to ensure the smooth transition to a sustainable form of democratic and civilian rule. The United States supports Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's vision of making Pakistan a modern, moderate Moslem nation, Boucher said.
(Excerpt: State's Boucher Says U.S. Endorses Results of Pakistan's Elections; Calls elections "important step" toward restoration of full democracy, October 16, 2002, State Department)
• 2007P: With their country in turmoil, Pakistani voters are expected within months to go to the polls for the first parliamentaryelections here in five years. But as time runs short, independent observers say that the nation is poorly prepared and that the elections will be highly vulnerable to fraud.
The most glaring weakness, they say, is a new voter list that is missing the names of tens of millions of Pakistanis, threatening to seed mass confusion over who is eligible to cast a ballot...
Observers generally do not blame the United States for the failure. But they say U.S. officials erred in trusting the Election Commission of Pakistan, the organization responsible for implementing the upgrade. The commission, whose members are handpicked by President Pervez Musharraf, has a reputation for incompetence and for lacking independence from the president. The commission has enabled Musharraf to go ahead with his plans for reelection in the face of several legal challenges...
The U.S. budget for election assistance in Pakistan is $28 million. In July, Richard A. Boucher, assistant secretary of state for South Asia, told Congress that $20 million had gone toward supporting the Election Commission's work and that U.S. officials were "doing everything we can to support free and fair elections."
The single largest contribution to that effort has been the $10 million the United States spent on computerizing the new voter rolls, a program that officials broadly defend, while acknowledging problems.
(Pakistani Electoral Process in Disarray, Observers Warn, September 24, 2007, Washington Post)
• 2008L: The Bush administration scrambled Thursday to deal with the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto after having invested significant diplomatic capital in promoting reconciliation between her and President Pervez Musharraf.
President Bush, speaking briefly to reporters at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, urged that her murder not derail nascent efforts to restore democratic rule ahead of parliamentary elections set for next month. And he demanded that those responsible for the killing be brought to justice.
"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy," said Bush, who looked tense and took no questions. He expressed his deepest condolences to Bhutto's family and to the families of others slain in the attack and to all the people of Pakistan.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed those comments, calling on Pakistanis to remain calm.
(Bush demands justice for Bhutto murders; assassination complicates US policy, December 27, 2007, Associated Press)
• 2008L: Washington, Feb. 28 -- Democracy International, which sent a 38-member election observer delegation to Pakistan at the request of the US State Department to monitor the February 18 elections, has given a clean bill of health, despite shortfalls, to the national electoral exercise.
At a discussion held at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, the Daily Times quoted a senior Democracy International official, as saying that there was no systematic attempt at manipulation of results, as some had feared.
"To date, there appears to be broad acceptance of the results. ... However, the serious assault on Pakistan's constitutional order and fundamental flaws in the pre-election environment prevented the election from meeting international standards and must be addressed if progress towards a democratic Pakistan is to continue," he added.
(Pak polls declared clean by US observer outfit, February 28, 2008 Hindustan Times)
• 2008P: the front-runner in Pakistan's presidential election said that he is committed to a democratic, moderate and progressive Pakistan and that he will continue to stand by the United States and ensure that Pakistani territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on our neighbours or on NATO forces in Afghanistan. The comments from Asif Ali Zardari come after U.S. troops carried out their first known cross border ground attack on a suspected militant target. However, Zardari said in a newspaper article published on Thursday in the Washington Post that Pakistan stood with the U.S. and other countries who have been attacked by terrorists and would bring an end to domestic Taliban insurgency.
(Zardari to stand by US in war against terror, September 4, 2008, Balochistan Times)
Al-Qaeda (alliance)
• 2007P: Coinciding with the announcement of election date for the office of the president, Al-Qa'idah's leader Usamah Bin-Ladin has issued a new audio message against the government of President Pervez Musharraf urging the people to remove him. It is ironical that audio or video tapes of Usamah Bin-Ladin always surface on the eve of elections be they in the United States or in Pakistan...In Pakistan we wonder if Usamah's tape message will carry any weight because the people against the act of terrorism and they do not support any action that may create problems for them. Already people have suffered a lot from terrorist acts of bomb blasts and suicide attacks. Also the election of the president will be by Parliament and Provincial Assemblies whose members will not be influenced by call of Usamah Bin-Ladin. Had this tape appeared on the occasion of general elections, it could have some impact on a tiny minority but not on the overall population of the country.
(Pakistan paper quesitons timing of Bin-Ladin’s Paper, September 22, 2007, BBC Monitoring South Asia - Political)
Asia Foundation, US
• 2008L: Donor support was provided through two basket funds – one with UNDP which supported the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and voter education; the other with the Asia Foundation, which managed a network of local NGOs to support voter mobilization, election monitoring and the largest ever national election monitors’ network comprising around 18,000 people across Pakistan. The Asia Foundation also supported the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency to monitor the election process, and The Researcher which observed women-contested constituencies. The US provided separate support to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and provided some support to political parties through National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute.
(“Elections in Pakistan, UKAid, Department for International Development,

Papua New Guinea (2002L, 2007L, 2012L)
Australia (Peace, Fair)
Indonesia (Alliance)
Description: Papua New Guinea contends with the interference of two opposing forces – Australia and Indonesia. While Indonesia uses military and paramilitary units to control portions of the country and influence the electoral contests in favor of pro-Indonesia politicians, Australia has maintained a security and police force in the country for stabilization purposes. It has been charged by the country’s leadership with undue interference in the politics of the country.
Australia: PAPUA New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has accused the Australian Government of trying to interfere in his country's election process.
He yesterday said he would raise the issue at the next Pacific Islands Forum meeting.
''I think there seems to be somehow some kind of interference,'' he told reporters yesterday. ''We know the area where we believe the democratic process must continue in a developing country.''
Sir Michael, 71, is expected to be re-elected as prime minister for a second-consecutive term today when the new parliament meets for the first time.
(PNG POLL CLAIM;Don't meddle, Australia told; The Advertiser, Australia, August 13, 2007)
-       Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has accused the Australian government of trying to interfere in his country's election process. He said yesterday he would raise the issue at the next Pacific Islands Forum meeting.
I think there seems to be somehow some kind of interference," he told reporters yesterday. "We will be looking at that issue and I'm taking it up in the forum with Australia and New Zealand at my level as still the chairman of the Pacific Forum. We know the area where we believe the democratic process must continue in a developing country. Australia has sometimes had a tendency of having to say we will provide this, provide that and also make sure peace and stability is created."
The National Alliance Party leader said Australian commentators sometimes created an impression PNG would break down very shortly and become a failed state.
During PNG's election, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer called on the Somare government to release a PNG Defence Force report into the escape of wanted Australian lawyer Julian Moti to the Solomons on a PNG military flight last October. A leaked copy of the report shows it points the finger of blame at Sir Michael and recommends he be charged. Sir Michael has consistently denied sanctioning the flight for Moti, who is wanted in Australia to face child sex charges.
(Papua New Guinea premier says Australia interfering; Papua New Guinea Post-Courier website, Port Moresby, in English 13 Aug 07)
-       THE reclusive leader of the Bougainville rebellion has emerged from his mountain stronghold for the first time in 16 years to demand the departure of Australian police and independence for the troubled island.
In a move that has surprised and concerned authorities in Papua New Guinea and Australia, Francis Ona left the militia-controlled Panguna Mine site on Tuesday. He led a protest march to the doors of the Australian-staffed police station on the island's main town of Arawa and presented a demand for independence to the nearby United Nations mission.
Before a crowd of hundreds, Mr Ona demanded that all Australian police leave by today. Six Australian police are stationed at Arawa and 13 in other parts of Bougainville under the $1.1 billion Australian program to restore law and order to PNG.
Although an Australian-sponsored peace agreement in 2001 largely ended the bloody secessionist conflict - begun with guerilla attacks on the giant copper mine in 1989 - Mr Ona has refused to recognise the peace process. With armed remnants of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, he has continued to control a no-go zone around the deserted mine.
(Island rebels want Australians out; Mark Forbes, The Age, Melbourne, Australia, March 24, 2005)
INDONESIA: THE arrival in Australia of 43 refugees from Merauke caused a tidal wave of protest from Jakarta, denying that Papuans are suffering persecution, let alone genocide.
Yet there is no explanation why the Indonesian military (or TNI) needs 50,000 troops in Papua or what the army has been doing in Papua for the past 43 years.
In Papua, continuation of territorial command is crucial for the TNI because it allows the army to interfere, undermine, bribe and coerce local bureaucrats, businessmen and politicians. In Papua, the Special Autonomy Bill promised to rejuvenate Papuan society with 70-80 per cent of the tax revenue from mining, oil, gas, timber and fishing industries. Hence, some observers believe, the TNI strategy of undermining special autonomy.
This strategy has left most Papuans disillusioned without realising special autonomy is the door to modernity.
(Papua needs firm support; Greg Poulgrain, The Courier Mail, Australia, May 1, 2006)

Philippines (1998P, 2001L, 2004P&L, 2007L, 2010P&L, 2011L)
US (Alliance, Fair)
Description: The US has by far the most electoral leverage in the Philippines. Since 1986, when the U.S. all but forces President Marcos into calling a snap election, Filipino politics depends largely on whom the U.S. places its support. Throughout the 2000s, the U.S. remained largely supportive of President Arroyo, publicly declaring that she was the U.S. government’s chosen candidate in at least two elections.
US: The United States will back President Arroyo should she decide to seek the presidency in 2004, Senator Joker Arroyo said yesterday. The senator said the decision of US President George W. Bush to visit the Philippines in October reflects America's interest to maintain its ties with the government of Ms. Arroyo, a staunch supporter of Washington's global campaign against terrorism.
Senior officials of the US State Department, according to presidential adviser Heherson Alvarez, want Ms. Arroyo to run to maintain the close ties between Manila and Washington. Alvarez did not name those officials.
But Majority Leader Senator Loren Legarda, who is likely to seek the nomination of Lakas-NUCD either as the administration's standard-bearer or vice presidential candidate, said she was aghast at America's interfering with Philippine political affairs.
"No foreign nation, no matter how powerful it may be, should interfere with the political plans of President Arroyo or of any Filipino for that matter," she said.
She urged her partymates and fellow administration senators to respect the President's decision not to seek the presidency.
(US WILL BACK HER – JOKER; Manila Standard, May 23, 2003)
-       The United States government indicated yesterday it is willing to work with the government that the Filipino people would support in a snap election.
US embassy spokesman Thomas Skipper said Washington would not interfere in the snap poll itself, if it would be held.
"It's a matter that has to be resolved by the Filipino people... We'll work with the government that the Filipino people want," Skipper told Manila Standard in a telephone interview.
He also brushed aside speculations some groups may succeed in pushing Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as an acceptable alternative leader to President Estrada.
Some reports quoted Senator Francisco Tatad as claiming think tanks like Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) are trying to "sell the Vice President to the US" to force Mr. Estrada to resign.
"Again, it's not up to the US to find her acceptable. This has to be resolved by the Filipino people," Skipper said.
In 1986, the US government was reported have pressured then President Ferdinand Marcos into calling a snap election after the opposition charged the administration of cheating massively to beat Corazon Aquino.
(US STAYING NEUTRAL; Manila Standard, October 23, 2000)

Singapore (2001L, 2005Pcancelled, 2006L, 2011L)
Anti-foreign intervention bill: Parliament yesterday passed a Bill that bans foreign political donations and restricts anonymous donations. We present the key provisions of the Bill.
POLITICAL parties such as the ruling People's Action Party and the opposition Workers' Party.
<solbox> Candidates running in parliamentary or presidential elections, and their election agents. This is regardless of whether they are elected. Election agents are included as, under the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act, they are responsible for a candidate's campaign funds.

Political parties and candidates cannot accept foreign funds as they contest elections and can influence the policies and political process in Parliament, if elected.
<solbox> Any organisation -- such as a registered society, business or company, whose activities revolve around Singapore politics. This includes organisations which the minister deems to be a political association.
It would be too narrow to define politics as just contesting in elections and electioneering.
These organisations may not aim to get a candidate elected into Parliament or as President, but they can accept foreign donations, promote a particular political platform or influence the political process in the interest of the foreign party.
Also, the authorities have few controls over the activities and spending of organisations which are not connected to candidates or parties during election time. Such organisations can be used by foreign groups to influence local politics.
(Keeping foreigners off political scene; Chua Mui Hoong, Ignatius Low and Siti Andrianie, The Straits Times, Singapore, May 23, 2000)

Sri Lanka (1999P, 2000L, 2001L, 2004L, 2005P, 2010P, 2010Lsnap)

Commonwealth (Fair)
EU (Fair)
India (Fair, Alliance)
US (Fair)
Japan (Fair)

Description: The international community has given a fair amount of attention to Sri Lankan polls. The EU, the US, the Commonwealth, and Japan have invested in training election officials, sending monitoring teams, and providing election equipment. These countries have equally pressured the Sri Lankan government to adopt several unheeded electoral reforms, such as the opening of an independent election commission. India has close commercial and political ties to Sri Lanka, being accused at times of supporting the Tamil opposition. Nonetheless, it has consistently supported and promoted free and fair elections.


Commonwealth: Commonwealth observers monitoring elections in Sri Lanka found "serious shortcomings" in the vote, according to an interim report Wednesday for the organisation's head Don McKinnon.
In a statement, he said the initial assessment of the monitoring team was that the most serious flaws occurred "outside the electoral machinery". They centred notably on the "absence of balance in state media coverage and allegations of the misuse of state resources".
The team also referred to reports of "pre-election intimidation of voters" and that, on polling day Tuesday, "some polling stations were taken over and ballot boxes stuffed or destroyed". The Commonwealth team monitored nine of 22 electoral districts and saw the voting process in 130 polling stations.
(Commonwealth team finds flaws in Sri Lanka vote; Agence France Presse, October 11, 2000)
·          The Final Report of the Commonwealth Expert Team which observed the 26 January Presidential election in Sri Lanka says that overall the 2010 Presidential elections in Sri Lanka did not fully meet key benchmarks for democratic elections.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, in releasing the report, noted the Team's conclusion that, "even though on the day of the election voters were free to express their will, shortcomings primarily in the pre-election period meant that overall the 2010 Presidential elections in Sri Lanka did not fully meet key benchmarks for democratic elections."
The Secretary-General added: "Many of the problems identified reflect the same problems identified during previous elections. These problems - which have also been highlighted by the country's own Commissioner of Elections - will hopefully receive urgent consideration. The Commonwealth is ready to assist as requested".
(Overall polls not democratic; Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka, February 16, 2010)
·          A Commonwealth Expert Team (CET) will arrive in Colombo on Tuesday January 19, and stay until February 1, 2010 for the forthcoming Presidential Elections to be held on January 26. The CET will be led by former Jamaican Foreign Minister K.D. Knight, the office of the Commonwealth Secretary said. In the team are Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma at the invitation of the Sri Lanka Commissioner of Elections. "The Group's mandate is to assess the overall conduct of the electoral process and the environment in which the election is conducted, according to the standards for democratic elections to which the country has committed itself," he added.
(Commonwealth election observers due on Tuesday; Daily Mirror, January 18, 2010)

India: The closely fought presidential election in Sri Lanka yesterday was watched with interest in India, but notwithstanding the result, India's investment in its island neighbour is bound to increase. Working quietly after coming under criticism, India is now on its way to outgunning Chinese presence in Sri Lanka.
The election - the first after the war with the LTTE ended - was a shoo-in for President Mahinda Rajapaksa until his former friend and General Sarath Fonseka became the combined opposition candidate, and proved to be a formidable rival. With the TNA, formerly allied closely to the LTTE, openly declaring its support for General Fonseka, both sides are now wooing the Tamil minority. What's significant in these elections is that India has virtually become a non-story - neither the candidates nor the vocal voters have really made India an issue. Both General Fonseka and President Rajapaksa are comfortable with India, a feature that, will facilitate increased Indian investment in Sri Lanka.
From the time India sent in 250,000 family rescue packs to the internally displaced people during the war and rendered vital assistance to the war itself, it has moved to qualitatively change its largely positive ties with Sri Lanka. In 2010, India had already given $105 million in assistance to the country, making it the single largest grant in one year to any country. Sri Lanka has moved way beyond the pledges and is actually showing results on the ground.
(India's stake in Lanka to increase further; Daily Mirror, January 27, 2010)

India/EU: India will join the European Union in sending officials to oversee Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections next month, an election official said Thursday.
India's Election Commission will send six observers to the Dec. 5 voting.

The European Union already has decided to send a team of 50 observers at the invitation of Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, the commission official, said on condition of anonymity.
The pre-election campaigns are often violent in this island nation. Already eight people have died in campaign-related incidents since nominations were announced on Oct. 27.
(Indian Elections Commission to send observers to Sri Lanka; Associated Press Worldstream, November 8, 2001)
EU: Election monitors from the European Union on Monday accused the Sri Lankan government of not effecting electoral reforms and warned that Dec. 5 parliamentary elections would be violent. The members of the mission met with top political parties on Sunday and Monday. Head of Mission John Cushnahan said the government's action on the EU group's recommendations were "too disappointing." The group had expressed major concerns about the way the election was conducted last year and had suggested several remedies, most of which have so far been ignored by the Sri Lankan government, he said.
(European Union accuse Sri Lanka of not effecting electoral reforms; Associated Press Worldstream, November 19, 2001)

·          The European Commission has deployed a European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission (EOM) in Sri Lanka to monitor the country's parliamentary elections due on April 2, the EU said in a statement on Tuesday. "The deployment of the EU EOM follows an invitation from the Commissioner of Elections of Sri Lanka and is a concrete expression of the EU's effort to support democratic institutions and stability in the country," the statement said.

"The European Commission also hopes that the EU EOM can help defuse potential tension and deter possible malpractice," the statement said. John Cushnahan, Member of the European Parliament, is the EU chief observer for the mission with some 70 observers. The EU team will assess the whole election process in Sri Lanka including the legal framework, the political environment and campaign, media conduct, electoral preparations, voting and counting as well as the post-election period. The team will issue a preliminary statement shortly after election and a final report detailing the findings of the mission and offering recommendations where appropriate.

(EU deploys election observers in Sri Lanka; XINHUA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE, March 10, 2004)

·          The European Union blasted the Sri Lankan government for failing to reform its electoral system, saying such inaction hampered the island's democracy. Cushnahan said the EU had recommended setting up an independent election commission, a code of conduct for political parties and tougher action to stop election-related violence. There was no immediate response by the government.

He said election monitors would focus on the abuse of state resources, unequal access to the media, electoral violence, problems with voter registration and lack of access to certain polling stations. They would be stationed throughout the country.

(European Union blasts Sri Lanka for ignoring electoral reforms; Associated Press Worldstream, March 11, 2004)

·          The European Union announced Wednesday it would monitor next month's presidential election in Sri Lanka in an effort to protect the island's fragile peace process and guarantee the vote is credible. A former member of the European parliament, John Cushnahan, will lead a 72-member team to observe the November 17 election, the European Commission said in a statement released here.
Cushnahan has led three monitoring missions to Sri Lanka in recent years and accused political parties of abusing state resources during campaigns. He demanded the national identity card be made mandatory to ensure no impersonation at future elections, a recommendation yet to be implemented by the authorities. The EU Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said they wanted to ensure that all communities in the ethnically-divided island would accept the election result.
(EU to monitor Sri Lanka vote; Agence France Presse, October 26, 2005)
·          The European Union Friday warned Sri Lanka that it will organise no more election monitoring missions to the troubled island unless Colombo implements recommendations to reduce fraud. John Cushnahan the head of the 72-member European Union mission for the November 17 presidential election said Sri Lanka had failed to implement suggestions made after observing three previouselections.
"As a friend of Sri Lanka, it would be remiss of me not to point out that if, at the end of this election, no attempt is made to implement our recommendations, any future request from Sri Lanka forelection observation will fall on deaf ears," Cushnahan said. He said the EU was "clearly frustrated" with the lack of follow up by Sri Lankan authorities after national elections."None of the key recommendations of three previous missions to strengthen the democratic process have been implemented," Cushnahan said. "They have merely been left on the shelf gathering dust."
(EU warns Sri Lanka to clean up election act; ; Agence France Presse, October 28, 2005)
·          The European Union's chief election observer in Sri Lanka on Wednesday called for immediate electoral reforms in the island nation, warning that failure to do so could result in a loss of EU goodwill. "It is not proper for me to issue threats," John Cushnahan told reporters about persistent delays in enacting EU-suggested reforms, including making the election commission an independent body. But if no steps are taken toward implementing the changes, Sri Lanka "runs the danger of forfeiting a lot of (EU) goodwill," he said.
Cushnahan, on a visit to Sri Lanka, said the EU has already recommended setting up an independent election commission, a code of conduct for political parties and tougher action to stop election-related violence. "The recommendations ... are restated because most of them have not been implemented," he said during his current visit. Cushnahan said at the time that his monitoring group would have supported a re-vote if the election commissioner had agreed to hold one. Since 2002, the EU has pledged euro180 million ($214.4 million) for Sri Lanka in trade and technical assistance and another euro100 million ($119.1 million) is in the pipeline.
(EU chief election monitor calls for immediate electoral reforms in Sri Lanka; Associated Press Worldstream, March 8, 2006)
·          Baroness Catherine Ashton: "The EU welcomes that the Presidential Election in Sri Lanka, the first election of this kind for many years, took place in an overall peaceful environment. The large turnout demonstrates the wish of the Sri Lankan people to participate fully in the democratic process. The EU congratulates President Mahinda Rajapakse on his re-election and stands ready to work with him and his government in support of his objective of bringing sustainable peace to all people in Sri Lanka and actively engaging in an inclusive process of national reconciliation," she said.
"The EU reiterates its concern that a significant number of incidents occurred during the election campaign. It trusts that the irregularities reported by election observers and the election commission will be duly investigated and that the safety and security of all candidates and campaign workers will be ensured by the authorities,"
(EU envoy welcomes Sri Lanka poll, says "ready to work" with president; Daily Mirror website, Colombo, in English 30 Jan 10)

US: US ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead Wednesday announced 600,000 US dollars in assistance for election monitoring in Sri Lanka's parliamentary election process. The US Agency for International Development is giving nearly 600,000 US dollars to Sri Lanka's election monitoring organizations and to the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a US-based nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Among the amount, approximately 400,000 dollars will be given to the Center for Monitoring Election Violence and the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections, two local election monitoring groups.
(US provides financial aid for Sri Lankan election; XINHUA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE, March 18, 2004)
·          Following is the full text of the press release from the Embassy of the United States of America:
The United States is deeply concerned by the escalating violence surrounding the upcoming presidential elections, particularly reports of today's fatal shooting. We urge the appropriate authorities to conduct a full investigation of this and other acts of violence and to protect those exercising their democratic right to support the candidate of their choice. This is the first nation-wide election in a peaceful, united Sri Lanka in several decades. We hope that the election is conducted freely, fairly and without violence.

Japan: Expressing deep concern at soaring violence in the run-up to Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections on Wednesday, Japan announced Tuesday it will provide around $58,000 toward a campaign by two local monitoring organizations to eliminate election violence. Tokyo made the decision in accordance with the Japanese government's principles of fostering the growth of democracy in developing countries, according to a statement issued by the Japanese Embassy. Under the plan, the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) will receive $38,000 while the Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) will get $20,000.
(Japan grants Sri Lanka election monitoring groups $58,000; Japan Economic Newswire, December 4, 2001)
·          Japan on Wednesday 18 February asked Sri Lanka's political parties to ensure a violence-free election and said it was planning to send a team to monitor the polls due to be held on 2 April. Tokyo will also give 30,000 dollars to a local organization to create awareness among those who will be deployed to monitor the campaign and the voting, the Japanese embassy said in a statement.
Japan, which is Sri Lanka's largest aid donor, had attended a meeting in Washington yesterday with the US, European Union and Norway on further international assistance. Ambassador Akio Suda said the four had called for a strict adherence to a ceasefire and the earliest resumption of peace talks between the Colombo government and Tamil Tiger rebels.
(Japan to monitor Sri Lankan elections; PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1904 gmt 18 Feb 04)

Taiwan (2000P, 2001L, 2004P, 2004R, 2008L, 2008P, 2008R, 2010L):

Description: China exerts by far the greatest amount of interference on Taiwan, with the US having a double-faced presence, both furthering democratic values and paying lip-service to the Chinese administration. The same goes for Japan. The latter two countries were actively involved in interfering in the simultaneous Presidential Election and UN membership referendum in 2004. Taiwan’s political sphere is divided between the “Reconciliationist”, or “Anti-Independence” faction featuring the Kuomintang (KMT) Party and the First People Party (FPP), and the “Separatist” or “Pro-independence” faction, featuring the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The factions were diametrically opposed during the UN Referendum, as they are in most contentious issues. China has invested a lot of political capital on the FPP and KMT alliance, while the U.S. interference in favor of the DPP hugely depends on U.S.-Chinese relations at any given time.

China (Allliance)
US (Alliance)

China: Condoleeza Rice said “China will do what it can to enhance its position, whether by stealing nuclear secrets or by trying to intimidate Taiwan.” (2000 Foreign Affairs, qtd in “China Eyes the Hegemon” by Peter Gries;
Beijing has hundreds of missiles pointed at Taiwan and refrain from making comments on Taiwan's presidential election and referendum plan; harbours or provides shelter for a number of Taiwan fugitives, including several financial crime suspects or convicts; active financial and logistical support for the "pan-blue" ticket of Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan and People First Party Chairman James Soong, both “reconciliationists” and “anti-independence”. (Central News Agency web site, Taipei, February 11, 2004)
Chinese state-run air carriers are offering 40 per cent discounts on airfares ahead of the March 22 Presidential election to encourage China-based Taiwanese businessmen to return to vote. (February 2008, Taiwanese Central News Agency)
Comments on Chinese Radio on frequency directed toward Taiwan: "It is becoming ever more clear to people that the divisive policy of Taiwan's leader Lee Teng-hui has been pushing Taiwan's people into an abyss of misery," said a Xinhua commentary published in People's Daily. Mr. Lee has also protected and backed those pursuing Taiwanese independence, and suppressed those supporting China's reunification."
Premier Zhu Rongji warned Taiwanese voters to shun a pro-independence candidate in Saturday's presidential election and said they would regret an "impulse" vote. He did not mention names but he left no doubt that China was referring to Mr Chen Shui-bian, the presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party which has put independence at the core of its platform. (Mary Kwang, The Straits Times, Singapore, March 16, 2000)

US: A letter from Tom Tancredo (R-COL) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to Secretary of State Rice on U.S. Activities in Taiwan: “We are writing to ask that the State Department cease its repeated efforts to affect the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in Taiwan, and specifically, the outcome of the planned referendum on membership in the United Nations… U.S. officials [are sent to] denounce and attack the [UN referendum] proposal over a six month stretch while parroting the terminology used by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.” Many examples of pro-China US interference in Taiwan are included in the letter. December 2007.
a. Prior to 2000 Presidential Elections, Pentagon sold Taiwan upgraded missiles and radar equipment (John Gittings, The Guardian, London, March 11, 2000)
b. if Ma Ying-jeou takes office, his policy of "no reunification, no independence, and no use of force" suits theUnited States well. The US factor in Taiwan's general election is a reality; acknowledged or not, it exists in fact. (Li Yu, "The American Factor in Taiwan's General Election", Hong Kong Newspaper Ta Kung Pao, March 19, 2008.)

Tajikistan (1999R&P, 2000L, 2003R, 2005L, 2006P, 2010L)

US (Fair)
Russia (Alliance)
OSCE (Fair)

Description: Especially after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Tajikistan has been in the midst of the US-Russian rivalry for control of Central Asia. The OSCE and the US have made continuous calls for free and fair elections, noting that the country’s polls are only nominally democratic, there being no true candidates or parties that oppose incumbent Rakhmonov, seen as more inclined toward the Russian camp. The Russian embassy has been accused by the Tajik opposition of heavy-handedly supporting the government in elections.


US: Interview with U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan, Richard Hoagland: Election results not to depend on super powers
Neru-i Sukhan: Mr Ambassador, we shall have presidential elections in 2006. It seems to me that the election campaign started immediately after the referendum of 22 June. The results of this process will very much depend on policies of the USA and Russia. Who would you like to see as Tajikistan's leader who would lead it towards democracy?
Hoagland: This is a very delicate question. I can't agree 100 per cent with what you have said. I don't think the results will depend on either the USA or Russia but on the Tajik nation. It is very important to have good laws on elections, which have to meet international standards. The USA can help create conditions so that the Tajik nation could honestly decide about the election of its political leaders.

(Tajikistan "a relatively democratic state" - US envoy; Asia-Plus, Dushanbe, in Russian 4 Dec 03 p4)

-       The U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan on Thursday urged the government of this ex-Soviet republic not to thwart next year's free elections, just as the Security Ministry launched a probe into a key opposition leader. U.S. Ambassador Richard Hoagland called for free and fair elections in Tajikistan.
"I realize that a tradition has evolved in the former Soviet space to use administrative means to shape the election process, and I would hope that Tajikistan ... will think twice before it gets too heavy handed with the use of these administrative means," Hoagland said at a news conference in the U.S. Embassy.
The U.S. ambassador's remarks came a day after the embassy expressed concern over a government crackdown on media freedom after several independent and opposition newspapers were forced out of print - a move the papers said was designed to silence them ahead of the coming parliamentary polls.

(U.S. diplomat urges Tajik government not to interfere in election process; opposition leader under investigation; RUKHSHONA NAJMIDDINOVA, Associated Press, August 26, 2004)

Russia: Three political parties of Tajikistan: - the Democratic Party of Tajikistan, the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan have issued a statement asking the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to define its relations with ambassadors of foreign states, a report circulated at a news conference in the [office of] the Democratic Party of Tajikistan today said.
"We realize that the countries which have established or are establishing brotherly relations with Tajikistan are not indifferent to this important political event," the report says. "This is why diplomats of these countries should assist in the holding of this political event within the limits of their authority."
At the same time, the report also says that foreign diplomats' opinions related to the Tajik presidential election, that go beyond their authority, are now appearing in the country's media.
"On 26 January this year, the Millat newspaper published a report from a news conference of the Russian ambassador in Tajikistan, Ramazan Abdulatipov, who said that `Rahmonov has no opponents'. It means that the Russian ambassador in Tajikistan has launched the current president's election campaign, which has not been announced officially. This is not normal and goes beyond the authority of a foreign country's ambassador," the statement says.
In their report, Tajik political parties are asking the Russian ambassador "not to go beyond the limits of his legal authority and avoid interfering in the internal affairs of Tajikistan in future".
(Tajik parties call on Russian envoy not to interfere in internal affairs; Avesta website, Dushanbe, in Russian 0643 gmt 6 Feb 06)
OSCE: Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov defended the conduct of a presidential election as he cast his vote Monday, saying it was wrong to thrust a foreign "template" on a Muslim country.
"Tajikistan is a country populated 99 percent by Muslims and it's a completely different culture and that has to be taken into account. To thrust a template, like a chessboard, some kind of new ideology, on Asian countries, is not right," Rakhmonov said.
Responding to a question on criticism that has already been voiced by the Western-led monitoring body the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), he said that criticisms were inevitable.
"The standards of the OSCE are absolute. There's no country in the world that fulfills the OSCE's standards 100 percent," he said.
He added that he had personally instructed civil servants not to interfere in the conduct of the election.
The OSCE earlier highlighted the fact that none of the other four candidates at Monday's election have been critical of Rakhmonov as well as problems with the election administration and limitations on the media.
Rakhmonov was first elected president in 1994 and at the last presidential election was declared the winner by 97 percent.
(Tajik leader rejects criticism of election; Agence France Presse, November 6, 2006)

Thailand (2000L, 2001L, 2005L, 2006L, 2007R, 2007L, 2008L):

Description: NO INTERVENTION: Thailand is a treaty ally with the U.S., and perhaps one of the more important strategic allies in Southeastern Asia when it comes to soft-power competition with China. The U.S. has always backed the Thai government, even through the 2006 coup, indicating the lack of U.S. favoritism towards any specific political faction. China, on the other hand, has cultural and economic ties to Thailand. The Thai elite, in fact, consists nearly entirely of 4th generation Chinese families, creating a situation conducive to intergovernmental lobbying. China is beginning to co-opt states in the area as “tributary states”, and greater interference, even if not electoral and nearly always covert, should be expected. As for Australia, it is genuinely concerned with maintaining Thai political stability and peace in the region. Its form of intervention is more indirect and quite subtle, relying heavily on media manipulation.
Australia -
US was keen upon not alienating one of the most important strategic allies in the Southeast Asia that ensures its presence in the region, the importance of which is further accentuated with a rising China (
China – Trade partner; Soft-power competition with US
Multiple actors, indirect intervention: Russia and Germany for turning a blind eye over Thaksin's corruption conviction and allowing him in. He also cited Dubai, which the billionaire Thaksin had reportedly used as a longtime base after being overthrown in a military coup in 2006, as well as Nicaragua and Montenegro, both of which he recently visited.

Turkmenistan (1999L, 2003L, 2004L, 2007P, 2008L)

OSCE (Fair)
CIS (Alliance, Fair)
UN (Fair)

Description: Elections in Turkmenistan are a relatively new phenomenon, with first Parliamentary and Presidential elections since the country’s independence taking place within the last decade. Standing as tests of the country’s democracy and institutions, the elections have been thoroughly observed by the OSCE, the UN, and the CIS. OSCE/UN and CIS electoral reports, however, have largely differed. In the 2008 elections, for example, while the OSCE stated that the elections were neither free nor fair, the CIS applauded the Turkmen government on the polls. CIS’s reasons for supporting the Turkmen leadership are seen as related to asserting the pro-Russia regime.


Only representatives of the Turkmenistan National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights will observe the parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan. This was announced in Asgabat yesterday during a session of the Central Electoral Commission devoted to the upcoming 19 December elections to the country's Mejlis (parliament).
In the opinion of the Central Electoral Commission, foreign observers in Turkmenistan would be superfluous. Foreign observers have never been present during Turkmen elections. Turkmenistan even declines the presence of observers from the CIS. This gives Mr Nyyazow's opponents grounds to speak of countless instances of vote-rigging in the course of elections.

(Turkmenistan to ban foreign observers from elections; Kommersant, Moscow, in Russian 11 Dec 04)

OSCE: A delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was in Turkmenistan for the presidential election. The group was there as unofficial observers, but one deputy among the group, Jose Soares from Portugal, said on election day that the elections "were absolutely not free and fair."

(Turkmenistan: Presidential Election Deemed Neither Free Nor Fair; Bruce Pannier, Radio Free Europe, February 12, 2007:

-       There was no shortage of voters in the parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan, the former Soviet republic which borders the Caspian Sea.
International observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe were invited to monitor the poll. They are not expected to give any formal assessment of the election proceedings. Previously, Turkmenistan had a People's Council whose 2,507 members had to be approved by the country's late ruler, Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in 2006 after 21 years in power. The new leader, Mr Berdymukhamedov, a former dentist, has introduced a number of measures to modernise the gas-rich nation, after years of isolation under his predecessor. Abolishing the People's Council and reinstating the country's parliament was one of them. However the country remains largely closed to the outside world.
(Turkmens Hold Parliamentary Poll; Rayhan Demytrie, BBC News, December 14, 2008:

-       There will be several notable firsts when Turkmenistan holds parliamentary elections on December 14. For starters, they will be the first such polls held under President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who has made efforts to end the country's international isolation since succeeding Saparmurat Niyazov after the dictator's death in December 2006.
In keeping with that effort, this poll will be the first in Turkmenistan to be overseen by a team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), although it will fall far short of a full monitoring mission.
Berdymukhammedov also sent a direct invitation to the OSCE to monitor the elections, a turnaround from his predecessor's habit of simply inviting "all interested parties." The OSCE requires an invitation specifically inviting their monitors. Berdymukhammedov has instructed election officials to cooperate with outside observers."There shouldn't be any restrictions for international monitors to attend polling stations and to meet election officials," he said.

Although it won't be a full-scale monitoring mission, the OSCE's main election-monitoring arm, the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), is taking Berdymukhammedov up on his offer."We have sent a small team of nine election experts to Turkmenistan to support the OSCE office in Ashgabat in reporting on the elections," ODIHR Pubic Affairs Officer Jens-Hagen Eschenbacher told RFE/RL.

But Eschenbacher said the small size of the team will limit its ability to accurately observe the elections."They may go and visit some polling stations," he said, "but this is a very small team. This is not a full-fledged election observation mission, so they will perhaps be able to gain some impressions of how elections are going on election day. But there will be no systematic assessment of election day proceedings."

CIS: The CIS observer mission made a statement on results of monitoring of the election campaign and conduct of election of deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan of the fourth convocation at a press conference in Ashgabat on 15 December.

Members of the Central Election Commission of Turkmenistan, district election commissions and the Ashgabat city election commission, representatives of largest public organizations of Turkmenistan as well as foreign press attended the press conference.

"The parliamentary elections were well-organized, competitive and free. They were held in compliance with election legislation in effect in the country and generally recognized norms of democratic elections, and were marked by high voter turnout," head of the mission, chairman of the CIS Executive Committee and CIS Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev said.

The head and members of the CIS mission noted that their conclusions and assessments were made "on the basis of their own observations, analysis of factual documents and data collected during monitoring of the election campaign."

"The parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan have become an important factor in the further democratization of the Turkmen state and society," Sergey Lebedev said.

(CIS observer mission highly rates parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan; Turkmenistan.RU Website, December 15, 2008:

-       And monitors sent by the Commonwealth of Independent States are generally seen, at least in the West, as being quick to counter possible negative OSCE assessments. The CIS monitors have already praised Turkmen election officials for their excellent preparations for what they have called the democratic vote.

Those comments are contradicted by evidence on the ground, however. One example is the difficulties opposition politicians have had in registering their candidacies. Gurbandurdy Durdykuliev, a Turkmen citizen from the western city of Balkanabad, serves as one such example. He was unable to register because election officials said he was late handing in his documents.

(Turkmen Parliamentary Elections Offer New Twists On Same Old Story; Bruce Pannier, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, December 13, 2008:

-       A CIS observers' mission has made a positive assessment of the election campaign in Turkmenistan in its interim report posted on the Turkmen government's website on 8 December. The CIS mission also praised conditions for monitoring the election campaign in the country. The following is an excerpt from the report; subheadings have been inserted editorially:
As has already been reported, the CIS mission of observers has started its work in Turkmenistan in connection with the forthcoming elections to the national parliament Mejlis. The mission's members monitor the election campaign, as well as the election itself scheduled for 14 December.
In accordance with regulations, the wide public is routinely informed of the results of the mission's work. Today we offer to the attention of our readers the first so-called interim report dedicated to the results of observation since the day of opening the mission's headquarters in Asgabat.
(CIS mission positive about Turkmen parliamentary election campaign; Turkmen government website, Asgabat, in Russian 1120 gmt 8 Dec 08)

UN: Excerpt from report by pro-government Internet newspaper website on 8 February. Official delegations from the world's major international organizations are arriving in Turkmenistan ahead of the presidential election.
The Asgabat correspondent of the website reports that the UN is showing a great interest in the Turkmen presidential election scheduled for 11 February. The organization has sent a delegation from the UN secretariat to Asgabat. The delegation is led by Vladimir Goryayev, deputy director for the Asia and Pacific division of the political affairs department.

(UN delegation arrives in Turkmenistan ahead of presidential poll; Internet newspaper website, Moscow, in Russian 8 Feb 07)

Uzbekistan (2000P, 2004L, 2005P, 2005L, 2007P, 2009L):
Description: Uzbekistan is a key US ally on the war against terror, and  plays a vital role is keeping ethnic conflicts and Islamic fundamentalism in check in the region. A lot of US aid has been channeled to promote democratic institution, but mostly from a top-down approach, which means most of the money remained within the corrupt government bureaucracy. The UK and the OSCE have continuously put pressure on the Uzbeki government to increase the freedoms and fairness of the electoral process.
UK (Fair)
US (Alliance, Corruption)
OSCE (Fair)
UK: British politicians often use the issue of human rights in Uzbekistan in their interests during election campaigns (March 7, 2005. Delovaya Nedelya web site, Almaty, in Russian; BBC Monitoring from the Former Soviet Union)
OSCE: There will be a number of long-term observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the fact that they will evaluate the pre-election process (December 20, 2004. Tribune-uz web site, Tashkent, in Russian)
After studying the views of entire society and holding meetings with representatives from political parties, state and public figures and after consulting embassies and the offices of international organizations in Uzbekistan, the mission will decide whether the OSCE will send observers to the forthcoming elections. (April 27, 2004. web site, in Russian)

US:  U.S. aid in FY2005 will support grass-roots non-governmental organizations (NGOs), independent media, and judicial reform…. U.S. aid aims to enhance Uzbekistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security, bolster civil society and the management of energy and other natural resources, and relieve human suffering. Uzbekistan “is a key strategic partner in the Global War on Terror,” and “consistently support[s] U.S. foreign policy goals.”

Vietnam (2002L, 2007L, 2007P)

Description: NO INTERVENTION: Elections in Vietnam are usually held in the absence of foreign intervention, largely due to their minimum levels of competition. Chinese and U.S. interests clash in Vietnam, as China seeks to ascertain regional leadership, but interference by either side remains out of electoral sphere.
China - China is rebuilding itself as a tributary state in which it regards Taiwan, Mongolia, Tibet and Vietnam as ‘younger brothers’ within an implicitly Confucian imperial system (there is no need to mention Hong Kong here, since its democratic aspirations have been firmly suppressed).

North Africa and the Middle East

Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Chad, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Yemen

Algeria (2002L, 2004P, 2005R, 2007P, 2007R, 2009P)
U.S. (alliance)
Arab League (fair)
EU (fair)
African Union (fair)
Al-Qaeda (alliance)
Amnesty International (fair)
UN (fair)
Organization of the Islamic Conference (fair)
OSCE (fair)
The U.S. perceives Algeria as a strategic partner in fighting terrorism. In the 2004 presidential elections, U.S. granted Algeria to Algeria gave non-reciprocal preferential economic and trade status, which boosted incumbent Abdel Aziz Boutefilka’s popularity. Although Boutefilka was accused of fraud in the 2004 elections, the Bush administration congratulated him immediately after results were announced. The Arab League, EU, African Union, UN, and OSCE monitored the 2004 elections. In the 2009 presidential elections, Al-Qaeda’s north African wing launched a series of attacks right before the election. Al-Qaeda’s chief in North African called on Algerians to boycott the election. In response, a Saudi Isalmic preacher went on television to call on the Islamist groups to stop its “propaganda operations” before the elections. Amnesty International published a condemnation of incumbent Boutefilka’s human rights violations just before the elections. The African Union, UN, Organization of Islamic Conference, and the Arab League observed the 2009 elections.
U.S. (alliance)
• 2004P: U.S. trade preferences to Algeria come as a boost to President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika, who is vying for another term in office despite opposition accusations that he is resorting to "dishonest" means for winning the upcoming presidential elections.
For the first time in the history of U.S.-Algerian relations, Washington granted Algeria non-reciprocal preferential economic and trade status, usually applied only to America's best friends.
Under the preferential treatment, Algerian exports to the United States would be facilitated, including lower customs and import duties.
The opposition is accusing Bouteflika of trying to buy people's votes in the provinces he has been visiting lately. The race is contested by six candidates, including the first woman candidate in Algeria's modern history.
"Bouteflika is exploiting the funds of the Algerian state to rig the elections in the ugliest and most dishonest manner. ... He is a man who lacks democratic culture and does not believe in the people's right to choose their leader," said Saad Jarallah, head of the opposition National Reform Movement party.
For many observers, the U.S. move reflected Washington's appreciation of Algeria's efforts since 2002 in combating terrorism, organized crime and money laundering.
(“U.S. seen backing Algerian incumbent,” United Press International, March 5, 2004 Friday)
• 2004P: The Bush administration characterized Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's landslide re-election as free of fraud and Algeria's first genuinely contested multiparty presidential contest.
Bouteflika won by waging an active campaign, the State Department said Friday.
The department congratulated the Algerians and praised the 67-year-old president as a friend of the United States. Bouteflika won a second term Thursday with 83 percent of the vote.
...The elections were monitored by 128 foreign observers, 63 from the Arab League and 52 from the African Union. The United States sent no official election mission to Algeria.
... the Bush administration clearly was pleased with the balloting after a decade of violence and extremist Islamic terrorism in Algeria.
(“Bush administration says voting was free from fraud,” The Associated Press, April 9, 2004)
Arab League (fair)
• 2004P: In the context of the elections, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa has appointed the director of the Africa, Arab cooperation and Arab countries department, Mr Samir Husni, to head the observers team, which will be sent by the Arab League to Algeria during the presidential elections, due to be held coming 8 April.
(“Arab League to monitor Algerian presidential elections,” BBC Sumary of World Broadcasts, February 25, 2004)
EU (fair)
• 2004P: The European Union today decided officially to send a mission of observers to the presidential elections of 8 April.
The EU parliamentary groups today at a meeting in Strasbourg approved the decision of sending this mission of five members to Algeria on the basis of the positive reports of the EU parliament foreign affairs committee and the EU parliament delegation in charge of the Maghreb affairs .
(BBC Sumary of World Broadcasts, March 11, 2004)
African Union, UN, OSCE (fair)
• 2004P: African Union (AU) observer mission chief Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal arrived here Thursday ahead of the Algerian presidential election coming up 8 April.
...Some 125 international observers from the UN, US, AU, Arab League, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Parliament are due in Algeria for the election.
(Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire, April 1, 2004)
Al-Qaeda (alliance)
• 2009P: The latest violence in Algeria have cast a shadow over the build-up to April's presidential elections. Al-Qaeda's north African wing is suspected of killing nine security guards at a gas plant east of Algiers. The attack happened in the mountainous Kabylie region where Algeria has been fighting an Islamist insurgency.
(“Violence overshadows Algerian elections,” EuroNews - English, February 27, 2009)
• 2009P: Al-Qaida's chief in North Africa called on Algerians to boycott their country's presidential elections in an audiotape released Monday, saying "jihad," or holy war, is the only way to bring change in Algeria.
Abu Musab Abdul-Wadud said the balloting Thursday would be rigged to ensure re-election of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and were aimed only at giving his regime legitimacy.
The 16-minute address was posted on an Islamic militant Web site where al-Qaida and other extremist groups often post their messages. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.
Abdul-Wadud said the voting results "are already decided by the junta," calling the election "a great sin meant to drive the Muslims to a new period of slavery."
(“Al-Qaida leader calls for Algeria election boycott,” Associated Press Worldstream, April 6, 2009)
Saudi Arabia (peace)
• 2009P: Doha Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel Television in Arabic at 0910 gmt on 19 March carries the following announcer-read report:
"Saudi Islamic preacher Ayid al-Qarni called upon the armed groups in Algeria to throw down their weapons and join the policy of peace and reconciliation. He said that the violence that has been pervading the country since the 1990s serves only the enemies of Islam, as he put it. Al-Qarni's call coincided with warnings of an increase in the frequency of acts of violence in Algeria with the approaching deadline of the presidential elections on 9 April."
This is followed by a three-minute video report by the channel's Anas Bin-Salih, who starts by saying: "Once more violence is resurfacing in Algeria; reports that are circulated among independent press and ignored by the official media talk periodically about new victims - the majority of which are security members and army men - most recently five soldiers, who were killed following the explosion of two bombs in Tizi Ouzou, east of the capital, Algiers. The increasing frequency of violent operations attributed to Al-Qa'idah in the Islamic Maghreb is interpreted as propaganda operations that seek to steal the scene prior to the presidential elections."
(“Saudi imam said urging Algerian militants to join "policy of peace, reconciliation,” BBC Monitoring Middle East - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring March 19, 2009)
Amnesty International (fair)
• 2009P: Ten days ahead of Algerias presidential elections, Amnesty International called on the next president to address the legacy of human rights abuses of the 1990s internal conflict and respond to thousands of victims let down by the authorities...
Amnesty measures instigated and promoted by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, have prevented victims and their families from obtaining truth, justice and reparation. Most crimes that took place during the conflict have never been investigated and the perpetrators have never been brought to justice.
(States News Service, March 30, 2009)
African Union (fair)
• The African Union (AU) will send a 100-strong observer mission to monitor Algeria's presidential election on Thursday, the pan-African body announced Monday in a statement.
The organisation, headquartered in Addis Ababa, said the decision by AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping was made in response to an invitation by the Algerian government.
(“AU sends 100 observers to Algeria elections,” Agence France Presse -- English April 6, 2009)
UN, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Arab League (fair)
• 2009P: Algiers, 9 April: Head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC] elections observer delegation Shukri Tufan said Thursday [9 April] that presidential elections in Algeria are being held under fair and transparent circumstances.
In a statement to Kuna, he said that OIC observers carried out visits to 70 polling stations around the country, reporting good organization among polling representatives. On his part, Arab League leading election observer from the Arab League, Chedli Neffati told a press conference, during his visit to the Elections' Media Centre, that there are 85 [Arab] League observers spread throughout Algeria's provinces.
There are currently a total of 200 representatives from the UN, Arab league, African Union and OIC observing the election process in Algeria, with some 1,000 reporters covering the national occasion.
(“Organization of Islamic Conference chief observer says Algerian poll "fair,” BBC Monitoring Middle East - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring April 9, 2009)

Armenia (2003P&L, 2003R, 2005R, 2007L, 2008P):
Actors (Actions):
US (Alliance)
Russia (Alliance)
OSCE (Fair)
EU (Fair, Alliance)

Description: Armenia has suffered under heavy US interference throughout the last decade. The most active agents of US interference are officials at US embassies and ambassadors, who usually engage in political patronage, funding, training, and otherwise sponsoring parties that promote closer ties to the West. The EU has also exerted relative pressure on Armenian voters and parties to instill Western ideology. Russia, on the other hand, is accused of funding opposition parties and inciting anti-government activities. In terms of election monitoring, both CIS and OSCE have traditionally deployed observation teams, and while there have been cases where electoral reports have differed (the CIS is sometimes thought to have anti-Western, pro-Russia leanings) both organizations have established credibility in evaluations.

US: It became known yesterday that the US embassy was rather unnerved by the fact that the news conference of the founder of the Heritage Party, Raffi Hovhannisyan, at the Urbat Press Club was not sufficiently covered by TV, as they believe. Moreover, the embassy phoned TV companies and demanded explanations in this regard. (Armenian newspaper Hayots Ashkharh on 27 February headlined "What will the US embassy dictate tomorrow?"; February 28, 2007)
“The intensification of the activities of the US ambassador to Armenia is not clear at all.” (Quote by Chairman of the Armenian National Assembly, Tigran Torosyan, relayed on Vaan Vardanyan report by Armenian newspaper Ayots Ashkar on 19 February entitled "The people are the main observers and judges"; February 19, 2003)

Russia: Specific Moscow-based forces finance the Armenian opposition and are behind the aggravation of the domestic situation in Armenia, MP Gurgen Arsenyan, leader of the pro-government United Labour Party, has said in an interview with Golos Armenii newspaper. He did not name those forces, but said that their activities have nothing to do with Russia's official position. challenging the results of the presidential elections would have been relevant a year ago, however, a year later, it is illogical and ill-timed. Quite specific foreign forces are behind the aggravation of the domestic situation. This assessment is based on serious analytical reports that clearly show the presence of interested forces which are concentrated in Moscow and finance the developments in Armenia from there. (Excerpt from Marina Mkrtchyan report by Armenian newspaper Golos Armenii web site on 20 May headlined "Foreign forces are behind the aggravation of the domestic political situation"; May 23, 2004)

OSCE, EU: The OSCE and European Union criticized Armenia's elections, as well as the elections in Azerbaijan and Georgia, in order to make them equal. In this way it will be possible, if not to dictate their will to the president of Armenia, at least to limit the sphere of his activity in the world. (AZG News Agency; Yerevan; November 12, 2003)
Armenian Central Electoral Commission Chairman Artak Sagradyan said in Yerevan today that it was inadmissible for observers "to interfere in" the election process. Sagradyan said that the head of the OSCE election observation mission, Peter Eicher, had suggested that observers take a direct part in the work of the Armenian Central Electoral Commission. (Mediamax News Agency, Yerevan. February 17, 2003:

Azerbaijan (1998P, 2000L, 2002R, 2003P, 2005L, 2006L, 2008P, 2009R, 2010L)

Russia (Alliance)
US (Fair, Alliance)
OSCE (Fair)
CIS (Alliance)
EU (Fair)
UK (Fair)
Norway (Fair)
Ukraine (Fair)
Council of Europe – PACE (Fair)

Description: A variety of actors have attempted to interfere in the Azerbaijani polls, chiefly the United States and Russia, as they duel for influence in the post-Soviet territory as well as for access to Azerbaijan’s oil reserves. U.S. interventions have been double-sided. The U.S. has been responsible for organizing and funding the opposition, but Washington has at times given its support to the government in the face of breaches in electoral law as in the 2003 elections. Both Russia and the US have competed for influence in the Azerbaijani parliament. Elections have been heavily monitored, with ample involvement of the OSCE and the Council of Europe (PACE) in the setting up and monitoring of polls. The CIS election monitors have also been very active in Azerbaijan, though their credibility has been hampered by their ties to Russia and the perception that their reports often times ignore the ground situation to fit Russia’s foreign policy. The EU and the UK have also conducted monitoring activities. Post-Orange Revolution Ukraine has also increased its oversight of Azerbaijan’s electoral processes, vying to export free and fair elections. In one instance, Norway has also been accused of fostering the Azerbaijani opposition, having its Ambassador expelled from the country in 2004, ahead of the 2005 elections.


US: The latest actions by the Department of State in respect to Azerbaijan go beyond the framework of normal interstate relations. At first, State accused Baku of supporting international terrorism, including the Chechen terrorists. Such an assertion was strongly refuted by a top Russian Interior Ministry official. Major-General Alexander Malinovsky holds that such assertions are aimed at destabilizing the good neighborly relations existing between the two countries [Russia and Azerbaijan].

And last week, through its embassy in Baku, State released a document in connection with the pre-election campaign in Azerbaijan. In particular, the document criticizes the Azeri parliament's changes to the law on the Central Election Commission.
Such interference by the U.S. State Department has triggered the indignation of pro-government parties and the leadership of Azerbaijan. Azeri parliament member, Mubariz Gurbanly, has made it clear that the republic's leaders have no intentions of following the recommendations tabled by State. Gurbanly considers the State Department's document as "...not being objective, and lopsided." The document "superficially" assesses the internal political events in the republic.
The intentions of five or six opposition parties to boycott the parliamentary elections does not yet mean that they [elections] will not be held and recognized as valid.
The State Department's document demonstrates that Washington is not in any way interested in stabilizing the situation in Azerbaijan. By openly criticizing Azerbaijan's electoral laws, the United States, in this way, is inciting the opposition to more radical actions, to fan up the situation in the republic even more.
It is common knowledge that the voices of the Azeri opposition forces today can be heard only thanks to the support they receive from the American "democrats."

(Washington Teaches Baku How To Hold Elections; Mekhman Gafarly, NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA, P.5, August 1, 2000)

- Washington is spending $21-million (U.S.) on aid projects in Azerbaijan this year. The budget would be bigger if the U.S. Congress had not imposed limits on the aid because of the military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. But even this amount can have a big impact in a country where most people are impoverished.
"We've nudged them in the direction they'd like to go in," says William McKinney, co-ordinator of the Azerbaijani office of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which funds aid projects.
Mr. McKinney, a flashy dresser who wears red suspenders and cuff links that read "Yes" and "No," says the United States can take credit for much of the progress in Azerbaijan in recent years, including the greater role of opposition parties, the appointment of a new chairman of the national electoral commission and the Western outlook of the country's younger generation.

Washington does, in fact, get involved more aggressively in Azerbaijan than it would dare to do in a bigger country such as Russia. This sometimes triggers an anti-American backlash among high-ranking Azerbaijani officials who resent the outside pressure.
The backlash was visible this summer when the U.S. advisers were repeatedly thwarted in their efforts to improve Azerbaijan's regressive election laws. They lobbied fiercely to revise the laws, but only one amendment passed.
In defiance of the U.S. lobbying, the Azerbaijani authorities decided to ban several of the biggest opposition parties from next month's parliamentary election. And then, for good measure, they barred thousands of Azerbaijani election observers who had been trained by an NDI-financed organization. (The ban on the opposition parties was later reversed.)
(The dream merchants; They are Uncle Sam's brokers of democracy, peddling truth,; freedom and the American way in the far corners of Earth.; Geoffrey York, The Globe and Mail, October 16, 2000)
- As for Ilham Aliyev, he was not only supported by Washington, but he is also Washington's candidate. This gave a great opportunity to Ilham to falsify the elections as well as to apply force towards those who protest. Moreover, because of the use of that force, as the Turkish press says, at least 11 people were killed. After that there was a general arrest of all the leaders of the opposition.
But all this did not stop the newly appointed US ambassador declaring in Baku on 16 October: "The presidential elections in Azerbaijan passed in a democratic atmosphere. I did not notice any violation." The Council of Europe's observer, Guillermo Martinez Cassan, also shared the ambassador's opinion, noting that "the elections were well organized and took place in a peaceful atmosphere".
The OSCE monitors, noting the fact that the elections did not meet the requirements of international standards, nevertheless stressed: "But positive movements were registered." It is worth noting that in Azerbaijan the same monitors took upon themselves a mission as mediators to save the people from the police settling scores with them. The monitors did not manage to help the protesters; for just a mild assessment the head of the OSCE's monitoring mission Peter Eicher was beaten. This highly respected gentleman, who behaved rather haughtily in Armenia, turned into a kitten in front of Ilham Aliyev and for this reason he was punished.
The point is not Eicher but the statements of the US State Department and Senate, made on 21 October and 4 November respectively. They are diametrically opposed to the US ambassador's statement in Baku. Why? Before replying to the question, let us note that the State Department says in the statement that "the elections do not inspire trust", and the Senate together with the OSCE and Council of Europe "is setting up" an independent commission to hold new elections, if the commission decides that they are really necessary. But after all, the ambassador is appointed by the State Department and confirmed by the Senate.
It is hardly likely that such a commission will be created, moreover, it will not conclude that the elections should be held again. But it is evident that such statements will deprive Ilham Aliyev of the opportunity to manoeuvre between West and East, he will have no alternative but to follow a pro-American position and will obediently implement Washington's will.
So, the US ambassador's statement the day after the presidential elections in Azerbaijan was directed at protecting Ilham from the encroachment of the opposition, giving to understand that irrespective of the voters' will, he is Washington's candidate and he has the right to use force, including arrests and murders, in the name of defending his position. In other words, struggling against Ilham Aliyev is senseless.
As for the statements of the US State Department and Senate, doubting the legitimacy of the newly elected president of Azerbaijan, they have the goal of keeping him firmly in their grip.
(US expectations influence election outcomes more than Voters; Azg, Yerevan, in Armenian 11 Nov 03 p 5)
- Another base of the US AF may be established on the territory of the former Soviet Union in the near future: This one on the Apsheron Peninsula, Azerbaijan. This is one of the recommendations that may be found in the report of Ariel Cohen of The Heritage Foundation. According to the document, "The United States may also consider deployment of some elements of its AF on the Apsheron Peninsula along with reduction of the troops in Turkey and the planned deployment in Bulgaria and Romania." Washington is particularly worried by the potential outcome of the presidential election in Azerbaijan scheduled for this October. Needless to say, democracy does not have anything to do with it. The matter concerns control over the Caspian oil and gas.
President of Azerbaijan Heidar Aliyev spares neither time nor effort to advance the interests of the United States. He has already made his country a part of the American zone of influence. But Aliyev, Sr. is not young anymore and has problems with his health. Washington is not yet convinced that his son will be able to snatch the reigns from the hands of his father. That is why the United States needs in Azerbaijan a regime that will ensure that American interests remain the first priority. "The new democratically elected leader of Azerbaijanwill probably continue the policy of rapprochement with the United States," Cohen wrote.
("PROBLEMS WITH DEMOCRACY IN BAKU? HERE WE COME..."; Sergei Yuriev, Komsomolskaya Pravda, July 5, 2003, p. 8)
- Speaking to reporters on 3 May, Ramiz Mehdiyev, head of the presidential administration, criticized Washington's allocation of 3m dollars for Azerbaijan's forthcoming presidentialelection. The US ambassador to Azerbaijan, Anne Derse, had earlier said that her government would allocate 3m dollars to help Azerbaijan hold a free and fair election. Mehdiyev also dismissed US President George Bush's criticism of the media situation in Azerbaijan.
(Azerbaijan blames US "interference" in its domestic affairs; Turan news agency, Baku, in Russian 0934 gmt 3 May 08; website, Baku, in Russian 0920 gmt 3 May 08; NS TV, Baku, in Azeri 1000 gmt 3 May 08)

Russia: As is known Vladimir Rushaylo, the CIS executive secretary and the head of the CIS observation mission, visited Azerbaijan last week. As part of his visit Rushaylo met Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, several government officials and the chairman of the Central Electoral Commission [CEC], Mazahir Panahov. It is also known that on the margins of his visit Rushaylo held some other meetings.
Frankly, we are under the impression that Rushaylo came to Azerbaijan to lecture our dignitaries, including Ilham Aliyev. Actually this is the conclusion one can draw from the meetings which were open to the media. It is quite likely that Rushaylo, on behalf of Moscow, went further and gave some specific instructions in every meeting behind closed doors. We cannot rule out the fact that the former head of the Russian Security Council could have come to Azerbaijan in the run-up to the election to discuss some secret points. This is the conclusion that one can reach if he recalls Rushaylo's visit to Azerbaijan during the 2003 presidential election and the hand of the Russian special services in the post-election riot on 15-16 October [in 2003].

Therefore, Rushaylo's visit to Azerbaijan this time round does not bode well for the opposition or our people. On the contrary, it shows that Moscow openly pokes its nose into the internal affairs of Azerbaijan, which is ruled by an anti-national and anti-democratic regime. Of course, the Ilham Aliyev administration encourages that.
Let us pay attention. In a meeting with Mazahir Panahov, Rushaylo said that "the opposition rallies are quite aggressive as they demand either changes in the composition of electoral commissions or the resignation of the president" and asked the CEC chairman about counter-measures. We can clearly see that the CIS executive secretary did not come to Azerbaijanwith good intentions. Although it may sound very strange, but Rushaylo seems to think that his country's interests here will be satisfied to the maximum only by the use of force. In other words Russia is planning to renew its grip on our country by preventing pro-Western forces from coming to power, that is from having a majority in parliament.
(Paper warns Russia against meddling in Azeri politics; Hurriyyat, Baku, in Azeri 10 Oct 05 p 6)

US/Russia: The functionary believes that though the process is being conducted in the name of promoting democracy and improving electoral laws, it is easy to observe private purposes. Noting that pro-American and pro-Russian organizations are struggling for position, Oruj said: "There is no doubt that the above states are lobbying those party representatives in the new Azerbaijani parliament who support them."
The Motherland Party functionary believes that the obvious similarities in these trends are temporary and it is inevitable that the forthcoming parliamentary election campaign will sharpen, enabling us to see Azerbaijan in either the post-Soviet or European family of nations.
"There is no doubt that these interests will clash," Zahid Oruj believes, adding that "all healthy and patriotic forces should not allow foreigners to interfere in the country's internal affairs just for the sake of external backing".
(Azeri pro-government party official acknowledges growing foreign pressure; 'Bu Gun', Baku, in Azeri 13 Aug 00 p 7)
Norway: Ramiz Mehdiyev, head of the presidential administration, said last Sunday 9 May that the Azerbaijani authorities were dissatisfied with the fact the Norwegian ambassador to AzerbaijanSteinar Gil protected the local opposition. "The Norwegian ambassador should work to expand Azerbaijani-Norwegian cooperation. He was sent here not to defend the opposition," Mehdiyev said.
MP Zahid Oruc said that opposition members who had incited the known events of 15-16 October post-election riots had found refuge at the Norwegian embassy. Zahid Oruc assessed the Norwegian ambassador's actions as direct interference in Azerbaijan's internal affairs. "Diplomatic missions should not support political organizations in the fight for power. I think that the Norwegian ambassador's actions provide all grounds to Azerbaijan to declare him persona non grata."
In the mean time, Norwegian ambassador Steinar Gil responded to harsh criticism in his address in an interview with Ekho yesterday. "Do they realize what kind of repercussions could ensue my eviction from Azerbaijan?! Are they not aware that Norway is a member of quite influential international organizations?! Punctuation as given Norway will be chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in just two days. I cannot quite understand what these people's goal is. An appropriate reaction will be given immediately. If they have me declared persona non grata in Azerbaijan, this will be an extremely unconstructive and unwise step."
"I agree that views on human rights might differ. But for us, for Norway, human rights are a priority. Therefore, I can say with full confidence that the change of the ambassador will not alter my country's policies. I cannot see any grounds for that. It is not the ambassador who defines the policy, but the government. Moreover, until today, my activities have not come under the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's criticism. As for the Azerbaijani parliament's opinion, they can discuss whether or not I conform to the diplomatic status, that is their right," Steinar Gil concluded.
("To evict Norwegian ambassador"; Ekho, Baku, in Russian 11 May 04 pp 1, 2)
Ukraine: Sixteen Ukrainians who traveled to Azerbaijan to monitor its parliamentary elections were barred from the country and sent home Sunday, the day of the vote, one of the Ukrainians said. Taran said Azerbaijani authorities are "particularly wary of Ukrainian citizens, who have the image of revolutionaries" because of Ukraine's Orange Revolution - the protests last year that ushered an opposition leader to power and gave hope to opponents of governments in other ex-Soviet republics.
One of the other Ukrainians barred from Azerbaijan was a leader of Pora, a youth movement that was one of the main organizers of the peaceful Orange Revolution protests. Opposition groups in Azerbaijan have tried to adopt the colors of the Orange Revolution. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Friday that the country would be closely watching the parliamentary election in Azerbaijan.
(Ukrainian observers barred from Azerbaijan, sent home; Anna Melnichuk, Associated Press Worldstream, November 6, 2005)
UK: Interview with British Ambassador Lawrence Bristow:
[Correspondent] There is a common belief that the USA is a major factor influencing domestic political processes in the South Caucasus countries. At the same time, the UK seems much less active. Is the UK going to change the situation and strengthen its own role in the democratization of processes under way in the region, in particular, in Azerbaijan ahead of the parliamentary elections?
[Bristow] The UK and the EU quite strongly support democratic changes in the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan. And it is neither my authority, nor the authority of the British embassy altogether to facilitate anybody's victory in the election. We are interested in how the election itself will be held, i.e. in the very process of holding it. We are interested in the free and fair conduct of the November elections, as it will be in the UK on 5 May. We all - both there and here - need voters themselves to trust the results of the elections. Both the investors we talked about and the countries interested in Azerbaijan are first of all interested in stability. And part of this stability flows through the establishment of institutions created on the basis of the supremacy of the law and norms of democracy. Precisely this postulate forms the basis of our talks with both the authorities and the opposition and any person or organization that we discuss this issue with. The main thing for us is not who will win the election, but how and in what conditions it will be held. We want success for this country and we want it to achieve success in the issue of integration into Western institutions, and this should happen on the basis of the supremacy of the law and democracy.
[Correspondent] Is London planning to come up with any proposals or initiatives ahead of this parliamentary election on the democratization of this process in Azerbaijan?
[Bristow] I do not think that any foreign state can create a democratic situation in Azerbaijan. We can only help Azerbaijanis themselves to create this democracy. As for the help, we are in favour of holding an open and frank dialogue and discussing where and in what we see problem, not because we enjoy criticizing but because we want to help solve certain problems. This is the main part of what all the embassies of EU member states do in Azerbaijan and the main part of our dialogue with the authorities and political parties. The second issue of our help is in the practical plane. This is what, for example, we did in the last election, when we paid for a large number of transparent ballot boxes. We intend to send in a large number of observers this November. Again, not to discover a large number of violations but because we hope that their presence will facilitate public monitoring and will help people holding the election to solve problems should they occur during the voting.
("The UK is interested not in who will win the parliamentary elections, but in its democratic nature"; Zerkalo, Baku, in Russian 30 Apr 05 pp 10, 11)

PACE: A Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PA CE) delegation, currently in Azerbaijan on an observation mission over the re-election to the Milli Mejlis scheduled for January 2001, is concerned with organization of work in some constituencies, head of the delegation and chairman of the COE Committee Andreas Gross told President Aliyev Saturday.
- The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] seems unimpressed by the progress achieved in the [November parliamentary] election, which was praised by the majority of world organizations and countries, including the United States.
The organization's observation mission, which has attempted to belittle the achievements made in the election and several steps by the government against law violations, has even tried to interfere in Azerbaijan's internal affairs and accused the Baku government of adopting a hasty decision on the election results without waiting for them. The European representatives went even further and criticized Washington for commending the Constitutional Court decision [endorsing election results].
(Council of Europe expert slams Azeri authorities for "hasty" poll decision; Azad Azarbaycan TV, Baku, in Azeri 1630 gmt 2 Dec 05)

OSCE: A senior OSCE election official on Wednesday called for October's presidential election in Azerbaijan to be free of government interference, sharply criticising the last election in 2003.
"It is unacceptable for executive authorities to interfere with the voting process and the counting of votes," Jose-Luis Herrero, head of the Baku office of the OSCE, told a meeting of Western observers and local election officials.
Herrero called for the October 15 vote to be free of the problems that had plagued the 2003 election.

(OSCE official calls for fair election in Azerbaijan; Agence France Presse, July 9, 2008)

OSCE/PACE/EU: Representatives of the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the OSCE presented plans on Wednesday for assisting Azerbaijan in preparing for the October 15 presidentialelection. "We consider this electoral process a key priority for the work of our institutions in Azerbaijan," Denis Bribosia of the Council of Europe, Jose-Luis Herrero of the OSCE and Alan Waddams of the European Commission said in a joint statement. "We are still on time to put in place the necessary measures to guarantee an electoral process in line with international standards, but a serious effort has to be made by all the actors concerned.


Bahrain (2001R, 2002L, 2006L, 2010L):
Iran (Alliance)
USA (Fair)
UK (Fair)
Description: With a considerably greater degree of political competition than other Arab states, Bahrain’s government nonetheless exercises some control over the course of electoral processes. It is also the place of a curious dynamic: the USA constantly calls for and promotes grassroots projects on bolstering the role and efficiency of the opposition parties vis-à-vis the incumbent administration, and while the Bahraini opposition’s demands follow a very Islamic line, Iran has also started to approach Shi’a Bahraini opposition politicians, trying to assert its regional role. The extent of Iranian intervention, however, cannot be accurately ascertained, since most of the accusations in that regard come from the Bahraini government as it attempts to discredit the opposition. Before the 2010 elections, the Bahraini press accused UK of intervnetion betwen a minor British peer hosted a small gathering of exiled politicians and when the British ambassador met with officials from Wefaq.


When asked about his evaluation of the voting process, Al-Nu'aymi, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Democratic Action Society, says: "From the outset, we have had reservations on issues pertaining to the general [polling] centres, to the issue of the General Committee overseeing the elections and also to the authority's unwillingness to permit international monitors to oversee the elections…the absence of international election monitors is a cover for "some of the violations" that might be committed. (Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel in Arabic; 25 Nov 2006)
The government might also try to perpetuate the sectarian power struggle between Sunni and Shi’i that characterized much of the 2006 parliament. But such tactics can backfire. Political analysts across the country share the view that government-orchestrated attacks accusing al-Wefaq of maintaining close ties to Iran ended up helping that group regain the grassroots support it had lost previously to Haqq. (Abdellah Al-Derazi; “Old Players in the New Bahraini Elections”, Carnegie Endowment for International Pece, June 2, 2010;

The following procedures, "based on international norms," have been set up to guarantee the transparency and integrity of the poll: Private ballot booths; journalists can attend the polling stations; strict security procedures have been put in place to prevent interference with the ballot;1,500 staff will supervise the ballot and be on hand in polling stations to assist voters; every Bahraini who has voted will have his passport stamped to indicate that they have cast their ballot; a live internet link to the polling stations will beam pictures direct to the Bahrain elections website. (Gulf News, October 24, 2002;

Iran: Sectarian tensions — and charges of Iranian interference — are on the rise in the region. A few weeks ago the government launched a ferocious response. NGOs were muzzled or shut down, human-rights leaders were jailed, and the government announced that it had uncovered "an organized terror and destruction network" that was plotting to "incite acts of terror, rioting and sabotage" with the aim of overthrowing the government. There were ominous references to "foreign powers" and "outside forces," which some hard-liners took to mean Iran. (Peter Kenyon, NPR News,;October 12, 2010)
a. Fears of Iranian intervention are derived in part from the fact that "Iran has had claims in the past on Bahrain." "The latest claim was on their 30th anniversary in February 2009, where they mentioned Bahrain as the 14th province," Ms. Nonoo said. "Very similar to [Saddam Hussein's] Iraq mentioning Kuwait as their 19th province. We don't want to go down that way. Bahrain has to be independent. We don't want to have anybody else taking over.… If Iran has [a nuclear] capability, nobody is going to be able to stop them." (Ben Birnbaum, Washington Times, October 11, 2010;
b. Last month, Bahrain suspended the board of the Bahrain Human Rights Society and sharply tightened controls on Shiite mosques and religious leaders, including stripping the citizenship of a prominent cleric with deep ties to the Shiite power centers in Iraq and Iran. It all suggests a ruling system desperate to stifle internal challenges before they can gather greater momentum. And there's no bigger motivator for Bahrain's minority Sunnis than the suspicion that Iran could be pulling the strings. There is no clear evidence to back up claims of Iranian ties to Shiite activists in Bahrain, where Sunni-Shiite tensions have flared sporadically for decades. But the current worries about Iran's expanding clout has many Sunni leaders increasingly on edge. (Brian Murphy, Washington Examiner, October 17, 2010;
c. Bahraini authorities justified such extraordinary measures on the grounds that Haqq and other groups that reject the electoral process have allegedly received funding from religious networks based in Iran and Iraq, and that they maintain links to suspected cells of the Iranian militant group Ansar-i Hizbullah. There is widespread suspicion, however, that the arrests are more an attempt to divide and weaken the opposition than a response to a looming threat of terrorism or sedition.
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News, Fred H. Lawson; September 24)
USA: Elections Training for Candidates: The American Embassy, in cooperation with the Supreme Council for Women, sponsored a three-day workshop for Bahraini women who are planning to run for the upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections later this year. (US Embassy in Manama website;, 2010)
Indeed, blaming foreigners is standard practice whenever a ripple of disharmony laps the island monarchy’s shore. When a minor British Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Avebury, who has no role in government, hosted a small gathering of Bahraini political exiles in a committee room of the House of Lords, the Bahraini press was awash with allegations of a plot. After the present British ambassador to Bahrain met officials from Wefaq earlier this year, 200-plus Bahrainis, mainly Sunnis, signed a letter calling for his expulsion.
(“Backward steps: A Gulf monarchy’s experiment in controlled democracy is looking shaky,” October 14, 2010, The Economist)

Chad (2001P, 2002L, 2005R, 2006P, 2011L)
AU (Peace)
US (Peace)
France (Alliance)
Sudan (Alliance)
Description: A critical spillover from the war in Sudan, Chad has suffered a number of electoral interventions from opposing sides. France has continuously supported the regime, in whom it believes lies the quickest way to stability, and Sudan has been steadfastly accused of arming and financially supporting the Chadian opposition. The U.S. and the AU, on their turn, have put pressure on the regime to ensure the country remains united through the holding of periodic democratic contests.
Notes :
US/AU : The incumbent President Idriss Deby has ignored pleas from Chad's civil opposition, the influential regional organisation the African Union, US government, and the Catholic Church to postpone Wednesday's election until stability can be guaranteed.
"All the preparations are in place for the election to proceed without problems. We have distributed all the materials, including in those areas that were held by rebels. The government has told us that security will be assured," said Ahmat Mahamat Bahir, president of the government's National Electoral Commission on Tuesday.
According to the electoral commission 11,800 polling stations have been set up throughout Chad's vast territory about three times the size of France to accommodate 5.8 million registered voters. In the last national election in June 2005 just 30 percent of Chadians turned out to vote.
(Chad; Nervous Residents Flee Capital to Cameroon As Election Day Looms, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)
SUDAN/FRANCE: Interview with Sudanese Presidential Advisor Dr Mustafa Uthman Isma'il:
[Abu-Najm] Sudan's Foreign Minister disclosed the day before yesterday at the French Foreign Ministry that Khartoum has formally asked France to mediate with Chad. Do you consider that France is a neutral party that can play such a role?
[Isma'il] We know perfectly well that France's relationship with Chad is much closer and deeper than its relations with us. France and Chad have a defense agreement, and Paris ensures protection for the Chadian regime through political and logistical support and providing it with intelligence information, to say the least. All this does not exist in Paris's relationship with us. Additionally, French forces constitute the nerve center of the EUFOR force deployed in Eastern Chad, whereas we refused to have forces from the EU or any other source come to us. So when we asked France to intervene it is because we know it is the more capable of influencing the Chadian regime and convincing it to stop support to the rebellion in Darfur. There is another aspect, namely that we believe France has to understand what is going on in Chad are internal conflicts between the opposition and the regime and that Sudan is not a principal side in them. There are more than 1.5 million Chadians who live in Sudan. We accepted to host them and provide them with the freedom to move, get education, and work. Their relationship with the Chadian Government becomes clear during the elections, especially the presidential elections, when the Government brings the ballot boxes because it is aware of their importance as a force in influencing the results of the elections. Incidentally, those are the ones on whom President Deby relied for victory in the last previous elections. In short, we want France to understand that the problem in Chad is an internal one, with the Government refusing to implement the agreements concluded with the opposition in Khartoum, Tripoli and elsewhere. If France is looking for stability, it has to mediate between the Chadian regime and the opposition. I want to assure you that Sudan has no strategy aimed at changing the Chadian regime. We are prepared to coexist and deal with it. All we want is that it should change the pattern of its conduct in support of the rebellion in Darfur.
[Abu-Najm] You accuse Chad of intervening in your affairs while Chad accuses you of arming, training, and supporting the Chadian opposition. Is there a way out of this vicious circle?
[Isma'il] I want to say that the forces which reached Omdurman, where they perpetrated murder and destruction, I mean the forces of the Justice and Equality Movement [JEM] were trained and armed in Chad and came to us across the joint ground borders. The confessions of the detainees, the documents and papers, and the trials have begun to produce proof for this. Even assuming that Sudan supports the rebel Chad movement, naturally this support goes through the ground borders. Thus what is required is to monitor these borders in such a way that Chad does not interfere in Sudan and Sudan does not interfere in Chad.
(Sudan's Presidential Advisor Interviewed on Relations With France, US, Chad, ICC; Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, in Arabic 21 Jun 08)
France: Since 1986, when France dispatched special forces to Chad to support the war against Libya, French troops have been a key factor in Chad's civil wars. The French have assisted the Chadian army with intelligence, logistics, and medical units — the first two turning the tide of battle in Deby's favour several times in the last three years.
Under former president Jacques Chirac, French policy towards Chad was handled by the military, whose response to the political crisis was to extend military assistance rather than encourage talks with the opposition.
But by the morning of February 4, 2011, it seemed France had decided that Chad without Deby was a worse proposition than with him, swinging back behind Deby. This is only a short-term option — Deby is literally fighting for his life and will do anything that is necessary to stay in power.
(Chad: Civil war, power struggle and imperialist interference; Alex de Waal, Green Left, February 8, 2008)
SUDAN/Libya: There is a potential vacuum in which Chad's competitors for influence may once again meddle. Sudan will be interested in securing this outer frontier. So will Libya, which supported Patasse. Kinshasa and Kampala will also be looking for influence there — it was a stronghold for the Congolese leader Jean-Pierre Bemba at the height of the war in DRC.
(Ibid: Chad: Civil war, power struggle and imperialist interference; Alex de Waal, Green Left, February 8, 2008)

Cyprus (2001L, 2003P, 2004R, 2006L, 2008P, 2008L)
Greece (peace, alliance)
Turkey (peace, alliance)
Greek Orthodox Church (alliance)
UN (peace)
U.S. (peace)
Most of the interventions occurred during the 1994 referendum to unite the two parts of the country. Turkey has a vested interest in a unified Cyprus for financial reasons. Before the referendum came to a vote, Greece, Trukey and Cyprus met create a reunification plan. UN secretary general Kofi Annan pushed for the approval of the referendum. U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell also pushed for the unification plan. Cyprus Pres. Tassos Papadopoulos accused the U.S. of manipulating the Greek Cypriot government (who did not want the referendum passed) through backmail and threats. Greece sided with the Greek Cypriots who are largely saying "no" to the referendum. The Greek Orthodox Church also urged voters to vote “no” on the referendum with the threat of damnation; it also supported the right-wing Democratic Rally of Cyprus (DISY) in the 2008 elections but its powers have considerably declined in recent years.
Greece, Turkey (peace, alliance)
• 2004R: In the past week, negotiators from Greece, Turkey and Cyprus met in Burgenstock, Switzerland, to try to hammer out a reunification plan. No agreement was forthcoming. All sides have accepted that the United Nations will be the final arbiter in the peace deal, which will be put to separate referendums on April 20, in time for the island's entry to the EU on May 1.
Greece, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community appear to be broadly in favor of the UN peace proposal, and Turkey's financial markets have priced in a positive outcome in the referendums, fund managers say.
(Peace in Cyprus a key to Turkey's fortunes, The International Herald Tribune, April 6, 2004)
Greek Orthodox Church (alliance)
• 2008P/L: In recent years, the Church went so far as to state that those who voted in favour of a 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan – a United Nations plan that would create a Unified Cyprus Republic – would go to hell. Furthermore, the church has consistently demanded further involvement in the government’s official elections. It supported the right-wing Democratic Rally of Cyprus (DISY) in the recent elections arguing that supporting AKEL (a communist party) would affect Greek Cypriot principles of Christianity and "Greekness".
Such involvement in the country’s politics has muddied the path toward a resolution; a national Hellenic identity – as it is outlined by the church – could never co-exist hand-in-hand with a national Turkish-Muslim identity.
Nevertheless, after the death of the Archbishop Makarios (who was head of both state and church, having extensive authority in South Cyprus), the church’s influence lessened considerably, as evidenced by the lack of support given to them by the voting public. Regardless of the church’s clear support of the opposing party, the majority voted in favour of AKEL in the February elections.
UN, U.S. (peace)
• 2004R: Laboring against Greek objections, Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, pressed on Wednesday for approval of a plan to reunite Cyprus, the divided Mediterranean island whose ethnic hatreds once brought the threat of war to the eastern Mediterranean.
As a deadline for the conclusion of settlement talks here approached late Wednesday, a senior Turkish official, who declined to be identified by name, said the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was ready to accept the plan. But as the negotiations dragged toward the close of a third day, there was no immediate sign that Greece and the Greek Cypriot government had withdrawn objections to Annan's newest proposals.
Addressing reporters in Germany, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he had spoken on the telephone to negotiators from both sides, Reuters reported.
"What I have been saying to all the parties is this is a historic opportunity. It must not be lost. This is the time for leaders to show flexibility, for leaders to be willing to compromise for the greater good of the Cypriot people," he said.
Powell said that in the telephone conversations he had been "trying to put forward positions on the various outstanding issues that might help resolve those outstanding issues."

Egypt (2000L, 2005R, 2005L, 2005L, 2007R, 2010L):

Description: Egypt has been one of the safety pins in the U.S. security and diplomatic strategy for the Middle East. Being a relatively moderate Muslim country, and the only one that has no diplomatic ties with Iran (since the 1979 Revolution), Egypt has received large amounts of U.S. “diplomatic” aid, coming from funds available at the White House’s discretion, and not always shown in U.S. Congressional budgets. The Obama administration has increased government financial backing to the Mubarak government, while decreasing democracy-promotion efforts. Both Syria and Iran have longstanding interests in Egyptian politics, with the former having a history of perceived interference through the backing of Islamic parties such as factions within the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran is thought to be working its way into Egyptian politics through the Syria-Hezbollah links. The European Union has been accused of electoral interference by Egyptian authorities, due to their more civil society-based democracy-promotion funding strategies.
The beneficiary of nearly $40 billion in American aid over the last 30 years, the Egyptian military has turned into a behemoth that controls not only security and a burgeoning defense industry, but has also branched into civilian businesses like road and housing construction, consumer goods and resort management. New York Times
In 2005, there was greater pressure for compliance with Human Rights and electoral laws. Now, US policy is government-oriented.,
U.S. cutting down democracy-promotion funding:
On the Islamic side: Syria exerts extensive influence in Egypt’s regional affairs through its leverage over Lebanon via Hezbollah and its Christian allies, as well as over Hamas in Gaza. The increased involvement of Syria with Iran is therefore viewed by Egypt as an infiltration of Iranian influence into Egyptian regional politics and hence a national security threat.

Georgia (2000P, 2003L&R, 2004P&L, 2008P&L, 2010Subnational)


US (Alliance, Fair)
OSCE (Fair)
Russia (Alliance)
Turkey (Alliance)
Armenia (Peace)

Description: Georgia has been the battleground for competing US and Russian interventions, since it is considered part of Russia’s “near abroad”. It is a very Western-leaning country, however, and the US interference ranges from an early support of Shevardnadze’s rule to strong support of Saakashvili’s administration. Russia was deeply antagonized by Saakashvili, and attempted to swing the polls towards less radical anti-Russian politicians. Its military presence in the country and de facto control over South Ossetia and Abkahzia also mean Russia has plenty of scope to interfere in country-wide elections. Both Turkey and Armenia have also at one time or another sought to prop the Georgian incumbent regime, especially during Shevardnadze’s fall out in order to further regional interests and protect diasporas, respectively. The OSCE has conducted several election observation missions, and was quite vocal during the process that led to the Rose Revolution.

US, Turkey: Shevardnadze's confidence about remaining in the post of president should not be doubted, because the problem lies not with Georgian voters or their will, but with international forces and their definite interests, which promote the development of democracy in order to interfere in a country's domestic political life.
In 2001 a nationwide movement started to demand "Shevardnadze's resignation", as a result of which the economic and political life of the country was in shock for more than two weeks, and the Americans immediately rushed to help. By order of the latter, Turkish President Akhmet Necdet Sezer visited Georgia to strengthen Shevardnadze's position by means of international support; then official Washington declared that he would stay in the post of president till 2005.
Practically, Shevardnadze enjoys Washington's patronage and support, so there will be no question of resignation as such. At the same time threats have been made from his side and he can freely use force in order not to give up the post. (Akop Chakryan; Azg Newspaper, Yerevan, in Armenian 11 Nov 03)

US: "We are the friends of Georgia, not the friends of the president or some political force" - [US deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs] Matthew Bryza said something like this on Saturday as he tried to explain why he had congratulated Saakashvili on his victory in the election. However, he never acknowledged having made a mistake and did not voice any regrets over the current events in Georgia either.
Bryza is just another diplomat from the US Administration. Despite the fact that they call him the "governor of Georgia" in diplomatic circles, he insists that he does not interfere with Georgia's domestic affairs the way the representatives of our big brother - Russia - did in the past. (Eliso Chapidze, Rezonansi Newspaper, Tbilisi, in Georgian 21 Jan 08)
- Shevardnadze said that the USA was "very interested" in Georgia's elections and not just in their fairness but also in their outcome. The main "message" received from the USA was that holding fair and objective elections will "further strengthen Georgia's international reputation", he said. He added that, in an "extremely important" letter handed over by James Baker, the US president thanked Georgia for support in the global fight against terrorism, expressed its "unequivocal support" for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and confirmed that the Abkhazia problem would remain "one of the most important aspects" of US-Russian dialogue. (Georgian Radio, Tbilisi, in Georgian, 7 Jul 03)
- Commenting on his speech in the US Congress in March, in which he said that one of the most important tasks during his tenure as ambassador would be to help Georgia prepare for a smooth transition of power in 2005, US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Miles, told Prime-News that the embassy would have relations with "all responsible political figures". He said it was the wish of the USA to help all political parties in Georgia prepare for the elections. (Prime-News news agency, Tbilisi, in Georgian, 13 May 02)
Armenia: Grigor Arutyunyan, a member of the Justice bloc, and its secretary Viktor Dallakyan noted that during a recent confidential sitting of the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan made a clear statement about such a development of events. According to Grigor Arutyunyan: "At all times and in all countries the Armenian diaspora has always supported the authorities, this is an instinct of self-preservation, or to be more precise, understanding. It is very dangerous for a national minority to be in opposition. Against this background, using Armenia to influence our small diaspora in Georgia is a very dangerous step." (Margarit Yesayan; Aravot, Yerevan, in Armenian 5 Dec 03)
Russia: ITAR-TASS news agency quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying that the 5 January presidential election in Georgia "has been thought up as an obvious farce intended to keep power in the hands of the current leadership".
"From the very beginning, this was evident from the date of the election. It was set so that the opposition would not have enough time to unite while the public would not be able to overcome the syndrome of fear after the ruthless dispersal of protesters. Expectations for a low turnout of voters during the Christmas and New Year holidays are also obvious, which will create opportunities for vote rigging," the ministry was quoted as saying.] (Kavkas-Press, Tbilisi, in Georgian, 19 Nov 07)
- The Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has denied Russian involvement in Georgian protests, as reported by the corporate-owned Russian news agency Interfax on 9 November. "We do not interfere in Georgia's internal affairs and do not dictate what Georgian politicians should do, or how and when. They are not our methods," Lavrov told a briefing in Moscow. "That is why we expect that the election that is to take place will be free and democratic, and that the people of Georgia will be able to express their view in the interests of their own destiny." (Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian, 9 Nov 07)

US, Russia: According to the Labour leader Shalva Natelashvili, tragedies have been happening in Georgia over the past 20 years and civil wars, election frauds and unrest were caused by a struggle between the two superpowers, the USA and Russia to gain a sphere influence in Transcaucasus. Natelashvili requested the presidents of both countries to take the Georgian nation's right to be independent into consideration and not to interfere in [Georgia's] internal affairs. (Georgian Kavkasia, Kavkasia TV, Tbilisi, in Georgian, 6 Jul 09)

OSCE: The election drew broad praise from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which fiercely criticised November parliamentary elections. These had sparked the mass protests that led to the ousting of Mr Eduard Shevardnadze. "This was not a perfect election by any means, but there were many, many positive things that we observed and are proud to report on," said Mr Bruce George, head of the OSCE's 450-strong observation team. "The authorities showed the political will to conduct democratic elections." "The international mission concluded that the presidential election did demonstrate notable progress on previous elections in this country," he said. (DANIEL MCLAUGHLIN, The Irish Times, January 6, 2004)

Iran (2000L, 2001P, 2004P, 2005P, 2008L, 2009P)
U.S. (fair)
France (fair)
U.K. (fair)
UN (fair, peace)
Iran has not allowed international observers to monitor its elections. Despite there was huge international condemnation of the 2009 presidential election and Iran’s ill-treatment of electoral protesters, no country has actively intervened. The U.S. Congress passed a bill in support of the protesters (supporters of candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi). The U.S. State Department advised Twitter not to close for maintenance during the protests. Pres. Obama later praised the courage of the protesters while condemning Iran's government's violence against the protesters. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the election a fraud, but France did not actively intervene in the election. Of the countries in western Europe, Iran has condemned the U.K. for supposed intervention. The UN criticized Iran for violently crack dowing on protesters. Countries with economic or political interests in Iran (i.e. Russia, China, the Arabic League, Brazil, Pakistan, Turkey) largely responded but congratulating Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and not intervening.
U.S. (fair)
• 2009P: Congress one-upped President Obama with a tough response to Iran's elections Friday as both chambers voted overwhelmingly to decry Tehran's clampdown on protesters challenging the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Republicans pushed the resolution after criticizing Mr. Obama's comments on the situation as tepid, arguing that the U.S. should express solidarity for supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad's challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is accusing the hard-line government of rigging the election.
The resolution expresses "support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law," said Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican and bill sponsor. "The cause of America is freedom, and in this cause, the American people will not be silent."
The House approved the resolution by a vote of 405 to 1, and the Senate unanimously followed suit hours later. The only lawmaker to vote against the resolution was Texas Rep. Ron Paul. The Republican and former presidential contender routinely opposes measures he views as extraneous government intervention.
(“Congress votes to stand by protesters in Iran,” The Washington Times, Jun 20, 2009)
• 2009P: The Internet represents a new form of foreign intervention in popular protests and uprisings exploited by social groups, foreign exiles and intelligence agencies.
The State Department did intervene to advise Twitter not to close for maintenance during these events, advantaging Mousavi and the protesters.
(“US Intervention in Iran,” The Palestine Chronicle, June 24, 2009)
France (fair)
• 2009P: The Foreign Secretary's comments came after President Nicolas Sarkozy of France yesterday claimed the result, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 62.4 per cent of the vote, was a "fraud".
Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, said: "We do not want to intervene directly and we are not doing that. But indignation, the need to support democrats, the need to support reformists – that, we affirm loud and clear."
U.K. (fair)
• 2009P: Britain, the target of some of the worst criticism from Iran, announced it is evacuating family members of its diplomatic staff stationed in Iran, while leaving staff members themselves in place. It also advised British nationals against travel to Iran...
Also Monday, Iranian media said Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called for a review of Iran's ties with Britain in a speech to parliament. Iran expelled the British Broadcasting Corporation's permanent correspondent in Tehran after accusing the BBC and the Voice of America of "engineering the ongoing post-election riots."
(“World Reacts to Iran's Post-Election Violence,” VOA, Jun 22, 2009)
UN (fair, peace)
• 2009P: UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations criticized Iran on Friday for numerous human rights abuses in the wake of the disputed presidential election in June, including the arrests, intimidation and mass trials of members of the political opposition.
A draft resolution detailing the criticism was approved by a vote of 74 to 48, with 59 countries abstaining.
Although a resolution rebuking Iran for domestic oppression has been an annual event for about 15 years, the latest version expressed particular concern about the “rise in human rights violations” after the election.

Iraq (2000L, 2002R, 2005L, 2005R, 2005L, 2010L):

Description: Parties and lists are accused of receiving financial support for election campaigns. Many candidates provide free gifts to voters--from neighboring countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf Arab states, with Shi'a parties believed to have Iran's backing and Sunni parties supported by the Sunni-majority Arab states. The U.S. on the other hand remains a powerful force behind Iraqi politics, trying to maintain the country stable, open to U.S. commercial interests, and governed by a Sunni majority to stay off the influence of Iran and Syria. The U.K.’s influence in the Iraqi election has been mostly logistical, aimed at producing a fairer and more legitimate process.
Parties and lists are accused of receiving financial support for election campaigns--which has seen many candidates provide free gifts to voters--from neighbouring countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf Arab states, with Shi'a parties believed to have Iran's backing and Sunni parties supported by the Sunni-majority Arab states. Iran's influence is believed to be particularly pervasive given that the Islamic Republic has a high interest in seeing a friendly government which it can influence for its purposes in power in Baghdad.
VP Biden pressed Iraqi leaders Wednesday to approve as quickly as possible legislation that establishes rules for the planned January general election and to make the next round of bids to develop Iraqi oil concessions more attractive to U.S. private capital.
Regional interference
As in Lebanon, internal divisions open the way to foreign intervention. The Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, points to the increasing role of Iraq's neighbours, led by Iran and Turkey, whom Iraqi politicians have invited in. "As a result it was not just an Iraqi election but a regional election," says Mr Zebari. As in Lebanon, the involvement of foreign powers, with their own interests at heart, may stabilise the situation temporarily but it also complicate and institutionalises Iraq's problems.
Role of the UK:
Iyad Allawi, head of the Al-Iraqiyah List, has revealed that he asked the Arab League [AL] to intervene with the United Nations and the Security Council to support Iraq to overcome the ordeal it is witnessing. After meeting with AL Secretary General Amr Musa, Allawi said that he discussed with Musa a number of political issues, specially the Iraqi elections and their outcome. In a related development, Allawi met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu-al-Ghayt and discussed with him the latest political developments.
Observers have speculated that Riyadh could upgrade relations if Allawi, whose Iraqiya has the support of both Sunni Iraqis and some secular Shiites, is successful in forming a parliamentary majority. ------ Asked about the post-election visit to Riyadh by representatives of the Sadrist movement loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Prince Saud said the Saudi government welcomes visits by any Iraqi political leaders.------The Sadrists are being seen as kingmakers as Maliki and Allawi battle to be the first to build a parliamentary majority and form a government. (Article downloaded from Nexis.)
Turkey – Alliance against terrorism – Potential for Intervention.

Israel (1999L, 2003L, 2006L, 2009L)

US (Alliance)
Palestine (Alliance)
Morocco (Alliance)
Syria (Alliance)

Description: Morocco, Syria, and the Palestinian National Authority have gone to different lengths to support the Israeli Labor Party against the conservative Likud. In 1999, Arafat purposefully refrained from declaring Palestinian Statehood before the Israeli elections to avoid boosting Netanyahu’s conservative vote. Also during the 1999 campaign, the Moroccan and Syrian Kings also implicitly backed the Labour Party by denouncing the Likud as hampering the prospect of peace in the region. The Moroccan king made a speech to the Moroccan-born Israeli Jews asking them to vote for “peace”, implicitly meaning Ehud Barak. The US has consistently supported Israeli candidates that benefitted their strategy with both financial and political capital. The Bush administration amply supported the conservative Kadima Party, quickly moving to support Ehud Olmert after Ariel Sharon’s exit from politics. A special note must be made for private contributions by U.S. individuals and companies to Israeli politicians, coming chiefly from Hollywood and New York.


Palestine: Yasser Arafat is consulting daily with both Palestinians and Israelis in an attempt, say his advisers, to keep track of the fast-moving Israeli election campaign. The PA's official line is not to interfere in the election process, but many, if not most Palestinians say they would be happy to see Benjamin Netanyahu out of office.
"Anyone other than Netanyahu will be good for the peace process and stability in our region," says Fadel Tahboub, a member of the Palestine National Council, the PLO parliament. Still, says Tahboub, many Palestinians see no political difference between Netanyahu, Barak and Mordechai. "For us, it's only a matter of who we prefer to deal with after May 17," he adds, stressing the personality factor over political differences.
Figures on the Israeli left are trying to persuade Arafat to delay declaring Palestinian statehood on May 4, which they say will help Netanyahu.

(ARAFAT TRIES TO FIGURE OUT ISRAELI CAMPAIGN; Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, February 15, 1999)
- Arab circles in the territories within the 1948 borders have called on the Palestinian National Authority PNA not to interfere in the formation of the Arab lists for parliamentaryelections due to be held in Israel on 17th May 1999.
Arab Israeli Knesset Member Tawfiq al-Khatib from the unified Arab list said that the PNA had responded to the demand made by the Islamic Movement in Israel not to interfere in the formation of the Arab lists for the coming Knesset elections.
The Arab MK Salih Salim of the Progressive Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) affirmed that the Arab people are the ones to decide their candidates for the coming Knesset elections.However, he added that there is no objection to consultations with the PNA.
- Interview with Yasser Arafat:
Journalist: Mr Chairman, your intention to declare a Palestinian state at the beginning of May could be interpreted among other things as an intervention in the Israeli political process.
Arafat: It is one of the most important issues. I am going to discuss it and we had started the discussion of this point in the Palestinian leadership with all those who had signed the agreement with us in the White House under the supervision of President Clinton and we will continue in this discussion with all of them and with other friends in the European and in the international field and with our Arab brothers.
Journalist: But you will take a decision before the Israeli elections.
Arafat: I am not going to take any decision. This has to be decided by the Palestinian leadership, not me.
Journalist: In an approximately hour-long meeting with the leaders of the French Jewish community, Arafat sounded even more conciliatory than his public statements with regard to the possibility of declaring an independent Palestinian state at the beginning of May. The Jewish officials received the impression that Arafat had already decided that he was not going to announce such a decision at the beginning of May.
(MIDEAST: ARAFAT PLEDGES NOT TO "INTERFERE" IN ISRAELI ELECTIONS; Israel TV Channel 1, Jerusalem, in Hebrew 1900 gmt 8 Mar 99)
Morocco: Excerpt from report by Moroccan radio on 4th May HM King Hassan II, flanked by the crown prince, HRH Prince Sidi Mohamed, and HRH Prince Moulay Rachid, received at the Royal Palace, Marrakech, last night the founding members of the World Union of Moroccan Jews WUMJ .
“I am sure that the Jewish community of Moroccan origin in Israel will always pursue the path of peace and brotherhood. For us Moroccans, peace flows in our veins. Brotherhood in God flows in our veins. Our brother in God is the Christian and the Jew. Our brother in God is the follower of the religion of Jesus and the follower of the religion of Moses. You are our brothers in God, our brothers on earth can also mean: on the land and our brothers in rights. You must also be our expression of the Moroccan genius and the Moroccan character. I am certain that your choice in the forthcoming elections, and I do not want to interfere in this matter, will be for peace. We are all for peace.”
(KING HASSAN URGES MOROCCAN JEWS TO VOTE FOR PEACE IN ISRAELI ELECTIONS; Kingdom of Morocco Radio, Rabat, in Arabic 1000 gmt 4 May 99)
Syria: Ehud Baraq, head of Israel's Labour Party and main challenger to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the forthcoming Israeli elections, met King Abdullah for a "familiarization visit" during a 45-minute meeting, a source from Baraq's One Israel campaign office told the Jordan Times' .
Baraq's visit follows an earlier one by centrist candidate Yitzhaq Mordekhay. Both have been subjected to criticism by the Likud Party - now trailing Labour by eight per cent in opinion polls according to Israeli media reports - whose leaders claim that the two rivals to Netanyahu are exploiting the visits to advance their campaigns.
Jordan maintains that it favours no candidate and will not interfere in the elections process, although the Kingdom's displeasure with Netanyahu throughout his three-year administration has been apparent.
King Abdullah, during an interview with CNN aired on Jordan Television, said Jordan plays no part in the 17th May elections.
"It's up to the Israeli people to decide who is the best man to represent their future, but I believe that the Israelis, as the Jordanians and the Palestinians, believe that peace is the only solution.," he said. "I hope that whoever the Israelis choose will have the courage and determination to continue with the peace process."
USA: Netanyahu, Barak and Centrist Party candidate Yitzhak Mordechai have all gone on U.S. fundraising trips.
Under Israeli law, it's illegal to accept contributions from foreigners. But that hasn't stopped the money from rolling in from Hollywood, New York and Miami.
''There is ample evidence that wealthy American Jews circumvent election laws by funnelling money to organizations which benefit candidates running for prime minister,'' said David Makovsky, an Israeli journalist who investigated campaign financing.
Many Israeli expatriates living in the U.S. are flying home for the vote and an estimated 75,000 American immigrants living in Israel have the right to vote.
(American strategies pay off for Israel's Barak; Dafna Linzer, The Gazette, May 14, 1999)
- Text of editorial entitled: "They also work towards Sharon's winning the elections"
Although everyone realizes that Israel, regardless of who its prime minister is, will not reduce its support for the aggression that the United States is preparing to launch against Iraq, informed Western sources have said that the US administration is showing great interest in and working very hard to enable Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to win the upcoming Israeli elections, which are due on Tuesday 28 January .
This US interest, which is reflected clearly in the US media, is based on the Pentagon's belief that Sharon will be a good partner in the war on Iraq and that he is ready for this participation after coordination and consultations with him on the war and its results.
Observers noticed that Sharon received US support that has never been extended to any other Israeli prime minister. He has an influential voice in the White House and among the extremist rightists who are surrounding US President George W. Bush and who are supervising the military campaign on Iraq amid international and American rejection of this war.
There are a number of indications that prove this US trend, mainly the permanent green light that has been given to Sharon to do whatever he wants in the occupied Palestinian territories…Washington has recently allocated 8bn dollars to help Sharon's government implement this policy. It is backing this policy with the necessary financial and military support. Washington has also provided Sharon's government with political cover in the United Nations and international gatherings and capitals that work for achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region based on the international resolutions relevant to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
(US working "very hard" for Sharon to win Israeli elections - Syrian editorial; Tishrin web site, Damascus, in Arabic 26 Jan 03)
- Minutes after the exit-poll results were aired Tuesday night Ambassador Danny Ayalon's cell phone began to ring off the hook with calls from senior State Department and White House officials. This might seem surprising given the lack of interest the campaign had generated in Washington up until that point. But now that Ehud Olmert and Kadima are facts on the ground the administration has a tangible focus for its concerns chief among them how stable a coalition the prime-minister-elect will be able to form.
The Israeli political system is regarded in the US as a little bizarre. Whereas in the American system once the ballots are counted the game is over in Israel that is when the game only begins. Furthermore the coalition-based system is considered a source for instability and trouble.
This is why the questions Ayalon was asked by administration officials on Tuesday had nothing to either with the policies of the new Israeli government or the personalities of its leader - all of which has already been well-researched - and everything to do with the "whats and the whos" of Olmert's coalition and its chances for stability.
Ayalon assured everyone that though it would take a while before the structure of the coalition is in place Israel would end up with a stable government.
(Keep steady now...; Nathan Guttman, The Jerusalem Post, March 31, 2006)
- As doctors waited for ailing Israeli leader Ariel Sharon to open his eyes yesterday, President Bush stirred the political pot with a phone call to acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - a move that infuriated Olmert's political rivals in the upcoming elections.
Bush called to convey his concern for Sharon, but the gesture was immediately seen as political meddling."I wanted to tell you that our hearts are with Ariel Sharon, his family, his friends and all the people of Israel," Bush said, according to a statement released by Olmert's office. "We know this is a difficult time for you, and whatever I can do to help I will."
The call, coupled with speculation that Bush will soon invite Olmert to Washington, prompted immediate griping. "Aside from saying 'Go vote Sharon,' they did everything else," said Yitzhak Herzog, a senior Labor Party minister. "It is not proper and not appropriate. It is a crossing of red lines. I suggest to our friends in the United States to understand that we are in an election campaign and not to interfere."
(W'S CALL RILES RIVALS OF ARIEL; HELEN KENNEDY, New York Daily News, January 13, 2006)

Jordan (2003L, 2007L, 2010L):
US (Alliance)
NDI (Fair)
Description: As a rather politically hermetic country, Jordanian elections are immune to much foreign meddling. A staunch US ally in the fight against terror, the Jordanian government has received electoral assistance from Washington aimed at discrediting the Islamic opposition to the royal family-backed administration. Such assistance, however, must remain very elusive to the average voters since ties with the West often have negative electoral repercussions. In terms of electoral observation, the NDI is one of the very few organizations that has deployed observers in Jordan.
US: Al-Sabil reported in its last two issues that the US Ambassador in Amman David Hale held more than one meeting (in hotels where the entertainment is good) with some tribal chiefs and refugee camp leaders in the presence of official shaykhs, who are government employees, and Sufi and Salafi shaykhs. He spoke to them about the Shi'i danger and the necessity not to back the Islamic movement in the upcoming elections. (Ali Hatar; Weekly Newspaper Al-Sabil on 27 March 2007)
- ''No politician can afford to identify with the West because poll after poll shows people don't believe in the U.S. agenda,'' said Mustafa Hamarneh, until recently the director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. Mr. Hamarneh is running for a seat in Jordan's Parliament in November, but he says he has made a point of keeping his campaign focused locally, and on bread-and-butter issues. ''If somebody goes after you as pro-American he can hurt you,'' he said. (HASSAN M. FATTAH; The New York Times, August 10, 2007)
NDI: From September 14-17, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) organized a pre-election assessment mission to observe preparations for the November 9, 2010 parliamentary elections in Jordan. The members of the delegation were Frances Fitzgerald, senator from Ireland; Sam Gejdenson, former U.S. congressman; Francesca Binda, NDI’s senior director in Jerusalem and former elections official from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); and Leslie Campbell, NDI’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. (


Lebanon (2000L, 2005L, 2008P, 2009L, 2010Subnational)


Syria (Alliance)
US (Alliance)
Iran (Alliance)
France (Fair, Alliance)
Saudi Arabia (Allliance)
UK (Fair, Alliance)
Hezbollah (Alliance)

Description: Lebanon is target to two diametrically opposed intervening forces – those of the US and those of Syria, which also funds the Hezbollah. The US gives training, materials, and financial support to Western-leaning coalitions, while the same is true of Syria in regards to Hezbollah and other Islamic parties/groups. While Hezbollah is funded by Syria and Iran, I have identified it as a single intervener in order to set apart the overt actions taken by the Syrian government to the covert, Hezbollah-ran activities used to interfere in the Lebanese electoral process. Both France and the UK also follow the US in pressing for a more Western-minded Lebanese leadership, or at least one that does not contain members of allegedly terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. On a side note, Saudi Arabia has been accused of tampering with the Lebanese elections by financially backing less radical coalitions more likely to befriend the Saudi regime.


Syria : The people are asking whether Syria would agree that Lebanon deal with it as it dealt with Lebanon, had roles been reversed. Would Syria agree that Lebanon interfere in the ins and outs of Syrian domestic policy, as Syria is doing in Lebanon? The people reject this form of dealing. They reject the elections by mail and reject the lists prepared in Damascus. They reject "the blessing" coming from above to be imposed on the people. The people reject the detention of Lebanese in Damascus jails. They reject Syrian custodianship. ('Al-Nahar' web site, Beirut, in Arabic 23 Mar 00)
- Gen Dr Bashar al-Asad has asserted that Syria does not have any candidates for the Lebanese parliamentary elections that are due to be held at the end of August. He also asserted that it is not naming candidates for inclusion in any of the lists and hence there is no Syrian custodianship over Lebanon.
Informed sources said yesterday that a number of Lebanese officials, figures, and political and religious leaders who recently met Dr Bashar were informed of this new Syrian position. They added: This puts an end to reports that the formation of the main electoral lists in Lebanon is dependent on getting a "green light" from Damascus after the referendum to elect Bashar president of Syria in succession to his late father Hafiz al-Asad. (Al-Sharq al-Awsat', London, in Arabic 10 Jul 00)

- Interview with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Walid al-Mu'allim:
What is your comment on the opposition demands to stop Syrian intervention in Lebanese internal affairs?
Al-Mu'allim replied: "There is no Syrian intervention in internal affairs. I will give you evidence of this. The last time I came to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry and met his excellency the minister. Then I stopped doing that. Why? Because the debate was going on within Lebanon about the Election Law. Syrian President Bashar al-Asad's instructions were not to interfere in this matter. Now that the law has been referred to the Chamber of Deputies and will be discussed within the Chamber, I have come here to follow up on the progress. I will have the honour of meeting President Emile Lahhud, Speaker Nabih Birri, Prime Minister Umar Karami and former heads of the Lebanese state." (Lebanese National News Agency web site, Beirut, in Arabic, 1 Feb 05)
- The Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar, which is owned by publisher Charles Ayyub, has not been available in Syrian markets since the end of last week. This took place after the government-owned Al-Wihdah Corporation for Printing and Publishing, which also issues a number of newspapers, including the official Al-Thawrah newspaper, stopped printing his newspaper. This also comes after what has been said in Syria to the effect that "Charles [Ayyub] has obtained huge financing from an anti-Syria side and bought his own printing house."
Informed Syrian sources told Elaph that the newspaper Al-Diyar has been banned intermittently over the past period and for one issue only, however, this is the longest "distribution ban" on the paper since more than a year. This is a sign to the effect that a decision has been made to ban its distribution. (Elaph website, London, in Arabic 26 Apr 09)

US: Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Shaykh Na’im Qasim: "The US is trying to intervene everywhere, even in Lebanon. It says that it approves of this president and rejects the other president. Don't you say that you want no one tointerfere in the affairs of other countries? So why do you interfere in the affairs of Lebanon? Why do you express your opinion about elections that are the responsibility of the Chamber of Deputies? Why do you comment about a constitution that embodies the solutions that the Lebanese might choose and might choose other solutions? We Lebanese chose the presence of Syrian forces by the will of the Lebanese state and of leaders and figures present on the Lebanese scene. If we find some day that the presence of these forces is no longer necessary, at that point and in accordance with the legal mechanism that exists in Lebanon, the Syrian forces will depart.” (Lebanese National News Agency web site, Beirut, in Arabic 18 Aug 04)
- The United States said on Wednesday that it strongly supports a "free and fair" electoral process in Lebanon. "The election of a president is a decision for the Lebanese people alone to make," deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told a regular news briefing. "It is our view that no outside country should interfere in this process," said Ereli when he referred to the reports that Lebanese President Emile Lahoud will stand for another term with the support of Syria. (Xinhua Chinese News Agency; August 26, 2004)
- US, France: The United States and France decided Tuesday to rush forward a Security Council resolution calling on Syria to remove its troops from Lebanon and cease its intervention in that country's politics.
The action comes in response to a sudden decision by the Lebanese cabinet over the weekend to endorse a Syrian-backed move to let President Emile Lahoud stay in office for three years beyond the constitutional limit of a single six-year term. Mr. Lahoud, whose term is to expire in November, is favored by Syria, which exercises extensive control over politics in Lebanon and has kept 20,000 troops there despite the 1990 accord ending the 15-year Lebanese civil war that called for the eventual departure of all foreign forces.
Anne W. Patterson, the deputy United States ambassador, said that the resolution would seek the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, an end to Syrian intervention in the Lebanese elections and a suspension of Syrian support for terrorist organizations in Lebanon. (WARREN HOGE, The New York Times, September 1, 2004)
- What the United States is saying about the Lebanese presidential elections and the Lebanese-Syrian relationship is no more than claims. It is basically a hostile, secret plot againstLebanon and Syria, which has recently been expressed in what has been called the Syria Accountability Act.
Therefore, what Washington is kicking up these days within the UN Security Council circles regarding Syria's interference in the Lebanese presidential elections cannot be explained outside this programme of a secret plot.
In addition, it cannot be viewed in any way from the perspective of the United States' concern over Lebanon and love for its people or their causes and issues. These have always fallen under the negative sphere of influence on the part of the United States in order to serve Israel's aggressive designs and in harmony with the schemes of US hegemony over the Arab region, which the world can now see in Iraq. (Tishrin web site, Damascus, in Arabic 2 Sep 04)
- Statement by His Eminence Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah (Shi’a Cleric): "Therefore, the nation must be alert to the calls for change and the spread of democracy in the world; calls through which some Western parties, especially the US Administration, seize upon any event or movement in the Arab and Islamic world and say it is a sign of the rise of the spirit of democracy, which this administration claims to sponsor. Its aim is to reach the core of the event, interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and give itself the right to act as it wants on the basis that it is the messenger of Western democracy to the Third World.” (Lebanese National News Agency web site, Beirut, in Arabic, 9 Mar 05)
- Interview with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Satterfield:
Question: Some people say you came to Lebanon to interfere in the elections. What is your response to them?
Answer: I do not believe that any party would want to interfere in the Lebanese people's move to achieve their aspirations through a free and fair election process. It is the right of all Lebanese people to elect their representatives and determine the composition of the government that they want. This hope as published does not constitute interference. Rather, it shows support for Lebanon and its people.
Question: Is there any US message you would like to convey to the Lebanese figures you meet?
Answer: The only message that I convey from the United States to those who want to understand is clear. It says the American people and government stand by the very clever, enlightened and very promising Lebanese people in the most critical stage of their history. (Lebanese National News Agency web site, Beirut, in Arabic, 29 Mar 05)
- Mr Bush thinks it is his right, as the president of the world's strongest country, to interfere in the affairs of other countries and nations. He threatens to use his heavy stick at times and uses it at others and lies at all times. It is hard to find a single true word in his political discourse, especially when it comes to our region.
- Editorial: Mr. Bush wants the Lebanese, contrary to the constitution, to elect a president with a half-plus-one majority. This violation of the Lebanese constitution does not matter as long as it helps achieve the future Israeli objective of eliminating the Lebanese resistance, which defeated Israel, and revive the New Middle East plan, which is a copy of the old-new biblical Zionist plan. (Chief Editor Isam Dari; Tishrin website, Damascus, in Arabic 26 Dec 07)
- The results of Lebanon's June parliamentary elections could affect US aid programmes to the country, senior State Department official Jeffrey Feltman told Congress Tuesday. Briefing the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, Feltman, the Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs and a former US ambassador to Lebanon, said Washington's assistance would be re-evaluated after the polls, which will decide who controls Lebanon's next government.
"We anticipate that the shape of the US assistance programmes in Lebanon will be evaluated in the context of Lebanon's parliamentary election results and the policies formed by the new Cabinet," he said.
The US has provided a significant amount of financial and material aid to Lebanon in recent years in a bid to strengthen the country's security forces, accelerate fledgling social programmes and boost the transparency and functioning of state, notably electoral, institutions.
The US cannot and should not interfere in the election... But neither should we be impassive," he added. "There is much we can do and should do on the outside to demonstrate thatLebanon's future is not dependant on either militias or mullahs."
(The Daily Star website, Beirut, in English 26 Mar 09)

- The US State and Defence Departments have ruled out any acts of violence in Lebanon prior to the upcoming parliamentary elections. In the meantime, US military aid will reach the Lebanese Army during the next two months. This announcement coincided with Lebanese Defence Minister Ilyas al-Murr's visit to Washington. David Hale, US deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, linked the US Administration's support for the Lebanese Army to the programme of the next government and the extent of its support for Security Council Resolution 1701 and to Lebanon's sovereignty, and not specifically to the results of the elections. (Al-Safir website, Beirut, in Arabic, 9 Apr 09)
- Head of the Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP Mohamad Raad: "The Americans claimed they won't interfere in the elections," Raad recalled. "However, every time things become complicated in any district, the US ambassador Michele Sisson rushes to rescue the March 14 bloc," he added, noting that this was the case in the Metn, Kesrouan, Zahle, Shouf and Beirut-1 districts where the mentioned bloc faced multiple conflicts. "Yet, the Americans and Europeans know that the opposition will likely win and get the parliamentary majority in the upcoming polls," Raad said. (Al-Manar Television website, Beirut, in English 26 May 09)
FRANCE: [Sarkozy] I would like to tell the president that France equally shares his analysis about Lebanon. I would like to laud the role played by Egypt and President Mubarak who have always supported Lebanon's call for respecting its identity and its independence. This is a legitimate matter. I would like to say that time has come for the Syrians to practically prove what they always say in speeches. France has carried the responsibility of a conditional dialogue with Syria and we are now waiting for the actions from the Syrian side and not speeches and words. Lebanon must have a president, an agreed-upon president. (Channel 1 TV, Cairo, in Arabic, 30 Dec 07)
France, UK, US: The tripartite US-British-French meeting in Paris on Lebanon was hastily held and ended hastily. The participants, the three states' ambassadors to Lebanon and (Liz Cheney), US assistant secretary of state for "reform affairs in the Middle East", said nothing on the meeting, except a leaked statement as disguise that economic issues were discussed.
The meeting was hastily arranged in response to a US call on the day the third round of the Lebanese elections was completed, amid a sectarian mobilization in Lebanon. This suggests that the main aim of the meeting was to reach understanding on joint intervention and a new plan of action, taking into consideration the requirements of the ongoing developments inLebanon.
The three ambassadors have not stopped for one hour manipulating the Lebanese situation. Since the Syrian forces returned from Lebanon, they have been interfering in everything inLebanon, pushing persons who call themselves politicians to rebel against the big ones, causing frustration to others through their statements, analyses, alliances and often direct pressures, and creating divisions among Lebanese factions, mainly using the sectarian issue for this purpose.
With regard to the elections, scores of reports confirm that they participated in preparing lists and funded campaigns. They even reached a point where they visited election centres and entered voting booths, as was asserted by knowledgeable Lebanese sources. (Tishrin website, Damascus, in Arabic 16 Jun 05)

Hezbollah: Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, warned the opposition in a speech against allowing foreign powers to interfere in Lebanon, and he invited Lebanese to "express their gratitude" to Syria by joining a mass protest against United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for Syria's withdrawal and Hezbollah's disarmament. (Hassan M. Fattah, The International Herald Tribune, March 7, 2005)
- Sources said that "Hezbollah, which follows a Syrian-Iranian policy in Lebanon, consented, along with its allies in the opposition, to delay the military coup plan, which Hezbollah had begun executing in stages since the 7th of last may, after the military invasion of Beirut, and its attempt to control certain strategic locations in Al-Jabal. The battles then moved on to the central Al-Biqa, and then to the Ba'al Muhsin and Bab al-Tabbanah areas in the north.
The (coup) was delayed until next spring, in order to coincide with the parliamentary elections. In this way, both "Hezbollah" and the opposition have become fully equipped to hit the majority where it hurts most. They do so by holding the elections in the shadow of weapons, which would significantly change the rules of play on the ground.
(Al-Siyasah website, Kuwait, in Arabic 14 Jul 08)
- Deputy Husayn Al-Hajj Hasan, member of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, has criticized the US violations of the Lebanese sovereignty through visits that are not coordinated with the Foreign Ministry or the statements that have not spared even the Lebanese elections issue. In an interview with Al-Manar, Hasan wondered about the silence of those who claim to be concerned with sovereignty towards the US demand from Syria to interfere in the Lebanese affairs, and asked the officials to put an end to this situation has been going on for four years. (Al-Manar Television, Beirut, in Arabic, 20 Feb 09)

Saudi Arabia: The head of the Nasserite Popular Organization MP Osama Saad [Usama Sa'd] accused Saudi Arabia of "interference in the electoral process by paying large sums of money and in exerting pressure" in favour of his opponent Prime Minister Fouad Saniora in Sidon. (Al-Manar Television website, Beirut, in English 24 Apr 09)

Does not hold elections.

Mali (2002P, 2007P&L):
Actors (Actions):
US (Fair)
Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (Fair)
EU (Fair)

Description: Mali is a typical example of US democracy-support in Western Africa, with US funds pouring into voter education and technical electoral assistance, either directly into the Malian government or through development agencies. The European Union and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy have also channeled funds into projects concerned with voter education and the financing and training of political parties to boost electoral competition.

US: The US government has released about US $120,000 for voter education and sensitisation campaigns in Mali, where elections are to be held in 2002. This is the first disbursement from a US $750,000 pledge for election-related activities in Mali, the US Embassy in Bamako said in a communique on Friday. Technical assistance to the interior ministry, media support and training, and support to political parties are also to be covered by the aid package. The pledge had been announced by US Secretary of State Colin Powell when he visited Mali in May as part of a four-nation African tour. (UN Integrated Regional Information Network; September 11, 2001)

NIMD: Key activities and achievements of the NIMD-supported CMDID programme in Mali: CMDID organized training in institutional capacity for parties and facilitated strategic planning by the parties to strengthen their own institutional and democratic capacities.
The centre also organized sessions on policy issues in which the parties forged dialogue between themselves around themes they commonly identified as important. This led to spin-off projects which the participants designed according to their own needs and preferences. Another direct result of this inter-party dialogue was a series animated televised debates.

EU: “Our role is limited to financing projects directed at electoral education. The objective: that the population uses its right to vote freely, but fully aware of the electoral regulations,” Irène Horejs, Head of the EU Mission in Mali (Translated from French, April 27, 2004,

Mauritania (2001L, 2003P, 2006R, 2006L, 2007L&P, 2009P)
Libya (Alliance)
USA (Fair)
France (Fair)
EU (Fair)
World Bank (Fair)
Description: Mauritania has recently suffered from a political deadlock, result of a military coup in 2008 that closed off the country to its biggest aid suppliers, France, the USA, the World Bank, and the EU. While the situation has become a fait accompli, the country has failed to normalize relations with donor countries, and sanctions remains in place except for those established by the AU under Ghaddafi, whose interests in the Mauritanian political establishment permeated the AU’s assessment. Libya has been thought to channel a lot of money in Mauritanian politics to ensure the country’s cooperation, especially in regards to its rapprochement with Israel. After the coup, the Mauritanian government ceased any efforts of alignment with Israel.
Libya : The Mauritanian security agencies have officially accused Libyan intelligence of financing an attempt to topple the regime in Mauritania. A statement issued by the Mauritanian Judicial Police said that former President Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla received more than 900,000 dollars from Libya at two stages before the elections in which he was the most prominent competitor of President Maaouiya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya. The police criticized what it called a defamation campaign that the supporters of Ould Haidalla launched to deceive public opinion into believing that the Public Security is the party that set up the plan to topple the regime.
Abd-al-rahman Shalqam, Libyan Foreign Minister: I reiterate, as we have always done, that we do not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country, whether neighbouring, close or far. If any party is to be helped, this help should be provided by the Foreign Ministry, but the Libyan Foreign Ministry did not interfere in this at all.
We have a position towards Mauritania; we strongly oppose the normalization of relations between Mauritania and Israel. This is a clear Libyan position. We strongly criticize this. The Mauritanians are used to exporting their problems to us or to others. I do not want to mention the names of these countries; they have to speak for themselves. They the Mauritanians do not always accuse Libya. They have always accused other countries, but I am not interested in replying to what concerns others.
(Libyan foreign minister denies Mauritanian allegations of funding coup plot; Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1325 gmt 19 Dec 03)
France/USA: [Roger] Must he be given back his post?
French Secretary of State for Cooperation Alain Joyandet: Our goal is not interfere but simply to remind people of certain major principles. A president who was elected democratically one and a half years ago cannot be overthrown as easily by a military junta, under the pretext that he does not satisfy the soldiers. Having said that, dialogue is always the best thing. Therefore we can encourage dialogue, we can help the parties to negotiate, but the precondition is the release of the president.
The first demand is the release of the president. The second demand is the opening of a political dialogue and the third thing is that inevitably any future solution be achieved through elections.
We have decided to freeze aid to Mauritania. We have also frozen our partnership agreement of 10m euros for the period 2008-2010. The USA has done the same. Obviously, if dialogue resumes and if an opening is achieved everything will resume. I do not want to think that we could remain in this deadlock situation, where power is taken forceful taken forcefully. Eventually, there will be a need to succeed the president who currently cannot do anything.
(French cooperation minister urges release of jailed Mauritanian leader; Radio France Internationale, Paris, in French 0430 gmt 22 Aug 08)
EU: Interview with Mohamed Abderrahmane Ould Moine, minister adviser at the presidency of the Mauritanian Higher State Council:
When told that the EU said it will not recognize the results of any elections organized by the ruling junta if not collectively accepted by the Mauritanians, and asked how the government can secure international recognition of the results of the elections, he says: "The EU has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. We have trade or economic partnership with the EU based on mutual agreement, but the EU does not have the ability or right to make political dictates. On the other hand, many European countries recognize the serious political work done here and the way Mauritanian affairs are currently handled. Nongovernmental organizations and European parliaments expressed their desire to monitor the upcoming elections." He adds that EU Commissioner Louis Michel's "recent statements were largely in harmony with our point of view."
Asked if the elections will be fair, he says Mauritania will ask all countries to send observers to monitor the elections and report what they see. He then hopes to see large media coverage of the elections, pointing out that the government will not rig the elections or buy votes.
(Al-Jazeera interviews Mauritanian minister on protests, elections; Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1331 gmt 4 Apr 09)
World Bank: The World Bank has suspended 175 million dollars in aid to Mauritania in the wake of a military coup earlier this month, a World Bank spokesman said Friday.
The suspended payments are undisbursed funds from 413 million dollars committed by the World Bank for projects in Mauritania, Eric Chinje, spokesman for the World Bank's Africa Region, told AFP.
The suspension affects some 17 national projects in Mauritania and Mauritania's participation in World Bank regional projects, including rural development, health, education and infrastructure such as road building, he explained in a phone interview.
"Each time there's political instability there's a price to be paid by the country," he said.
He said a World Bank team of about 24 local and international staff had begun an assessment "in the wake of the problems in the country, the toppling of the government.
"We're trying to assess the situation on the ground with other donors," among them the United Nations, he said.
The European Commission on Friday called on the military junta which has seized power in Mauritania to release ousted prime minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf immediately.

Morocco (2002L, 2007L)
Spain (alliance)
U.S. (alliance)
National Democratic Institute (fair)
Before the 2002 parliamentary elections, Morocco had a fallout with Spain over a disputed islet. The Polisario Front's representative in Spain, Ibrahim Ghali, called the UN to prevent Morocco from holding the election, arguing that the Saharan territories were still under UN supervision. The election took place as scheduled. A week before the 2007 parliamentary elections (at this point, an Islamist party was expected to win), the U.S. gave Morocco a $700 million grant, the largest grant up to that point given through the Millennium Challenge program. The U.S. has key interest in Morocco as part of its effort to promote democracy in the Middle East. The Islamist Justice and Development party won the most seats in the elections. US-based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs criticized media clampdown before the elections. U.S. State Department, the European Union, the governments of Spain and France, and American NGO the National Democratic Institute praised the election process.

2002L: Moroccan King Mohammed VI has rejected Spain's "military aggression" against the disputed tiny islet - known as Toura or Leila in Morocco and Perejil in Spain - in the Straits of Gibraltar. In a speech to mark the third anniversary of his accession to the throne, the king said his country has "inalienable rights... which cannot be neglected or forfeited, whatever the sacrifices". He also renewed his country's demand for Spain to end its "occupation" of the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as "clarify" its relations with the kingdom. The following is an excerpt; broadcast live by Moroccan TV on 30 July
... Dear people: If the royal speech every year assumes great importance because it concerns the state of the nation and draws the outlines of future action, the royal address this year is distinguished by virtue of it being delivered a few weeks prior to the election of a new House of Deputies. It is also regarded as the start of a year filled with elections. Such an illustrious day will not come upon next year without the completion of elections of all representational institutions...We have rejected the Spanish government's military aggression against Toura island. Historical and geographical facts and legal evidence confirm that it has always been part of our national territory, under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco.
In accordance with our attachment to restoring the situation of this Moroccan island to how it was before, and in accordance with our rejection of escalation and the imposition of a status quo by force, we remain attached to guaranteeing peace, stability and good neighbourliness in the strategic Gibraltar region.
Therefore, we are waiting for Spain to clarify the kind of relations it wants to establish with Morocco, as required by the development which our two countries have gone through and as necessitated by the current and future vital challenges their relations will face.
(“Moroccan king criticizes Spain over disputed islet, calls for return of enclaves,” July 31, 2002, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts RTM TV, Rabat, in Arabic)
2002L: The Polisario Front's representative in Spain, Ibrahim Ghali, called today on the UN to prevent Morocco from holding its legislative elections, scheduled for 27 September, in the Saharan occupied territories.
Ghali attributed the illegal nature of the elections to the fact that the Saharan territories were still under UN supervision.
(“Official calls on UN to stop Morocco from holding elections in Sahara - Algeria,” September 21, 2002, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts Algerian radio, Algiers, in Arabic)

Morocco Parliamentary September 7, 2007

2007L: Morocco's political eliteand Washington'sare both eagerly anticipating the country's Sept. 7 parliamentary balloting, which promises to be the freest and fairest in the history of this North African monarchy. The Bush administration loves to highlight Morocco's political progress as a bright spot in an otherwise unrepentantly autocratic Middle Eastand Morocco's young king is basking in the glow. Next month's election will be a multifaceted test. Among other things, it will gauge the popularity of Morocco's Islamist Party of Justice and Development and reveal whether top-down reforms, emanating from a centralized monarchy, can produce meaningful democratization. The burning question, though, is how many Moroccans will even bother to vote. What if you build a democracy and nobody comes?
These elections are the latest step in a gradual process launched by King Mohammed VI after he ascended the throne in 1999. Since then, he has loosened press controls, opened registration for political parties, and even launched an Equity and Reconciliation Commission to examine human-rights abuses during the regime of his father, Hassan II. In return, President Bush has lavished attention on the North African country: sending old diplomatic hand Margaret Tutweiler and Harvard chum Tom Riley as ambassadors, signing a free-trade agreement that gave Moroccan farmers coveted access to U.S. markets, and even bending the rules of the Millennium Challenge Account so that Morocco might qualify for extra foreign aid. Even with Iraq sucking up a huge portion of America's foreign-aid budget, Morocco's economic assistance has increased by more than 300 percent since 2004.
For American policy-makers keen to encourage democracy without risking Islamist takeovers, Morocco is an unusually attractive model. Mohammed VI is widely popular, and he uses the D-word with abandon. But he clearly controls the pace and nature of political change, keeping a firm hand on the rudder to prevent any messy unpredictability arising from this presumed transition to democracy....
(“Moroccan Roulette,” August 24, 2007, Slate Magazine, by Tamara Cofman Wittes)
• 2007L: Morocco won a grant worth nearly $700US million Friday from the U.S. government, a week before elections that an Islamist party is expected to win.
King Mohamed VI oversaw the grant signing ceremony in Tetouan in northern Morocco, according to the official Moroccan news agency MAP and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government program to help emerging democracies.
The grant is intended to stimulate economic development.
It was the largest grant given to any country by the Millennium Challenge program since it was created by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2004. Morocco, a relatively moderate North African country with a secular government, is considered an important U.S. ally in the Arab world.
The $697US.5 million in aid will finance five projects chosen by the Moroccan government, including programs to increase fruit tree productivity, boost employment in the fishing sector, and help the financial services.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation said the grant is aimed at increasing Morocco's GDP by $118US million annually.
Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou said the grant would allow the country to reduce poverty by 20 percent in targeted areas by 2012, according to MAP.
Jettou said the grant reflected U.S. confidence in the Moroccan economy and "strong and privileged" relations between the countries.
U.S. officials are watching closely as Morocco prepares for Sept. 7 parliamentary elections. An Islamist movement, the Justice and Development Party, is expected to win the largest number of seats.
The party is popular among the country's many poor and jobless, who say the government has done little to help them.
A strong showing by the party could lead to a coalition government, though it remains unclear how much power the king who wields ultimate authority would grant the Islamists.
The Millennium Challenge program helps countries put economic and political reforms in place
(“Morocco gets big U.S. grant ahead of elections likely to hand Islamists victory,” August 31, 2007, Associated Press)
• 2007L: On Friday, September 7, Morocco held parliamentary elections to fill the 325-seat House of Representatives. The country's conservative Istiqlal party maintained its dominance in parliament, winning 52 seats in the election. Opposition group, Islamist Justice and Development party (PJD), won 46 seats, the Popular Movement party secured 41 seats, the National Rally of Independents party took 39 seats and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces party claimed 38 seats. A new government must be formed before mid-October.
The election process was praised by many, including the U.S. State Department, the European Union, the governments of Spain and France, and American NGO the National Democratic Institute. The U.S. State Department congratulated "the Government and citizens of Morocco
on the parliamentary elections held September 7" and released a statement saying, "We see the elections as another step forward for Morocco, and we support the Moroccan people as they build a more democratic, representative government." French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Frederic Desagneaux said, "France welcomes the good conduct of the Moroccan legislative elections, which confirms that democracy is firmly rooted in Morocco." Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said, "These elections are the best of all those held in [Morocco]."
(“Moroccan Parliamentary Elections,” September 11, 2007, U.S. Newswire)
• 2007L: Foreign observers monitoring elections in Morocco next month expressed unease Thursday at court cases involving journalists, which they described as impinging press freedom.
"There have been notable challenges to press freedoms in advance of the elections," said Irish senator Frances Fitzgerald, leading the mission organised by US-based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
She noted the recent seizures of Moroccan weeklies TelQuel and Nichane as well as the upcoming August 24 court case against the weeklies' director, Ahmed Benchemsi for lack of respect for the king.
Fitzgerald also cited the suspended sentences handed down in January to the former director of Nichane and one of their journalists for a special issue published on jokes relating to religion, sex and politics.
In another case lodged in January against The Weekly Journal, the magazine was ordered to pay a 350,000-dollar (260,000-euro) fine for libel regarding an article on Western Sahara.
"None of these cases directly concerned election coverage... the changing press environment could have an effect on the broader political debate and thereby work against the broader, key goal of strenghtening democratic processes and institutions," said Fitzgerald in a report made public Thursday.
The current system "risks weakening the power of parliament and reducing voter confidence towards the parliament and the political parties," she said.
Measures should be taken to support parliament officials to create voter confidence in the institutions and political process.
The report calls for election results to be posted in the public domain as soon as possible to avoid vote manipulation and promote transparency on all levels of the vote count.
"The presence of foreign observers during legislative elections shows that the country is progressing towards a democratic model," government-backed Human Rights Advisory Council president Ahmed Herzenni said August 3.
The institute which organised the observer mission is a non-governmental organization based in Washington and headed by former US secretary of state Madeline Albright.
Some 50 foreign observers will monitor the elections, only the second organised under the reign of Mohammed VI.
(“Election observers worried about Moroccan media clampdown,” August 16, 2007, Agence France Presse)

Niger (1999P&L, 2004P&L, 2009R, 2009L, 2010R, 2011P&L)
EU (Fair)
AU (Fair)
Description: Electoral interventions in Niger have been mostly focused at returning the country to democracy after the 2010 military coup. It involved heavy election monitoring on the part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the EU, and the AU. As of 2011, monitoring missions seemed to indicate democratic elections had been successfully held, ushering in aid that had been constricted and putting an end to the sanctions that had been placed by the three organizations.
ECOWAS/EU/AU: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) observers who monitored Monday's elections in Niger Republic have expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the polls.
They commended the country's electoral commission, citizens and other stakeholders for the peaceful and transparent manner the elections were conducted.
"The election commission has, overall, managed to organise the elections despite some technical problems. The freedom of expression and movement of all candidates was respected," the European Union observer mission said in a statement.
The African Union also gave its approval of the poll.
"Despite some hitches we noticed, the AU mission is satisfied with the election process and the way in which voting took place," the body said in a statement.
(West Africa: Ecowas, EU Say Niger Elections Satisfactory; Romoke W. Ahmad, February 3, 2011.
- Niger’s second round of presidential elections were “fair and transparent,” African union observers head Khalifa Babacar Sall said in a statement.
(Niger’s Presidential Elections ‘Fair and Transparent,’ African Union Says; Djibril Saidou, Bloomberg, March 13, 2011:
- European and African election observers said on Wednesday they were broadly satisfied with Niger's presidential election despite a number of technical problems, and called on candidates to respect the results.
A successful election would help Niger, one of the world's poorest countries which is facing a growing threat from al Qaeda-linked groups in its desert north, step up investment in its mineral and oil resources.
West African regional grouping ECOWAS said the vote had been transparent and called on the candidates and their supporters to remain calm and only challenge the results through legal channels.
(International observers sign off on Niger poll; Reuters Africa, February 2, 2011:
Chad (2001P, 2002L, 2005R, 2006P, 2011L)
AU (Peace)
US (Peace)
France (Alliance)
Sudan (Alliance)
Description: A critical spillover from the war in Sudan, Chad has suffered a number of electoral interventions from opposing sides. France has continuously supported the regime, in whom it believes lies the quickest way to stability, and Sudan has been steadfastly accused of arming and financially supporting the Chadian opposition. The U.S. and the AU, on their turn, have put pressure on the regime to ensure the country remains united through the holding of periodic democratic contests.
Notes :
US/AU : The incumbent President Idriss Deby has ignored pleas from Chad's civil opposition, the influential regional organisation the African Union, US government, and the Catholic Church to postpone Wednesday's election until stability can be guaranteed.
"All the preparations are in place for the election to proceed without problems. We have distributed all the materials, including in those areas that were held by rebels. The government has told us that security will be assured," said Ahmat Mahamat Bahir, president of the government's National Electoral Commission on Tuesday.
According to the electoral commission 11,800 polling stations have been set up throughout Chad's vast territory about three times the size of France to accommodate 5.8 million registered voters. In the last national election in June 2005 just 30 percent of Chadians turned out to vote.
(Chad; Nervous Residents Flee Capital to Cameroon As Election Day Looms, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)
SUDAN/FRANCE: Interview with Sudanese Presidential Advisor Dr Mustafa Uthman Isma'il:
[Abu-Najm] Sudan's Foreign Minister disclosed the day before yesterday at the French Foreign Ministry that Khartoum has formally asked France to mediate with Chad. Do you consider that France is a neutral party that can play such a role?
[Isma'il] We know perfectly well that France's relationship with Chad is much closer and deeper than its relations with us. France and Chad have a defense agreement, and Paris ensures protection for the Chadian regime through political and logistical support and providing it with intelligence information, to say the least. All this does not exist in Paris's relationship with us. Additionally, French forces constitute the nerve center of the EUFOR force deployed in Eastern Chad, whereas we refused to have forces from the EU or any other source come to us. So when we asked France to intervene it is because we know it is the more capable of influencing the Chadian regime and convincing it to stop support to the rebellion in Darfur. There is another aspect, namely that we believe France has to understand what is going on in Chad are internal conflicts between the opposition and the regime and that Sudan is not a principal side in them. There are more than 1.5 million Chadians who live in Sudan. We accepted to host them and provide them with the freedom to move, get education, and work. Their relationship with the Chadian Government becomes clear during the elections, especially the presidential elections, when the Government brings the ballot boxes because it is aware of their importance as a force in influencing the results of the elections. Incidentally, those are the ones on whom President Deby relied for victory in the last previous elections. In short, we want France to understand that the problem in Chad is an internal one, with the Government refusing to implement the agreements concluded with the opposition in Khartoum, Tripoli and elsewhere. If France is looking for stability, it has to mediate between the Chadian regime and the opposition. I want to assure you that Sudan has no strategy aimed at changing the Chadian regime. We are prepared to coexist and deal with it. All we want is that it should change the pattern of its conduct in support of the rebellion in Darfur.
[Abu-Najm] You accuse Chad of intervening in your affairs while Chad accuses you of arming, training, and supporting the Chadian opposition. Is there a way out of this vicious circle?
[Isma'il] I want to say that the forces which reached Omdurman, where they perpetrated murder and destruction, I mean the forces of the Justice and Equality Movement [JEM] were trained and armed in Chad and came to us across the joint ground borders. The confessions of the detainees, the documents and papers, and the trials have begun to produce proof for this. Even assuming that Sudan supports the rebel Chad movement, naturally this support goes through the ground borders. Thus what is required is to monitor these borders in such a way that Chad does not interfere in Sudan and Sudan does not interfere in Chad.
(Sudan's Presidential Advisor Interviewed on Relations With France, US, Chad, ICC; Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, in Arabic 21 Jun 08)
France: Since 1986, when France dispatched special forces to Chad to support the war against Libya, French troops have been a key factor in Chad's civil wars. The French have assisted the Chadian army with intelligence, logistics, and medical units — the first two turning the tide of battle in Deby's favour several times in the last three years.
Under former president Jacques Chirac, French policy towards Chad was handled by the military, whose response to the political crisis was to extend military assistance rather than encourage talks with the opposition.
But by the morning of February 4, 2011, it seemed France had decided that Chad without Deby was a worse proposition than with him, swinging back behind Deby. This is only a short-term option — Deby is literally fighting for his life and will do anything that is necessary to stay in power.
(Chad: Civil war, power struggle and imperialist interference; Alex de Waal, Green Left, February 8, 2008)
SUDAN/Libya: There is a potential vacuum in which Chad's competitors for influence may once again meddle. Sudan will be interested in securing this outer frontier. So will Libya, which supported Patasse. Kinshasa and Kampala will also be looking for influence there — it was a stronghold for the Congolese leader Jean-Pierre Bemba at the height of the war in DRC.
(Ibid: Chad: Civil war, power struggle and imperialist interference; Alex de Waal, Green Left, February 8, 2008)

Oman (2003L, 2007L)
No intervention.

Qatar (2003R, 2007L - postponed, 2011L - subnational)
No intervention.

Saudi Arabia
Does not hold elections.

Sudan (2000P, 2000L, 2010L, 2011R)
Egypt (alliance, fair)
Libya (alliance)
EU (fair)
US (alliance, fair)
Carter Center (fair)
African Union (fair, peace)
League of Arab States (fair)
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (fair)
UN (fair, peace)
Egypt monitored Sudan’s 2010 legislative and presidential elections. In May 2010, ahead of the referendum on the independence of Southern Sudan, Egypt Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters that Egypt is in favor of a united Sudan, adding that Egypt will do everything in its power to save Sudan's unity. Gheit met with Sudanese president Omar al-Beshir and Salva Kiir, the head of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan before the referendum. Egypt has an interest in keeping Sudan united because it would impact sharing Nile waters. Despite Egypt's diplomatic efforts, Al-Bashir did not consider Egypt's proposal for a confederation between the north and south. Diplomats from the UN and the African Union (AU) participated in talks aimed at reaching consensus over the contested oil-rich region of Abyei. In December 2010, just one month before the referendum, Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi went to Sudan to call for unity. Egypt and Libya wants to avoid any massive flow of refugees into their territory if fighting renews after the referendum. The UN has stationed 10,000 peacekeepers in Sudan in case violence breaks out. The UN also distributed voting materials and set up the a panel to monitor the referendum process. The U.S. pressured Sudan to stick to the timeline for holding the referendum by renewing economic sanctions against Sudan. The U.S. also said it will drop Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism if the referendums take place on schedule. Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry made two trips to Sudan shorlty before the referendum; Kerry praised al-Bashir's pledge to to help build a stable Southern Sudan.The EU, Carter Center, African Union, League of Arab States, Intergovernmental Authority on Development sent election monitors.
Egypt (fair)
• 2011R: Khartoum, June 2 (SUNA) - The European union (EU) mission for monitoring the referendum of Southern Sudan, has announced in its final report that the process of the referendum of Southern Sudan was accomplished by the north and south in a fair way, with some defects even though the organization of this process has been perfect, and that process has credibility and reflected the overwhelming desire of the voters in Southern Sudan to secede from the NorthHead of the EU mission for the monitoring of the referendum of Southern Sudan, Ms. Véronique de Keyser , said in a press conference Thursday for the announcement of the EU final report that the EU has submitted this report to the Southern Sudan ReferendumCommissionShe said that the voters' registration process for the referendum was highly efficient and that the referendum process had been with the same efficiencyShe indicated that the report has referred to the important role of the Government of Sudan , the Government of Southern Sudan, the Commission of the Referendum of Southern Sudan, UN agencies, the international organizations, the civil society organizations and political parties in the organization and conducting the referendum in a peaceful mannerShe said that the EU Monitoring Mission for the Referendum of Southern Sudan believes that the referendum process in Southern Sudan is the base for a successful long democratic process in SudanMrs. Veronica affirmed support of the EU to the peace process in Sudan, pointing out to the issues that remained in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which include the debts, the demarcation of the border and Abyei issue, indicating that the escalation does not serve the parties and undermine the peace processTA/MOBack
(“EU Monitoring Mission: Referendum was fair and credible,” June 2, 2011, Sudan News Agency)
UN (fair)
• 2011R: Diplomats and the commission planning the vote said on Wednesday that any delay could make it impossible to hold the vote on January 9 as scheduled.
The tender to print ballots closed in mid-November and has now been re-opened till December 5.
A senior official in the commission told Reuters news agency it had taken five weeks to print the registration materials.
The UN has said it needs up to three weeks to distribute voting materials in the south, which has little infrastructure.
"Everyone is in somewhat of a panic about this. It seems we may have lost the January 9 date," one diplomatic source in Khartoum said.
The United Nations would not comment on why it had agreed to reopen the bid, and Sudanese observers said they had warned against the move but had been ignored.
"They now have to move the polling back 10 days," Ali Mohamed, spokesman for the SuGDE observers, said. "Really this is a political issue."
Mohamed said northern Sudan's ruling National Congress Party and the southern ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) would need to make a decision on the date.
An extension of one week for the registration has also put pressure on the vote deadline, which the SPLM has said is a red line, since they fear that a significant delay could see violence erupt in the south.
Southern officials said they wanted the voting and registration materials printed in a neutral location outside Sudan to avoid any possibility of manipulation.
(“Sudan has asked the UN to re-open a tender to print ballots for the south's referendum on secession,” December 1, 2010, Al Jeezra)
U.S. (alliance)
• 2011R: Barack Obama has renewed sanctions against Sudan's government, keeping pressure on Khartoum to stick to the timetable for holding a referendum on southern independence.
However, the US president also held out for the prospect for reconsidering Monday's decision if Sudanese leaders made progress in resolving the country's north-south dispute and improved the situation in the troubled Darfur region.
Sudan is 10 weeks away from the scheduled start of a referendum that could lead to independence for its oil-producing south. If mishandled, the referendum could destabilise the region.
The White House issued a letter from Obama to congress saying he was extending long-standing economic sanctions, a notice required by law each year to keep them in place.
The measures restrict trade and investment in Sudan and also block the assets of the Sudanese government and certain officials, among other things.
With trust low as both sides in the referendum exchange recriminations, progress has slowed on resolving disputes such as the status of the oil-producing Abyei region, determining citizenship and forging an oil-sharing accord.
Tommy Vietor, the White House spokesman, said the US hoped Sudan's leaders "will make the urgent and difficult choices necessary to secure peace for the Sudanese people".
"As we work to support these choices, the United States will review the Sudanese government's progress on resolving outstanding [peace agreement] implementation issues as well as other relevant circumstances, to include improving security and humanitarian access in Darfur," he said.
"If the government of Sudan acts to improve the situation on the ground and advance peace, we stand ready to work with Sudan to ensure its rightful place in the international community."
Obama last week stressed the need to go ahead with the vote as scheduled when he spoke to Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president, who has tried to overcome obstacles in the north-south peace process as head of an African Union panel.
(“Obama renews Sudan sanctions,” November 1, 2010, Al Jeezra)
• 2011R: The United States will drop Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism as early as July 2011 if Khartoum ensures two key referendums take place on schedule in January and the results are respected.
Unnamed US officials told Reuters on Sunday that Barack Obama, US president, made the offer through Senator John Kerry, who recently told Sudan's leaders the US was ready to "decouple" the issue of Darfur from Khartoum's terror designation to win cooperation on the January polls.
"We like to consider this a pay-for-performance operation," one official said.
Kerry, the powerful Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has made two trips to Sudan in recent weeks and carried Obama's latest offer to Khartoum this past weekend, the officials said.
They emphasised that separate US sanctions imposed on Sudan over Darfur would remain until Khartoum makes progress in resolving the humanitarian situation in its troubled western region.
But the officials also held out hope that the offer to end the isolation imposed on Khartoum by its inclusion on the US state terror list would persuade the Sudanese government to begin making the necessary concessions to allow the January votes to proceed as scheduled.
Sudan's two parallel referendums on January 9 could see southern Sudan secede to become Africa's newest state and decide whether the disputed oil-rich territory of Abyei joins the north or the south.
The US, which has stepped up its diplomacy in Sudan, wants to see the votes occur peacefully and all related issues, including deals on future citizenship and the sharing of oil revenues, resolved soon.
The state department added Sudan to its state terror list in 1993, accusing Khartoum of harbouring local and international militants including for a time Osama bin Laden.
Sudan is one of four countries on the list along with Cuba, Iran and Syria. The designation carries sanctions on US foreign assistance, a ban on defence exports and sales and a raft of restrictions on financial and other dealings.
Officials say Khartoum has been pushing hard for the US to remove it from the list, as Washington did in prior years with both North Korea and Libya.
Obama's offer moves up by at least six months the date by which Khartoum might come off the list. But the US officials emphasised a final decision would still be contingent on Sudan halting all sponsorship of terrorism for at least six months before the July 2011 target date and pledging not to resume such assistance in the future.
Separate US sanctions imposed over Darfur - which Obama extended for another year on November 1 - would remain until Khartoum improved conditions in the region, where the United Nations estimates up to 300,000 people died following a revolt in 2003, they said.
(“US offers Sudan ‘terror list’ deal,” November 8, 2010, Al Jeezra)
• 2011R: John Kerry, the US senator for Massachusetts, has called comments by Sudan's president on the country's upcoming referendum on southern succession "extremely encouraging" during a visit to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.
Omar al-Bashir pledged last week to help build a stable and "brotherly" southern state if it votes for independence on January 9.
The president echoed those comments on Tuesday when he visited the southern capital of Juba, saying he would celebrate the results of the referendum even if the south chooses to secede.
Kerry, who is chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, is one of a number of international envoys who are in the country ahead of the referendum which could see Sudan's south establish itself as an independent nation.
"The speech by President Bashir here [in Khartoum, on December 31], as well as his comments in Juba yesterday are extremely encouraging," Kerry told reporters following a meeting with Ghazi Salaheddine, an influential presidential adviser, on Wednesday.
"They're very positive, very constructive, and I think it sets a good stage for the events that begin in the next days."
Kerry also said that it was "in the interest of the US to have a stronger and better relationships with the Sudan".
The senator indicated that Washington could remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of "terrorism" early if the referendum is judged to have gone smoothly.
But he stressed that this would not affect US sanctions against Khartoum related to Darfur.
Sudan faces huge economic problems, including soaring inflation, caused by the sharp devaluation of the Sudanese pound over the past three months, and large external debts.
"Obviously there are huge economic challenges [in Sudan] and that's something that we discussed today," Kerry said without elaborating.
Salaheddine, asked whether the US was offering Sudan any new incentives to help the country confront its economic challenges, said nothing concrete had been proposed.
"We haven't seen much so far," the presidential adviser said.
"They bring it up every time we discuss the issue of Darfur and the future relationship with the United States," Salaheddine said.
"This [question of economic support] is more of a bilateral issue actually than one relating to the south or Darfur, even though in the United States they like to see them as interconnected."
Darfur has been gripped by a civil war since 2003 that has claimed 300,000 lives and displaced 2.7 million people, according to UN figures. Khartoum says 10,000 people have died in the conflict.
Kerry, a former US presidential candidate, has made three prior trips to Sudan.
(“US hails Bashir’s Sudan comments,” January 5, 2011, Al Jeezra)
Carter Center (fair), African Union (fair), League of Arab States (fair), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (fair), UN (fair), EU (fair)
Former American President Jimmy Carter, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and former Tanzanian Prime Minister Joseph Warioba led the Carter Center international observation delegation.[78] US Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visited Southern Sudan three times during the referendum period, including during polling.[79] George Clooney, who is supporting the Satellite Sentinel Project[80] (using satellites as a conflict early warning system for Sudan), also made visits to Sudan during the referendum period. Several major regional organisations deployed international observers, including the African Union,[81] the European Union,[82] the League of Arab States and theIntergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).[83] These organisations issued a joint press statement on the first day of polling.[84]
Normally, the United Nations does not deploy electoral observers, however, in response to a request from the parties of the CPA, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan was established.[87] The panel is composed of three senior officials, former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal António Monteiro, and Bhojraj Pokharel, a former Chairman of the Election Commission of Nepal, who are appointed by and report to the UN Secretary-General. The panel made periodic visits to Sudan during the referendum period and is supported by field reporting officers and stakeholder-observer liaison officers.
(Wikipedia entry for “Southern Sudanese independence referendum, 2011”)
81. Arrival Statement of the African Union Observer Mission to the Southern Sudan Referendum.
Mon, 2011-01-17 10:26 — admin
09-15 JANUARY 2011
82. EU Election Observation Mission to Sudan 2011
Following an invitation from the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) and Memoranda of Understanding with the SSRC and the Government of the Republic of The Sudan, the European Union has established a mission to observe the Southern Sudan Referendum, with polling due to commence on January 9th, 2011.
83. Southern Sudan Observation Mission
The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) as a Regional Economic Community (REC) is invited by the Southern Sudan Referendum Election Commission to observe the Referendum of Southern Sudan scheduled to take place from 9-15 January 2011.
Accordingly, the IGAD Secretariat established an observer mission composed of representatives from member states (Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti except Sudan) and the Secretariat.
The Mission composed of 40 observers allocated into 20 teams arrived in Juba on 02 January 2011. The teams shall be deployed to Juba, Malakal, Wau Aweil, Bentiu, Kosti, El Fasher, Renk, Kapoeta, Bor, Torit, Yambio, Rumbek, Kurmuk, Demazin, Omdurman, Khartoum Bahri, Khartoum Central, and Nyala. The teams will begin moving to their respective places starting from 05 January 2011.
87. Secretary-General Appoints Panel to Monitor Self-Determination Referenda in Sudan
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
In response to a request from the parties to Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Secretary-General has appointed a panel to monitor the upcoming self-determination referenda for Southern Sudan and the Abyei Area, headed by the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa. The two other members of the panel are Antonio Monteiro, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal, and Bhojraj Pokharel, former Chairman of the Election Commission of Nepal.
The panel will make periodic visits to Sudan through the scheduled holding of the referenda in January 2011. Panel members will engage with all relevant actors, including the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the referendum commissions, civil society and observer groups. The panel will follow key referenda processes, as well as the political and security situation. In addition to reporting to the Secretary-General on the conduct of the referenda, the panel will work directly to enhance confidence in the process by encouraging the parties and the relevant authorities to take corrective measures to resolve any significant problems or disputes that may arise.

Syria (2000P, 2003L, 2007L, 2007R):

Description: NO INTERVENTION: A relatively hermetic polity, Syria remains outside of the main interventionist activities of Western powers. The U.S. tried to pave democratic inroads into the country via funding of opposition groups and particular candidates, as well as funding voter education campaigns, and conducting “shadow electoral monitoring” under the auspices of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The Syrian electoral process, however, remains non-competitive. Voters do not vote for particular candidates, but rather on whether they approve of the current administration. The opposition, blocked from fairly competing, has boycotted most electoral contests. Therefore, US assistance and democracy-promotion efforts fall short of electoral intervention.
US: American plans to nurture members of the fractured opposition, supply funds to at least one Syrian candidate, and run a voter education campaign.
The Bush Administration has been quietly nurturing individuals and parties opposed to the Syrian government in an effort to undermine the regime of President Bashar Assad. Parts of the scheme are outlined in a classified, two-page document that says that the U.S. already is "supporting regular meetings of internal and diaspora Syrian activists" in Europe. The document bluntly expresses the hope that "these meetings will facilitate a more coherent strategy and plan of actions for all anti-Assad activists." The document says that Syria's legislative elections, scheduled for March 2007, "provide a potentially galvanizing issue for... critics of the Assad regime." To capitalize on that opportunity, the document proposes a secret "election monitoring" scheme, in which "internet accessible materials will be available for printing and dissemination by activists inside the country [Syria] and neighboring countries." (Adam Zagorin, Time Magazine, December 16, 2006,,8599,1571751,00.html)

Syrian Domestic Opposition: The Syrian opposition is boycotting the elections, saying that the few changes to the electoral process fell far short of their longstanding demands. Led by the Syrian Democratic Coalition (SDC) and the Damascus Declaration bloc—an alliance of sixteen political parties—the opposition says it has a national project for democratic and peaceful change, including a new electoral law and the establishment of political parties. The opposition expects a broad popular boycott of the elections, despite a campaign by state media to get Syria's eight million registered voters to the polls. “Unless there is a new political party law ending one-party rule in Syria, elections will simply remain a non-event and there will continue to be high levels of popular apathy,” said Hassan Abdel Azeem, head of the SDC and a former MP. (Omayma Abdel Latif, projects Coordinator at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,

Syrian-Iranian relations:

Tunisia (1999P, 2004P, 2004L, 2009P, 2009L):
Description: Tunisia remains closely attached to France, as its formal colonial power, though the presence and influence of Europeans and even of the US has largely decreased as the government has consolidated its rule. Tunisia is one of the places used by the UK and the US to interrogate terrorist suspects. In exchange the government receives financial support and tolerance of its limited democracy. The U.S. and Europe have continuously overlooked violations of human and political rights, though they also have directed funds towards increasing political competition and, more generally, promoting democracy. The Tunisian government has been severely criticized by the International Federation of Journalists for its curtailing of press freedom and its intolerance of criticism by foreign media. Journalists in Tunisia receive ample foreign support from professional organizations to actively report on electoral irregularities, but such support is supplied by private rather than governmental actors.

US (Fair)


US: The Tunisian Government enacted antiterrorism and money laundering legislation in 2003, using the legislation to try and sentence hundreds of young people in order to convince the U.S. and its European allies that there was a constant danger of terrorism in Tunisia. As a result, the United States and Europe overlooked many of the regime’s human rights violations, including the persecution and torture of activists, the refusal to recognize parties and associations, and the regime’s monopoly over media.
The goal of MEPI was to spread democracy and development by supporting relevant civil society institutions. Tunisia had bigger stakes in the initiative than other countries: not only was it one of the countries targeted by MEPI, but it also hosted one of its regional offices (Lufti Hajji,, June 2009)
All statements of the US Administration on the Tunisian issue were in the same direction: There was an appreciation of economic and social achievements and a call for political reforms. Indeed, on several occasions and during many meetings, the Tunisian government expressed its concern because Washington and other Western circles were repeating their ideas about the issue of human rights and democracy." Furthermore, Shawkat said that the United States considers the stability of Tunisia to be important and "the United States cannot risk transforming the entire Arab world into an arena of war and to wage conflicts everywhere". (Director Khalid Shawkat, Centre for Promoting Democracy in the Arab World, interview broadcast by Al-Jazeera TV in Doha, January 6, 2006)

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ): The General Secretary of the IFJ, Aidan White, told the 400 journalists attending the 22nd Congress of the Association of Tunisian Journalists (AJT) in Tunis on Sunday that the continuing pressure from the government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali threatened free expression and human rights and "seriously damages the image of Tunisian journalism." "We must send a clear message to those in power," he said, "that journalism must be freed of all forms of political control." The IFJ mission is meeting with human rights groups, media leaders and the leaders of a recently-formed trade union of journalists. A report on the results of the visit will be made to next month's international Executive Committee meeting of the IFJ in Brussels.

Turkey (2002L, 2007L, 2010R)
UN (alliance)
U.S. (alliance)
In the 2002 elections, the EU did not directly intervene but had an influence because the European Commission would decide whether to give Turkey a membership calendar depending on the outcomes of the election. In addition, when Turkey’s election board banned 60 candidates, they took into account EU reform laws. The U.S had a large stake in the 2002 elections since it needed Turkey to remain a strong ally for the Iraq invasion; it supported the military fraction against the Isalmist fraction. In the 2009 referendum, the EU supported the ruling party's constitution reform package, much to the err of the opposition, the Republican People's Party.
UN (alliance)
• 2002L: Turkey has pinned its hopes on the upcoming Copenhagen Summit of the EU leaders on Dec. 12 to get a membership calendar from the union, believing that the summit could be its last chance to catch the "EU train" before the union enlarges to become a body of at least 25 nations by the end of 2003...
According to press reports, the Commission believes that its report's evaluation is confined to technical matters and the decision on when Turkey could start accession negotiations is a matter to be handled by the EU leaders.
According to diplomatic sources, the Commission also would like to have a look at the results of Turkish general elections on Nov. 3, believing that the stance of the new government would be a decisive factor on whether or not Turkey could be given a calendar.
Some diplomatic sources highlighted that this attitude of the Commission could lead to a small friction between the Commission and the Council, because the Council might now have to shoulder full consequences of a controversy to stem from not giving a date to Turkey.
(“EU Commisssion Stalls Turkey,” Turkish Daily News, Oct. 8, 2002)
• 2002L: The Higher Electoral Board (YSK) banned on Friday 20 September nearly 60 candidates from the general elections to be held on 3 November 2002...
When asked whether or not they had taken into consideration the EU reform laws while taking those decisions, Algan said, "we also evaluated the EU reform laws, of course. We did what the current laws require so our decisions do not contradict with the laws which were adjusted with the EU."
(“Turkish electoral board rejects some 60 candidates,” BBC Summar of World Broadcasts, Sept. 21, 2002)
U.S. (alliance)
• 2002L: The prospects of an Islamist-dominated government are also worrying Turkey's western allies, not least the US, which is counting on Turkish support for the planned invasion of Iraq.
"It would be appalling if the Islamists were to be a part of the government," says a western diplomat." I don't trust these people one millimetre." A coalition between AKP and the ultra-nationalist MHP, which is opposed to economic reform, would be equally unwelcome. In 1980, when the Turkish generals seized power amid near civil war, two of the parties in coalition were the predecessors of AKP and MHP.
(“Islamist upturn threatens reform,” Euromoney, Sept. 2002)
• 2002L: The United States, Turkey's most influential ally, could easily help shift the country's political balance toward civilian rule, but declines to do so. The reason is no secret. Turkey's armed forces have long provided Washington with valuable military bases. During the cold war, Turkey offered proximity to the Soviet Union. Today, it provides air access to northern Iraq. Washington regularly sides with Turkey's generals over its democrats, especially when the generals claim to be defending secularism against elected Islamic politicians.
Last month, under pressure from the military, Turkey's highest electoral authority banned Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the country's most popular political party, from running in this fall's parliamentary election. At a political rally five years ago, when Mr. Erdogan was mayor of Istanbul, he recited a combative poem that advocated the advancement of the Islamic faith in Turkish society. The verse was ruled a crime, inciting religious hatred, and Mr. Erdogan was convicted and stripped of his political rights.
Although Mr. Erdogan's party had been leading by a wide margin in the polls, he is now ineligible to serve as Turkey's next prime minister, even if his party comes in first. It is hard to see how excluding the leader of a party favored by nearly a quarter of the voters strengthens democracy. Yet Washington failed to deliver a suitably strong protest.
(“Double Talk on Democracy,” New York Times, Oct. 6, 2002)

No intervention.

Yemen (1999P, 2001R, 2003L, 2006P, 2011L(postponed))

US (Fair)

Description: The US has been very vocal in opposing several constitutional amendments discussed in the Yemeni Congress that would allow for an unlimited number of presidential terms. The U.S. embassy has tried to act a mediator between the government and the opposition, seeking to delay the passing of the amendments enough time that elections can take place, and ensuring that the opposition will not boycott the polls. Iran has also sought to get a foothold in Yemeni politics by supporting the Huthist rebel group, but no interference in the elections has taken place as of yet, as the rebels are politically ostracized.


Iran: Asked if it is true that Yemen is preparing to officially accuse Iran of supporting the Huthists in Yemen, Al-Qirbi says: "Iran is an important Muslim country in our region. Like the rest of Arab countries, Yemen is keen to maintain its relations with Iran. Therefore, we deal with all events taking place and with interference by Iranian parties in Yemeni affairs and incitement by Iranian news media against the Yemeni Government in a diplomatic manner through which we hope Iran would change its positions, policies, and support for the rebel elements in Sa'dah. We hope Iran will positively respond to this. Otherwise, and as I said more than once, the Yemeni Government will adopt what it believes is in the interest of Yemen and security and stability in the region."
Al-Mutawwi then tells him that "based on statements by US officials, Washington is not convinced that the Yemeni Government has evidence proving Iranian involvement" in Yemeni events, he says: "Yes, we have heard some US officials these statements although we gave them upon their request a number of documents related to this issue. The Americans perhaps depend on their private sources to decide. We also know that the US sources sometimes make mistakes in giving the right information on what is going on. But whether the United States believes there is evidence or not does not really matter because the side that is primarily concerned with this interference is Yemen and the countries of the region that care for security and stability in Yemen."
Asked if he can give some evidence of Iranian involvement in supporting the Huthists, Al-Qirbi says: "There is evidence of financial transfers to these elements. Some persons were put on trial for spying and for having links with some Iranian groups linked to the Huthists. I think there is now evidence of smuggling of weapons. The Iranian boat seized in our territorial waters was one of the pieces of evidence confirming this involvement."

Asked who supports the Huthists, Al-Qirbi says: "The Huthists might have started as a movement that defended the Zaydi faith because they felt this was threatened, but later they deviated from this line as testified by many Zaydi leaders in Yemen. Their travel to Iran was also another turning point because they embraced the Twelver faith. This opened the door for Iran, and the Iranian religious authorities and seminaries adopted this group and extended aid to it on the basis that the members of this group are defending this faith. But they later turned into militia and armed elements trying to undermine security and stability and drag the region to a whirlpool of conflict that we are living now."

(Yemeni foreign minister on Sa'dah war, Huthi demands, Iranian support, dialogue; Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, in Arabic 1930 gmt 17 Dec 09)

USA: Yemen's ruling General People's Congress (GPC) party on Saturday lambasted as 'interference in internal affairs' a US State Department statement urging Sana'a to postpone constitutional amendments.
The Yemeni parliament has begun debating amendments to the country's constitution which would cancel the current two-term limit on the country's presidency, state news agency Saba reported. The House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, had agreed in principle to debate the constitutional amendments but referred it to a sub-committee for further study.
In a statement on Friday, the US State Department spokesman Mark C Toner urged the Yemeni government and the opposition to resume dialogue on electoral reforms.
'We urgently call on all parties to delay parliamentary action and to return to the negotiating table to reach an agreement that will be welcomed by the Yemeni people as well as Yemen's friends,' Toner said.
The debate on the constitutional changes began a few days after President Saleh said his government would forge ahead with preparations for parliamentary elections next year amid speculation of a boycott by opposition parties.

(Yemen slams US "interference" over constitution changes; Middle East News, January 1, 2011:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Comoros, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Angola (1998P, 2008L, 2009Ppostponed):
Description: Being an oil-rich nation, Angola does not depend on foreign aid as much as other neighboring countries, and is thus largely immune to foreign intervention. Most of the interference was done by the US, focused on securing a permanent peace settlement between the opposing MPLA and UNITA factions, and now consists of election-monitoring and provision of funding for and implementation of electoral assistance.
EU (Fair, Corruption)
US (Fair, Peace)
Japan (Fair)
UK (Fair)
EU: Many international observers for next month's elections will only deploy in Angola in the coming weeks, too late to monitor pre-election conditions on the ground. Only the European Commission will deploy 44 long-term monitors (, 2008)
US: US, through the State Department and USAID, was very involved in organizing free and fair elections in Angola; at first aimed at ensuring peace between the MPLA and UNITA political groups, which had been in conflict since the 1970’s, the U.S. interference eventually came to rest on the provision of election monitors and electoral education (, 2002)

1. UK, Japan, US: reaffirmed that the elections belonged to ‘no one but the Angolan people’. The role of the international community, including that of the Ambassadors’ Electoral Group in Angola, was threefold: first, public moral support and the sharing of experience; second, investigating and reporting on problems and progress in an objective and transparent way (‘not just unsubstantiated allegations’); and, third, financial and technical support. (, 2005)

Benin (2001P, 2003L, 2006P, 2007R, 2011P)
UN (fair)
EU (fair)
Economic Community of West African States (fair, peace)
US (fair)
African Union (fair)
Organization of African Unity (fair)
Observers from the UN, EU, Organization of African Unity, Economic Community of West African States sent monitors to the 2001 presidential elections. Foreign observers did not come to the 2003 legislative elections because they were confident in the maturity of Beninese people. The US and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, Indian Ocean Commission, Southern African Development Community, declared the 2006 presidential elections to be free and fair. The US gave Benin $325,000 to organize the presidential elections. ECOWAS declared the first round of 2006 presidential elections to be "generally acceptable" despite the disappearance of 1-1.3 million voter cards (Benin has only around 4 million registered voters). ECOWAS probably made its statement to prevent post-electoral violence. The UN chief Ban Ki-moon and observers from the African Union praised the 2011 presidential elections as free and transparent.
UN, EU, Organization of African Unity, Economic Community of West African States (fair)
• 2001P: President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin Friday [5 January] requested the international community to send observers to monitor his country's March presidential election.
Kerekou particularly asked the UN, European Union, OAU [Organization of African Unity], ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] and other governments and other non-governmental organizations with the means to send monitors.
(Benin’s presidnet invties internaitnoal observers to monitor election, Junary 8, 2001, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, PANA)
• 2003L: Foreign observers are not coming. They did not monitor the last legislative elections in 1999 either, saying they pinned their faith on the "maturity" of the Beninese people.
(Benin, Africa’s democratic model, to go to polls on Sunday, March 29, 2003, Agence France Presse)
US, Economic Community of West African States (fair)
• 2006P: The United States is satisfied with the conduct of presidential elections in Benin, according to a statement released Tuesday by the US embassy in Cotonou.
"The embassy is happy to note that the election was held on stipulated date, in conformity with extant law, despite the problems associated with delays in some voting centres and the absence or delay in delivery of certain voting materials," said the statement, a copy of which AFP received.
"The US government congratulates the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENA) of Benin for organising free, transparent and peaceful elections despite several financial and logistical difficulties," the text said.
These diffuculties arising from late release of funds to CENA, led to poor organisation of poll last Sunday, it said.
"The US government also congratulates profoundly the people of Benin for the calm, dignity and patience with which they carried out the electioneering campaign and on the voting day," added the text.
In another statement Tuesday, the embassy announced a grant of 325,000 dollars (260,00 euros/ 177.3 million FCFA) to CENA to organise the presidential poll.
Election observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also declared Tuesday that Benin's presidential election had been "transparent, peaceful and credible."
Benin's four million voters are expected to learn on Thursday which of 26 presidential candidates they have chosen to replace their outgoing leader, President Mathieu Kerekou, who has ruled for almost 34 years.
If none of those running wins a clear majority, the two frontrunners will compete in a run-off vote in two weeks.
(United states satisfied with Benin poll: embassy, March 7, 2006, Agence France Presse)
ECOWAS (peace)
• 2006P: A 60-member observer mission from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has praised the peaceful and 'generally acceptable' conduct of the first round of presidential elections held in Benin at the weekend (5 March 2006), despite acknowledging the alleged disappearance of between 1 million and 1.3 million voter cards in a country with only around 4 million registered voters. A statement from the mission said that 'the ECOWAS observers judge that the presidential elections in Benin on 5 March took place in a transparent and credible fashion and in a peaceful atmosphere. They consider that in general the poll was free, fair and democratic despite some deficiencies'. Meanwhile, other voices have joined front-running candidate Yayi Boni in denouncing fraud, including the inflation of voter numbers - former president Nicephore Soglo, who has two sons running as rivals in the race, denounced the clearly inflated voter numbers in certain administrative divisions, while a civil-society organisation in Abomey-Calavi accused electoral officials of inflating the lists. Rather than any single hidden hand behind such rigging, it is likely that electoral officials and many others are profiting from their access to the valuable voter cards, while a huge amount of money is being spent by the 26 aspirant candidates. ECOWAS expressed its firm confidence that the courts were capable of coping with any challenges that may arise. Meanwhile, media sources report that in results already counted from urban centres, Boni leads with around 40%, and that second-placed Adrien Houngbedji is now looking to alliances with other candidates, including Bruno Amoussou.
Significance: ECOWAS' pronouncement is bizarre if seen from the point of view of adherence to electoral standards, but the truth is that the regional organisation is primarily concerned with stability, not procedural regularity. Seeing such elections as at best a way of regulating competition between elites and the ethno-regional groups they represent, it is encouraging for all to accept imperfect results as a least-worst position, which will at least prevent further outbreaks of violence and instability in an already-volatile region. More perfectionist election observation missions, such as those from the European Union, have noticeably stayed away from Benin's electoral carnival for fear of being forced into the same uncomfortable gymnastics.
(Election 2006: 1 mil. Voter Cards Rumoured Missing in Benin Poll, March 8, 2006, World Markerts Analysis)
EU, ECOWAS, US (fair)
•2006P: International observers from the European Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United States have praised the polls and CENA's work under sometimes difficult circumstances.
The commission had to scramble to organise the second round after the incumbent Kerekou, who has ultimate constitutional authority, ignored a ruling from the constitutional court to postpone the vote until Wednesday.
(Benin’s newly elected Boni pledges ‘change and prosperity,’ March 24, 2006, Agence Presse France)
African Union, UN (fair)
• 2011P: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has saluted Benin's presidential elections, while an African Union observer mission on Tuesday said the vote held after two earlier postponements was free and transparent.
"The secretary-general commends Benin for setting a positive example once again in having organised these polls without major incident and despite significant challenges related to the introduction of a new voter registration system," a statement from Ban said.
He also called on candidates "to respect the final results and, if necessary, to resolve, through peaceful, legal means, any disputes that might arise from the electoral process."
The African Union mission to the West African nation, which included about 20 people, said that "Sunday's presidential election was held in conditions of freedom and transparency favourable to citizens' free expression of their choice."
But the mission headed by ex-Chadian prime minister Nagoum Yamassoum pointed out in its statement the late arrival of materials and delayed opening of polling stations, among other issues.
Partial and unofficial results published in newspapers on Monday indicated President Boni Yayi and his main challenger, Adrien Houngbedji, may be headed for a run-off. Official results were not expected before Wednesday.
Benin was using an electronic voting list for the first time, and the opposition claimed that more than a million people had been left off the roll -- a figure others said was exaggerated.
(UN Chief, African Union salute Benin vote, March 15, 2011, Agence France Presse)
Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, Indian Ocean Commission, Southern African Development Community (fair)
• 2006P: Three international electoral observation organisations present in Madagascar for the presidential elections, which took place on 3 December, have declared that Malagasy polls reached acceptable standards of transparency and accountability. The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) s Regional Observer Mission, led by Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger, deemed the elections acceptable, although not ideal. The Indian Ocean Commission (COI) branded them "satisfactory," while the Southern African Development Community (SADC) considered the elections "peaceful, transparent, credible, well-organised and reflective of the people's wishes". Despite these positive assessments, Roland Ratsiraka, nephew of the former ousted president Didier Ratsiraka, has been claiming widespread fraud by incumbent candidate Marc Ravalomanana.
Ratsiraka believes he should be present in a second round face-off and argues that ballots are being tampered with in several voting stations. Such anomalies have not been detected by electoral observers, who instead have pointed to the pitfalls in the electoral list drafting mechanisms, the vast disparities in candidate access to the media, and the lack of campaign finance ceilings all of which favour the incumbent. In provisional results, due to be confirmed by the Constitutional High Court, Ravalomanana s lead has been narrowing but remains substantial. The incumbent has won 63.39% of the votes, ahead of Roland Ratsiraka (9.23%), Herizo Razafimahaleo (7.52%) and Jean Lahiniriko (6.49%).
Significance: The approval by the international community of these latest presidential elections will prove to be a stabilising factor in the Malagasy post-electoral security environment. While Ratsiraka's complaints may allow him to mobilise hard-core partisans, his following is too weak to cause any significant threat to the political system at large. Other candidates have strayed away from high-profile claims of fraud, which should ensure a peaceful transition to Ravalomanana's second mandate. Recommendations made by EISA, COI and SADC will provide an important starting point for future electoral reforms.
(Election 2006: Despite Opposition Candidate's Protest, Malagasy Elections Deemed Acceptable by Poll Observers, December 6, 2006, Global Insight)

Botswana (2004L, 2004P, 2009L)
Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (fair)
Southern African Development Community (fair)
African Union (fair)
Electoral Institute of Southern Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) monitored the 2004 general elections. SADC and the African Union also sent monitors to the 2009 parliamentary elections.
1. Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (fair)
• 2004L,P: The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) deployed a Regional Observer Mission to observe the South African elections which were held on 12-14 April 2004. This is the mission’s assessment of the elections. The assessment covers the entire election period from the pre-polling up to voting and including counting as well as the results transmission process.
2. Southern African Development Community (fair)
• 2004L,P: Guided by the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic elections, as its terms of reference, the Mission deployed 15 teams of observers to cover all the 57 constituencies in the country. Field teams were created and given the responsibility to cover their areas of deployment so that the Mission could have a full picture of the electoral process in the country and be in a position to provide an informed assessment.
• 2009L: ZIMBABWE - HARARE – Saturday 10 October 2009, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) deployed eighty-eight elections observers throughout the length and breadth of the Republic of Botswana to observe the general elections to be held on 16 October 2009.
4. African Union (fair)
• 2009L: “The AU observer mission is convinced that there exist conducive and favourable conditions for the elections generally, and that sufficient preparatory work has been done to enable the people of Botswana to go to the polls and make their political choices based on free will,” she said.
Ms Bam who chairs the South African electoral commission said the AU mission is satisfied with the explanation given by IEC to shed light on why students sitting exams and over 25,000 civil servants will not vote on Friday. She added that operational hiccups should not be used to determine whether elections are free and fair.

Burkina Faso (2002L, 2005P, 2007L, 2010P)
Francophonie (fair)
European Elections Observatory (fair)
AU (fair)
EU (fair)
ECOWAS (fair)
Observers from Francophonie and the European Elections Observatory monitored the 2002 parliamentary elections. Observers from the African Union monitored the 2005 presidential and 2007 parliamentary elections. Observers from the African Union, EU, and ECOWAS monitored the 2010 presidential elections.
Francophonie, European Elections Observatory
• 2002L: International monitors from the Francophonie (the global organisation of French-speaking countries) and the European Elections Observatory will observe the polls alongside 2,000 national observers, the CENI has announced.
(“Burkina Faso; Parliamentary Elections in Ouagadougou,” May 1, 2002, Africa News, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)
• 2005P: from PAN AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (PANA), November 05, 2005 Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) plans to send a ten-member observer team, headed by French senator, Laurent Beteille, to Burkina Faso to monitor presidential elections scheduled there 13 November, official OIF sources affirmed here Saturday..."The OIF has helped Burkina Faso prepare for this election by training the media in election coverage techniques. The Organisation has also provided decisive support to the electoral Commission and the Constitutional Court. We are determined to help Burkina Faso hold a dispute-free election," Desouches emphasised.
(“Francophonie Organisation to Monitor Burkinabe Poll,” November 5, 2005, Panafrican News Agency Daily Newswire)
African Union
• 2005P: Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, chairman of the African Union, has been requested by Burkina Faso's national election commission to coordinate the observers' operations, said Moussa Michel Tapsoba, president of the commission.
(“1,400 observers to monitor Burkina Faso’s presidential election,” November 13, 2005, Xinhua General News Service.)
•2007L: African Union observers said voting was carried out in a "credible, free and transparent" fashion, while national radio reported "cases of fraud" in several voting stations in western Bobo-Dioulasso, the country's second-largest city.
(“Burkina Faso votes in legislative elections,” May 6, 2007, Agence France Presse)
African Union, EU
•2010P: The African Union, which had dispatched an observer mission to monitor the polls, has issued a communique affirming Gnassingbe's re-election. The regional body has said that the election took place in a free and transparent manner, although it did receive complaints over the authenticity of ballots and the centralisation of results. The European Union, which also sent a team of observers, also said that the polls were generally satisfactory, although there was speculation that vote-buying could have taken place and that election officials were not all properly trained. The opposition has challenged the result and has vowed to stage massive protests this week.
(“Election 2010: Regional Leaders Congratulate Togolese Incumbent Re-election; Opposition Plans Mass Protests,” March 9, 2010, Global Insight, by Kissy Agyeman-Togobo)
•2010P: A 75-member ECOWASObserver Mission has arrived in Burkina Faso to observe the presidential elections, which will take place on Sunday, 21st November 2010.
(“ECOWAD observer mission arrives in Burkina Faso for presidential elections,” November 19, 2010, African Press Organization)
• 2010P: The observer mission of the AU made up of 15 people and that of the ECOWAS made up of 70 people have hailed the organization of the election, which they described as transparent.
(“Burkina Faso incumbent president said wins poll,” November 26, 2010, BBC Monitoring Africa)

Burundi (2005R, 2005L&P, 2010L&P)
Belgium (Fair)
EU (Peace, Fair)
Description: With some of the worst statistics of East Africa, Burundi was up to recently involved in a crippling civil war. After the war ended and the political establishment stabilized, corruption levels in the government grew to concerning levels. Burundi’s elections are heavily government-controlled, but the EU seems to be content with the current state of its electoral processes, perhaps for fear that pressuring the government might create unnecessary political disturbances. Within the context of EU watch, and given its past colonial links, Belgium has also sought to participate in Burundian politics to render the electoral process more open and fairer.
Belgium : Belgian Cooperation and Development Minister Armand De Decker arrived in Bujumbura on Wednesday 2 February for a two-day visit to Burundi. He told the press at Bujumbura international airport that he was in Burundi to assess collaboration in terms of development cooperation and prepare for the future in the same sector.

Furthermore, he added that his visit was also to take stock of the political situation, end of transition and preparation for the elections. When asked on Belgium's position on the amendments to the interim constitution, Mr De Decker did not want to give an opinion on the subject, stressing that he was "respecting too much" the independent and autonomous decisions of the parliament to interfere in such issues.
Minister De Decker will meet the president of the republic Domitien Ndayizeye , the president of the Senate, the chairman of the CENI (Independent National Electoral Commission) and the special representative of the UN secretary-general in Burundi Carolyn McAskie .
He will also hold a meeting with minister of external relations and cooperation Therence Sinunguruza and the minister finance and planning. The meeting will end in the signing of a convention relating to funding support in expertise before leaving Bujumbura for Kigali.
(Belgian minister arrives in Burundi for talks on forthcoming polls; ABP news agency, Bujumbura, in French 0000 gmt 2 Feb 05)
EU: The world, represented in Burundi by an EU observer mission, deliberately ignored irregularities in last year’s many elections. It doesn’t like the results – re-election of the sole remaining presidential candidate, one-party rule – but it did nothing to prevent them.
(Burundi’s blemished election; Vincent Munié, Jan. 2011:
-      « Notre rôle est strictement technique. En aucun cas il ne peut être politique. Il s’agit juste d’observer la bonne tenue du scrutin selon des critères internationaux... » Fin avril 2010, à Bujumbura, M. Tommaso Caprioglio, chef adjoint de la Mission d’observation électorale de l’Union européenne (MOE UE) au Burundi, se défend de toute ingérence politique dans les scrutins qui doivent alors s’enchaîner : élections communales en mai, présidentielle en juin, législatives en juillet, et celle des chefs de colline en septembre.
Pourtant, le 28 mai, quatre jours à peine après le premier vote, la MOE UE entre dans le jeu politique en délivrant un satisfecit aux autorités. Alors que l’opposition dénonce en bloc une série d’infractions et conteste le résultat, l’aval européen s’apparente à un quitus accordé aux dirigeants burundais.
(L’Union Européenne, juge électoral ; Vincent Munié, December 2010,
-      President Pierre Nkurunziza won last month’s election with 92% of the vote on a probably inflated official turnout of 70%. European Union election observers implausibly gave it a clean bill of health, despite the opposition boycott. The landslide may encourage Mr Nkurunziza to put more of his fellow former rebels into key posts while fending off unrest in the countryside with populist promises.
(Pretty Squalid: East Africa’s weakest new component; By Mugere, The Economist, July 22, 2010)

Cameroon (2002L, 2004P, 2007L)
Commonwealth (fair)
Francophonie (fair)
UK (fair)
UN (fair)
US (fair)
Neatherlands (fair)
In the first round of the 2002 legislative elections, the Commonwealth, Francophonie, and the UK sent observers. The UN dispatched a special envoy to monitor the second round of elections in June. In the 2004 presidential elections, a delegation made up of former US congressmen and representatives from Francophonie said the polls were well organized and went smoothly. But the Paris-based International Federate of Human Rights Leagues claimed there were numerous irregularities and urged the international community to condemn. In the 2007 legislative elections, the embassies of the US, UK, and Netherlands said there were numerous irregularities. The UN also expressed concern over low voter registration.
Commonwealth (fair)
• 2002L: Cameroon will be holding legislative and municipal elections over the weekend and a Commonwealth Expert Team will be present to observe the polling. In total, 48 political parties will be contesting the legislative ballot in an election that could easily deteriorate into charges of rigging and opaque practice.
(Election 2002: Observers Fly in Ahead of Weekend Polls, June 21, 2002, World Market Analysis)
Francophonie, UK (fair)
• 2002L: There are two other delegations from the Francophonie and the United Kingdom. There are few independent local election observers apart from NEO such as the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church that requested for 1000 accreditations while only a meagre 50 have been approved. Others have an average of five observers.
(Cameroon; With Mixed Feelings, Cameroonians Went to Polls, June 24, 2002, Africa News)
UN (fair)
• 2002L: At the request of Cameroonian President Paul Biya, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday dispatched a special envoy for the country's upcoming elections,according to a U.N. spokesman.
U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters at the U.N. headquarters in New York that Annan had named Seydou Diarra, former prime minister of Cote d'Ivoire, as the envoy to Cameroon.
He said the envoy will convey the continued support of world body and its chief for the country's efforts towards democratization and appeal to all political parties to carry out the elections in a smooth and transparent manner.
The new envoy will also invite political parties and other national stakeholders to address the country's complex problems peacefully, Eckhard added.
Last month, Cameroonian President Paul Biya requested that the Secretary-General send U.N. observers to monitor the legislative and municipal elections scheduled for June 23.
(Annan Appoints UN Envoy for Cameroon Elections, Xinhua General News Service, June 18, 2002)
Francophonie (fair)
In response to the invitation sent by the Republic of Congo's authorities to the Francophone movement and within the framework of the movement's renewed pledge to support the ongoing electoral process in the country, HE Boutros Boutros Ghali, the secretary-general of the movement, has decided to send in a mission of observers to supervise the first round of the presidential elections to be held on 10 March 2002. Congo is a member of the Francophone movement.
The mission, which was set up by the inter-governmental agency of the Francophone movement, arrived in Brazzaville on 6 March. It is headed by HE Lihan Rama phonetic , a former Albanian ambassador to France and former personal representative of the head of state to the permanent council of the Francophone movement. It is made up of MPs and experts from Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Egypt, Niger, Senegal, Chad, and Togo. They are assisted by three officials of the inter-government agency of the Francophone movement.
(Congo: Francophone Movement’s team arrives for talks with politicians on poll, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 7, 2002)
US, Francophonie, International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (fair)
• 2004P: Cameroon President Paul Biya has been overwhelmingly re-elected for a fifth term in office, according to results from nearly all polling stations on Thursday, but his defeated opponents have cried foul and made a formal request for the vote to be annulled...
Most international observers - including a delegation of former US congressmen - have judged the election to be fair and transparent.
But on Thursday the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) added its voice to the opposition complaints of rampant fraud. It said there had been numerous irregularities, which it urged the international community to condemn.
(Cameroon election fair and transparent, October 15, 2004, IOL News,
• 2004P: Biya's opponents say some people were allowed to vote as many as five times.
However, electoral observers from the International Organisation of French-speaking countries and a delegation of former US Congressmen have said that the polls were well organised and went smoothly, although there were shortcomings.
(Cameroon’s president wins landslide, October 15, 2004, Tansa Musa)
US, UK, Neatherlands (fair)
• 2007L: In Cameroon, the embassies of United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands have given their verdict on the 22 July municipal and legislative elections.
In a joint communique, they said that the elections were marred by irregularities. The communique further said that inadequacies in the organization made the operation open to frauds and reduced the credibility of the electoral process in the eyes of the public opinion.
The new National Assembly will open its first session on Tuesday [21 August]. One of the main points of the session will be the installation of the house's bureau. Negotiations will be intense for the opposition which no longer has a parliamentary group and has to form alliances in order to gain entry in the bureau. [Passage omitted]
Source: Radio France Internationale, Paris, in French 0530 gmt 21 Aug 07
(Cameroon: Foreign embassies say July poll marred by irregularities, August 21, 2007, BBC Moitoring Africa- Political)
UN (fair)
• 2007L: The United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, has expressed concern over low voter registration in Cameroon, noting that elections can only reflect the majority will if there is massive registration and participation of citizens in the polls.
The Deputy Co-ordinator of the UNDP in Cameroon, Madame Dede Ekoue made the observation while handing over cheques worth FCFA 52.500.000 to some 10 NGOs on March 30 for the sensitisation of potential voters in Cameroon.
(Cameroon; UN Worried Over Low Voter Registration, April 8, 2007, Africa News)

Central African Republic (2005L, 2005P, 2001P, 2011L)
EU (fair)
Francophonie (fair)
UN (fair)
African Union (fair)
In the 2005 presidential elections, EU observers identified some irregularities but said they were not big enough to affect results. Observers from Francophonie and the UN said the elections were free and fair. In the 2011 legislative elections, the African Union said the polls were marred by weak voter turnout and pointed out bad organization. Observers from Francophonie also noted serious irregularities and poor organization. The UN asked Central Africa Republic to address alleged the irregularities.
EU (fair)
• 2005P: Military strongman Francois Bozize won nearly half the votes in presidential elections - but not enough to avoid a runoff against his main rival, a Central African Republic election official announced Thursday.
Bozize got 42.97 percent of votes to 23.53 percent for Martin Zinguele, a civilian from the governing party that he toppled in a 2003 coup, electoral commission chairman Jean Sacko announced on national radio. A simple majority was needed to avoid a runoff.

European Union observers at the elections had identified some irregularities, but said they were minor and could not affect results.
(Military strongman Francois Bozize wins most votes but not enough to avoid runoff in Central African elections, March 31, 2005, Associated Press Worldstream)
Francophonie, UN
• 2005P: The elections were monitored by the Francophonie (OIF) led by the former Burundian President, Pierre Buyoya. The OIF had more than 200 observers across the country. Apart from the OIF, national observers, those from the United Nations and NGOs also gave the elections the much-needed credibility that it deserved. Pierre Buyoya told CT that depite some few hurdles, the elections were free and fair without orgnisational lapses. According to the Chairiman of the National Elections Commission, Jean Willybiro-Sako, " Central Africans had showed the international community that they have turned their backs to the past and the future is promising. The elections have been free and fair; and no matter who wins, it is a victory for all Central Africans." Mr. Ngondji Bangante of the PIDPA (an NGO) equally voiced satisfation. " After visiting the polling stations, we noticed that there were minor problems. However, these hitches couldn't stain the overall credibility of the elections that were well organised," he told CT.
(Central African Republic; Democracy Gathers Steam, May 24, 2005, Africa News - Cameroon Tribune)
AU (fair)
• 2011L: Organisational problems and a weak voter turnout marred the Central African Republic's parliamentary election at the weekend, an African Union observer mission said Wednesday.
The opposition called for a boycott of Sunday's second round of voting after alleging "massive fraud" in last month's first round, which was held alongside a presidential election won by incumbent Francois Bozize.
The AU mission said its observers noted that voting material arrived late at some polling stations, scheduled voting hours were not always adhered to, and information about voting procedures was lacking.
There were also problems with identifications on voter cards, it said in a statement.
"Notwithstanding the failures observed, the mission noted that the voting took place calmly and serenely. The mission noticed generally a weak turnout of voters," it added.
(Logistics faults in Central African vote: African observers, March 30, 2011, Agence France Presse)
UN (fair)
• 2011P: The United Nations is encouraging electoral authorities in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) to address alleged irregularities in last month's presidential poll, which reportedly gave President Francois Bozize a second term but has left opposition candidates in an uproar over fraud.
CAR's Independent Electoral Commission last week announced that Mr. Bozize took 66 per cent of the vote in the 23 January election, which opposition candidates said was riddled with irregularities and intimidation.
The UN has not had an election observer role, but continues to follow the process closely through its peacebuilding mission, known as BINUCA, which has coordinated support of the international community for the elections through the electoral steering committee.
Since the announcement of the provisional election results, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative in CAR, Sahle-Work Zewde, has been encouraging authorities "to address allegations of irregularities in a transparent manner," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.
Ms. Zewde has also been encouraging candidates with grievances to follow the established legal procedures for lodging appeals, and for the Electoral Commission to communicate on the decisions regarding the polling stations.
The UN is also calling on the Constitutional Court to play its role fully and impartially as defined in the Constitution, added Mr. Nesirky.
(Central African Republic; UN calls for tackling alleged irregularities in Central African Republic Election, February 8, 2011, Africa News - UN News Service)
Francophonie (fair)
• 2011P: Hopes that a presidential election in the Central African Republic (CAR) could improve stability and security in a country plagued by armed groups have been undermined by the opposition's dismissal of the ballot - won by the incumbent Francois Bozizé - as a "charade"...
An observer mission deployed by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, which groups French-speaking countries, also noted "all kinds of difficulties and dysfunctions," according to its leader, Burundian former president Pierre Buyoya.
"The preparation of the voters' register, the printing and delivery of voter cards were the major cause of technical problems encountered," Buyoya told RFI radio.
"Irregularities and shortages were noted with regard to the rules and procedures in polling stations and the presence of officials in some polling stations," he said.
Two days before the vote, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said through his spokesman that the CAR elections were "are an important element of the recommendations of the Inclusive Political Dialogue held [in 2008] between the Government, the political opposition and other [armed] movements in order to consolidate peace in the country... and lay the foundation for stability and development."
"It is important that these elections are credible, transparent and inclusive and that the results are respected by all candidates and parties," the statement added...
In December 2010, the UN Security Council expressed "serious concern" about the security situation in CAR, where attacks by local and foreign armed groups, notably Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, "threaten the population as well as peace and stability of the Central African Republic and the sub-region".
Bruno Gbiegba of the NGO Network for the Defence of Human Rights told IRIN:
"Negotiation and dialogue with [CAR] rebels is needed. If the voice of weapons is the only one that people want to be heard, we'll not come out of the dark."
(Fraud Claims Dampens Hopes for ‘Peace-building’ Poll, February 2, 2011, UN Integrated Regional information Network Kenya)

Comoros (2001R, 2002P, 2004L, 2006P, 2009R, 2009L, 2010P)
Organization of African Unity (fair)
Francophonie (fair)
UN (fair)
South Africa (fair)
Arab League (fair)
China (fair)
US (fair)
African Union (fair)
The Organization of African Unity (OAU) and Francophonie monitored the 2010 referendum and delcared it free and fair. The 2002 presidential elections was marred by post-election violence. The OAU called for protesting opposition parties to accept that Azail Assoumani won. Protesting youths set fire to a UN compound; the UN helped coordinate the elections and stored the voting material. Observers from the Organization of African Unity, the Arab League, South Africa and Francophonie said the 2002 elections were "carried out correctly," despite violence and a boycott by two opposition candidates. Observers from the African Union approved the 2004 legislatives elections. South Africa, the African Union, and the Arab League monitored the 2006 presidential elections. Representatives from the African Union, China, Arab League and South Africa okayed the 2009 referendum, despite the government falsifying the voter turnout rate. Observers from the African Union, League of Arab States, the Indian Ocean Commission, South Africa, and the US okayed the 2009 legislative elections. Observers from the African Union, League of Arab States, and Francophonie hailed the 2010 presidential elections, but pointed out some minor errors.
Organization of African Unity, Francophonie (fair)
• 2001R: Forty-eight hours after the referendum of 23 December, observers from the Organization of African Unity, the Indian Ocean Commission and the Francophone Countries International Organization, held a press conference during which they expressed their views on the elections...
A statement issued at the end of the press conference pointed out the "seriousness and spirit of responsibility" shown by members of voting stations despite the short delay experienced in some areas due to the installation of electoral materials, which, however, could not affect the voting process.
The observers also said Comoran politicians and voters had acquired and accumulated experience which could serve in future elections.
Lastly, the statement expressed the hope that future elections would be organized the same way. In the statement, the observers also said the recent referendum was democratic, free and transparent.
(Comoros: Observers hail organization of referendum, December 29, 2001, BBC Worldwide Monitoring)
Organizations of African Unity, UN (peace)
• 2002P: A newly-appointed electoral body in the Comoros on Thursday confirmed Azali Assoumani as the winner of last month's disputed presidential election.
The commission of five magistrates announced that the former military strongman had secured 75 percent of the vote...
Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Special Envoy, Francisco Caetano Madeira of Mozambique, called on all Comorian parties to accept the decision.
UN Development Programme (UNDP) representative in the Comoros, Andre Carvalho, told IRIN on Thursday: "The situation is calm, and apart from a few groups of Azali supporters celebrating their victory, everything is thus far under control.
(Comoros; Assoumani Claims Victory in Comorian Presidential Elections, May 9, 2002, African News)
UN (fair)
• 2002P: Youths set fire to a U.N. compound in Comoros to protest a presidential election that was marred by violence and boycotts by two of the three candidates, an official said Thursday.
The fire destroyed the main generator and a building in the compound in Moroni, the capital of the three-island Indian Ocean republic, before it was put out Wednesday night, Andre Carvalho, U.N. Development Program representative, said by telephone.
The UNDP was among a group of organizations that coordinated Sunday's election, and most of the voting materials were kept in the agency's compound.
(Youths set fire to UN compound in Comoros to protest elections, April 18, 2002, Associated Press)
Organization of African Unity, Arab League, South Africa, Francophonie (fair)
• 2002P: Comoros' presidential elections were "carried out correctly," a team of international election observers said Tuesday, despite sporadic violence and a boycott by two opposition candidates and one of the archipelago's three islands...The team of election observers included representatives from the Organization of Africa Unity, the Arab League, South Africa and la Francophonie, an organization of French-speaking nations.
(International observers satisfied with Comoros presidential elections, April 16, 2002, Associated Press, by George Mwangi)
African Union (fair)
• 2004L: The African Union (AU) gave its stamp of approval late Monday to last weekend's first round of legislative elections in the Indian Ocean's Comoro islands, but urged polling authorities there to shape up their logistics.
"The African Union observer mission believes that the first round of island legislative elections held on March 14 took place under all the usual conditions of regularity despite the existence of imperfections in preparing electoral lists," read an AU statement.
(Comoros vote gets African Union stamp of approval, March 16, 2004, Agence France Presse)
South Africa, AU, Arab League, France (fair)
• 2006P: The elections are being carefully scrutinised by Comoros' neighbours, in particular South Africa, as well as by the African Union (AU) and Arab League.
South Africa is leading a 460-strong AU mission which began operations in the capital Moroni on 30 March.
The mission consists of civilian and military police to provide security, as well as poll observers. One of its key is to ensure that Comoran troops do not interfere in the voting.
The government has ordered its soldiers to remain in their barracks.
France has pledged 1.2m dollars to be channelled through the UNDP.
(Q&A: Comoros elections, April 14, 2006, BBC News
African Union, China, Arab League, South Africa (fair)
• 2009R: The constitutional referendum held on 17 May at the behest of President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi was officially a landslide victory for the Yes vote: 93.9% in favour with a turnout of 51.76%. But the reality is altogether different. The poll had been held under a high level of army protection and in a climate of widespread indifference. The least partisan observers estimate the turnout at between 15% and 20% throughout the country as a whole and 5% on the island of Mohéli. But Sambi cares not a jot and has already announced measures to implement the constitutional reforms that had been the subject of the poll. This, however, divides opinion in the international community. The split became apparent during the meeting on 19 May with the President of the Executive of Ngazidja, Abdoul Wahab. The special envoy of the African Union, Francisco Madeira, from the outset "welcomed the well-organised referendum, which was held in a calm and transparent climate" and deplored the boycott advocated by the opposition. He asked the Presidents of the islands of Ngazidja and Mohéli to join the fold. His words were approved by the Ambassador of China and by the representative of the Arab League. But the South African Ambassador, Masilo Mabeta, took a completely different stance. In his view, the international community had noted "that the referendum is very controversial, that the referendum poll is stained with serious irregularities, that the voters have strongly snubbed the polling stations and that this initiative is of a nature to endanger the national reconciliation process and generate a new separatist crisis". Mabeta subsequently left the building before the end of the meeting. For their part, the chargés d'affaires of the French and US embassies, as well as the representative of the OrganisationInternationale de la Francophonie (OIF), kept a cautious silence.
(Strongly contested results of the referendum in the Comoros, May 23, 2009, Indian Ocean Newsletter)
African Union, Francophonie, League of Arab States (fair)
• 2009R: Moroni, 16 May 2009: A total of 334,637 voters have been called to the ballot box tomorrow Sunday 17 May in a referendum on constitutional review to respond by voting "Yes" or "No" to the question: "do you approve of the present draft law on reviewing some sections of the 23 December 2001 constitution?"...
Those opposed to the referendum asked the population not to go to the ballot and to even reject the sending of any electoral materials. 17 May is considered a "high risk day" and we are expecting a record abstention rate, they said.
At the National Independent Electoral Commission, the arrival of international observers was announced. The observers are accredited by the African Union, the International Organization of the Francophonie and the League of Arab States, according to Mr Djazila.
African Union, League of Arab States, the Indian Ocean Commission, South Africa, US (fair)
• 2009L: The international election observer mission in the Comoros held a press conference yesterday afternoon at Moroni Hotel to unveil their observations following the first round of elections of deputies and island councillors. The international mission, composed of 40 representatives of organizations and countries, including the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Indian Ocean Commission, South Africa and the United States of America, proclaimed "the elections were conducted in a calm atmosphere and without any major incident". In its final statement, the observer mission said the elections were characterized by "a visible setting up of polling stations, disciplined behaviour of voters" and "respect for the secrecy of the vote".
The international observers also noted "some flaws in the organization of the elections". These are notably: "some mistakes in the voters register , low voter turnout, delays in the start of the electoral operations following a delayed and inadequate distribution of poll materials". Also cited as flaws in the process were: "lack of knowledge of electoral procedures by some officials at polling stations, the lack of knowledge of voting operations by some voters" and "gaps in communication between poll centre officials and the National Independent Electoral Commission".
(Poll observers give thumbs up to first round of Comoran elections, December 9, 2009, BBC Monitoring Africa)
African Union, League of Arab States, Francophonie (fair)
• 2010P: Less than 24 hours after the announcement of provisional results of the Comoros elections, the international community hailed the process, adding that there were some errors but not big enough to mar the vote. The observers gave some recommendations for the smooth running of the second round.
The elections for the president of Comoros and governors of the three islands were conducted "in accordance with the law", said observers from the African Union, the League of Arab States and the International Organization of Francophonie who were deployed to Comoros to observe the elections which were held last Sunday, 7 November. This statement was made 24 hours after the announcement of provisional results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in Moroni.
The elections of 7 November 2010 were "free, transparent and fair", said the international community at a press conference held yesterday in the afternoon. Mr O. Amed, the head of the African Union observer mission gave the mission's verdict on the elections across the three islands.International observers, led by Francesco Madeira, the representative of the AU Commission president, Professor Andre Salifou, head of the International Organization of Francophonie mission and Mrs Nabila Goddi, head of the League of Arab States mission, welcome the voter turnout that was "satisfactory", especially in Moheli, where they said "the stakes were greater."
However, the international observers identified some shortcomings in the elections. The observers regret among other things, that " some polling stations opened late, few local observers." However "considering previous elections, these shortcomings can not mar the electoral process," the international mission said.
The observers made recommendations for a smooth second round on 26 December, including "capacity building through training of election officials and the police force so that there is better control of voting operations and security. " The observers also recommended "a better arrangement of polling booths to ensure the secrecy of voting and improving lighting in the polling station."
(International observers hail Comoran polls, November 11, 2010, BBC Monitoring African - Political)

Congo (2002R, 2002P, 2002L, 2007L, 2009P)
Francophonie (fair)
International Federation of Human Rights (fair)
EU (fair, peace)
African Union (fair)
Economic Community of Central African States (fair)
In the 2002 referendum to approve a new controversial constitution that would extend the president's powers, Congo did not invite international observers. A delegation from Francophonie observed the 2002 legislative elections. The EU monitored the 2002 presidential elections and declared it free and fair, but the International Federation of Human Rights said the EU avoided condemning the flawed election "just to avoid spilling oil on flame fire." However, the EU did denounce the low level of participation by opposition parties throughout the electoral process. In the 2007 legislative elections, monitors from the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States criticized the poor organization of the elections; nevertheless, they said the ballot was "regular, free and transparent."
• 2002R: A new controversial constitution has been approved in Congo-Brazzaville by an overwhelming majority.
According to government figures, 84.26% of voters in Sunday's referendum favoured the draft constitution and only 11.29% voted against it.
The official turnout was just under 78% of 1.6 million eligible voters, despite calls by a dozen opposition parties for a boycott...Non-governmental human rights groups denounced the voting process, citing irregularities. International observers were not invited to supervise the referendum vote.
(Congo approves new constitution, January 24, 2002, BBC News)
Francophonie (fair)
• 2002L: A delegation from the organisation of French-speaking nations (OIF) has arrived here to act as observers during the Republic of Congo's legislative vote, the OIF said in a statement Thursday.
Voters will on Sunday cast their ballots in Congo's first parliamentary election since 1993, after the government decided to go ahead with the vote despite fighting near the capital, Brazzaville.
The OIF delegation, which includes representatives from Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, France and Egypt, will "observe the electoral process on an impartial and netural basis," the statement said.
(French-speaking observers arrive for Congo poll, May 23, 2002, Agence France Presse)
International Federation of Human Rightsa (fair), EU (fair, peace)
• 2002P: Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The International Federation of Human Rights (IFHR) and the Congolese Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) on Monday expressed "bitter disappointment" at the European parliamentary observer mission for the Congolese presidential election on 10 March, an official source said.
The OCDH and IFHR did not understand how Joaquim Miranda, chairman of the European Parliament's Development Commission, could commend "the current calm in Congo Brazzaville" when violent clashes resumed 29 March in the Pool region south of Brazzaville, the rights groups wrote Pat Cox, president of the European Parliament.
They "cannot accept that the presidential election (in Congo) be described by the European Parliament, following its observer mission, as free and fair, just to avoid spilling oil on flame fire," as the monitors said in a briefing to the European Parliament on 18 April.
Both groups expressed "particularly indignation" at the ACP/EU Parity Parliamentary Assembly's statement "commending the end of the war in Congo", through a "peaceful election without major irregularities", leading to "a clear mandate for President Denis Sassou Nguesso, with a majority of votes over the seven other candidates".
They cited that "the resumption of fighting in Congo shows the incomplete and partial character of the government's process to restore peace unilaterally".
They also expressed "concern at the European observers' refusal to alert the international community on the reality of an election whose results were a forgone conclusion regarding how staged managed and ban was placed on exiled opposition members".
(Rights Groups Question EU Election Monitors to Congo, April 23, 2002, Panafrican News Agency Daily Newswire)
EU (fair)
• 2002P: The European Union (EU) has stated that it "deplores the low level of participation by opposition parties throughout the [presidential] electoral process and the withdrawal of several candidates in the days preceding the poll" in the Republic of Congo (ROC).
In a landslide victory, Denis Sassou-Nguesso was elected president of the ROC for the next seven years, having won over 89 percent of the vote in elections held on 10 March. This was the first time Sassou-Nguesso was elected to the presidency, an office he first seized in 1979 and held until 1992, and then seized again in 1997 until this month's elections.
Former Prime Minister Andre Milongo, considered to be Sassou-Nguesso's main challenger, withdrew from the race on 8 March, claiming irregularities. He urged his supporters to boycott the elections, but cautioned against resorting to violence. None of the six challengers that remained in the race garnered more than 3 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, former President Pascal Lissouba, who defeated Sassou-Nguesso in the country's last presidential election, held in 1992, and former Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas, were barred from entering the race by the revised constitution, which requires candidates to have resided continuously in the country for at least two years before the election. Both are living abroad in exile, having been tried and convicted in absentia for crimes allegedly committed during the civil war that plagued the nation throughout the 1990s.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the EU urged the Congolese government "to put corrective measures in place to ensure that the forthcoming parliamentary elections are better organised". It repeated its call to the government and opposition parties to intensify and maintain the national dialogue, and noted that it remained "ready to assist the Congolese authorities in activities aimed at strengthening the rule of law, respect for human rights and consolidation of the democratisation process in the country".
The EU had an election observer mission in the ROC from 22 February to 15 March. On the basis of the conclusions of that mission, the EU said it "would draw the attention of the Congolese government to certain shortcomings it noted in the organisation and conduct of the presidential election, particularly the difficulty for the public to gain access to electoral texts, lack of control over changes to the electoral rolls, the late distribution of polling cards, the insufficiently clear division of tasks between the national electoral commission and the administration, and the limited access of some candidates to the national media".
The EU statement also noted that the Central and Eastern European countries associated with the EU, the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, had aligned themselves with this declaration.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) was also critical of the election. "The government's refusal to establish an independent election body to oversee the voting certainly suggests that President Sassou-Nguesso was determined to stay in power by fair means or foul; at the same time, however, much of the population is prepared to accept this as the price of peace, deeming a massaged election result preferable to an internationally unrecognised government or, worse, a re-fragmentation of military power," the EIU said on 12 March.
Despite its criticism, the EU said the election had "provided an opportunity for the Congolese people to express their desire for peace and their rejection of violence". It welcomed "the calm and commitment of the Congolese people", and noted that "the democratic process which has just begun, and which the EU hopes will deepen, constitutes an essential prerequisite for a lasting peace and for the development of the country in a context of political stability, guaranteeing the free exercise of civic rights and fundamental freedoms".
Sassou-Nguesso, 59, first seized power in a 1979 military coup. Following his defeat to Lissouba in 1992, he again seized power in October 1997, in advance of elections in which he was due to oppose Lissouba. Sassou-Nguesso, in turn, faced a rebellion launched by militias loyal to Lissouba and Kolelas in 1998. Civil war displaced up to one-third of the ROC's 3.1 million residents and left some 10,000 dead. Cease-fire agreements were signed by all sides at the end of 1999.
The ROC, an oil-rich country bordering the much larger Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a former French colony that gained independence in 1960.
(Congo-Brazzaville; EU “Deplores” Lack of Opposition in Vote for President, March 28, 2002, Africa News)
African Union, Economic Community of Central African States (fair)
• 2007L: With ballot counting under way after the first round of legislative elections in the Republic of Congo (ROC), the widespread chaos and malpractices during voting could cast doubt on the final outcome, observers and residents in the capital Brazzaville said.
Polling stations opened late and voter registers and ballot papers were not available in many polling stations, observers from the African Union and Economic Community of Central African States said in a statement.
According to local observers, the polls were marred by poor organisation and most polling stations opened long after 7am.
"In Talangaï area, north of the capital, no polling centre opened before 3pm because of delays in the distribution of electoral materials," said Quentin Banga, an observer from a civil society group known by its French acronym, CAPE. The group deployed 40 observers throughout the country.
(Election Marred by Chaos and Malpractices, June 28, 2007, UN Integrated REgional Information Network - Kenya AAGM)
African Union, Economic Community of Central African States (fair)
• 2009L: BRAZZAVILLE (AFP) — Congo's government on Monday dismissed opposition claims of a dismal turnout for the presidential vote as election observers issued conflicting reports on the fairness of the ballot.
The opposition has claimed turnout was less than 10 percent for Sunday's ballot in which President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the country for a total of nearly a quarter century, was expected to win a new seven-year term.
Rights group the Congolese Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) said participation was "very weak". Some candidates had called for a boycott after claims that the electoral roll had been grossly overinflated.
...The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) said the ballot was "regular, free and transparent". The AU had 29 observers and the ECCAS 12.
In a joint statement they said: "The electoral campaign took place in a calm and serene atmosphere."
(Row rages over Congo presidential poll, AFP, July 12, 2009, Laudes Martial Mbon,

Congo Democratic Republic of Zaire (2006L, 2006P, 2007L)
UN, EU (peace, fair)
Carter Center (fair)
South Africa (peace, fair)
UN and EU forces kept peace in the country during the 2006 general election, often clashing with rebel forces. More than 1,300 international election observers, including the Carter Center, monitored the election. South Africa’s ambassador negotiated to Congolese authorities to release interim results in the election.
1. UN, EU (peace, fair)
• 2006L/2006P: EU forces joined UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC) to help the stability of the election. EU forces protected civilians under threat of physical violence and evacuations in case of emergency.
Collection of the ballot results lead to clashes between international forces and rebels.
“Heavy fighting continued across Kinshasa early today after a dramatic night in which a top South African envoy was among foreign diplomats rescued by European peacekeepers from the home of the DRC vice-president… But it was likely to be renewed clashes between troops loyal to incumbent President Joseph Kabila and those commanded by his deputy, Jean-Pierre Bemba - the two remaining candidates in Congo's historic elections - who clashed last night.”
• 2006L/2006P: “There will be some 1,300 international election observers, hundreds of Congolese observers, and several thousand election witnesses—monitors who belong to political parties and have the ability to launch an official complaint if they witness irregularities.”
2. The Carter Center (fair)
• 2006L/2006P: “The Carter Center was invited to observe the Democratic Republic of the Congo's 2006 elections by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), and staff from Atlanta visited the DRC on two occasions in 2004 to make preparations and meet with a range of political participants.”
3. South Africa (peace, fair)
• 2006L/2006P: “Congolese authorities have been persuaded by envoys from countries, with South Africa playing a leading role, to start releasing interim results in the DRC elections from Tuesday.
In the tense capital, "the climate was being poisoned" by claims from political parties and candidates and the radio and TV stations they owned, SA's ambassador in Kinshasa, Sisa Ngombane, said on Sunday.”

Djibouti (2003L, 2005P, 2008L, 2011P)
African Union (fair)
League of Arab States (fair)
Francophonie (fair)
US (fair?)
Arab League (fair)
Inter Governmental Authority on Development (fair)
In the 2003 legislative elections, monitors from the African Union, League of Arab States and Francophonie said that the elections "have been free from irregularities." In the 2011 presidential elections, U.S. based group Democracy International (funded by USAID) was accused of helping the opposition. In the 2011 presidential elections, the African Union, Arab League, Inter Governmental Authority on Development and Francophonie sent observers.
African Union, League of Arab States, Francophonie (fair)
• 2003L: The legislative elections were monitored by the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) and by international observers from the African Union, the League of Arab States and the Intergovernmental Organisation of Francophonie (OIF). These observers stated that "the electoral operations have been free from irregularities". They also noted that "barring a few isolated incidents, the voting took place not only in good conditions but also in a generally calm climate".
(Djibouti Parliamentary Chamber Historical Archive, Elections Held in 2003,
• 2005P: Excerpt from report entitled "Francophone Organization and Arab League Observer Missions sign joint communication" published byDjibouti news agency ADI web site
Djibouti, 10 April: By virtue of their respective monitoring mandates, the Francophone and the Arab League observer missions, which have been in the country since 3 April, this morning released a joint communique.
The two observer missions opened their communique, saying on the eve of the election date, they held talks with political and administrative authorities, leaders of various political parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Djibouti.
Members of the two missions visited Djibouti city as well as Arta, Ali Sabieh, Dikhil, Tadjourah and Obock. During their visits between northern and southern parts of the country, they visited 200 polling centres out of the 275 set up all over the country. Passage omitted
In their communique the observer missions mentioned the calm peaceful conditions under which the elections were held, except for an incident observed in Cite Arhiba, which fortunately did not affect the electoral process; the improvement of operations at the polling centres, especially in Djibouti, which had the required ballot material (transparent ballot boxes, voters' roll, indelible ink, etc)
(Arab League, Francophone observers hail Djibouti election, April 10, 2005, BBC Monitoring Africa - Political - ADI News Agency)
US (fair)
• 2011P: With just over three weeks to go before Djibouti's upcoming presidential election, the government in the Red Sea state has ordered the United States-based election monitoring team leave the country, casting further shadow over the legitimacy of the poll. Democracy International, Inc. (DI), which works on democracy and governance programmes worldwide on behalf of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other development partners, has been in Djibouti since July 2010 as a long term election observer. But according to Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, the group has been ordered to quit the country as it had failed to maintain neutrality and that the country was seeking to avert scenes of "chaos and upheaval" similar to those across the Middle East and north Africa, the Financial Times has reported. Ali Youssouf's statement refers to unprecedented anti-government protests that took place in the in Djibouti City on 18 February, with the protesters demanding an end to President Ismael Omar Guelleh's rule (seeDjibouti: 21 February 2011:). DI appeared to have fallen foul of the government for appearing to side with the opposition, with its head in Djibouti Chris Hennemeyer suggesting divisions within President Ismael Omar Guelleh's government during an interview with the Washington Post.
The foreign minister claimed the US group had several times exhibited "very very concerning behaviour", offering food and water to demonstrators, carrying participants in their cars. DI has denied all the allegations.
Significance:Djibouti is due to hold its next presidential election on 8 April 2011, from which Guelleh was originally barred from contesting, but is doing so after his controversial move to amend the constitution to remove the clause which prevents the incumbent from seeking a third term in office. The absence of any serious challengers is likely to ensure Guelleh's re-election, but the absence of any serious challengers in the ballot and international observers to monitor the event is likely to undermine the incumbent's expected victory (seeDjibouti: 15 March 2011:).
(Election 2011: International Observer Mission Quits Djibouti Ahead of Presidential Poll, Global Insight, March 16, 2011)
African Union, Arab League, Inter Governmental Authority on Development, Francophonie (fair)
Text of report by state-owned Djibouti news agency ADI website on 5 April
The minister of interior and decentralization, Yacin Elmi Bouh, today received the international observers in charged with supervising voting operations during Friday's election [8 April].
The international observers, who number 33 including 27 from the AU as well as six from the Arab League, held talks with the minister on what is expected with regard to organization during the 8 April election.
It is to be recalled that other observers particularly from IGAD [Inter Governmental Authority on Development] and the International Francophone Organization are expected in Djibouti for the upcoming elections
(Djibouti minister, foreign observers hold talks ahead of 8 April polls, April 7, 2011, BBC Monoitring Africa - Political)

Equatorial Guinea (2002P, 2004L, 2008L, 2009P):
Description: Intervention in Equatoguinean elections are all domestic, result of the government’s control over electoral competition. Foreign powers play no role in electoral outcomes, with the US usually offering the regime tacit support.

Eritrea ()




Ethiopia (2000L, 2005L, 2010L):

Description: The key method of international electoral intervention in Ethiopia by foreign actors is “non-interference”. The U.S. and China (to a less significant degree) have continuously supported Ethiopia’s EPRDF, the ruling party, allowing its violations of international human rights law and democratic electoral procedures to go unpunished. U.S. interests include Ethiopia’s ability to hold Islamic radicalism in check in the Horn of Africa. Chinese interests are related to Ethiopia’s wealth of natural supplies, which it has been exploring through private investment as elsewhere in Africa.

1. China – “non-interference campaign”
2. USA - It is also futile to expect foreign powers would effectively condemn and pressurize a regime that may slaughter Ethiopians but they say no matter what they need in order to pursue their own missions in the vital region of the Horn and Africa as a whole.
1. The role of donors - aid groups and Western countries - in Africa's second most populous country has also been questioned by international human rights groups which accuse them of turning a blind eye to violations. Merera Gudina claims his campaign has been obstructed. Relations between the European Union and Ethiopia took some time to recover after the head of the observer mission to the 2005 election, Ana Gomez, concluded that those polls had failed to meet international standards. The EU is again observing this election, along with the African Union. Local embassies including the US - Ethiopia's biggest donor - have been warned against attempting to observe the elections themselves. The government says it does not want its bilateral relations complicated by electoral hassles.
2. The report says that although Ethiopian media coverage of campaign events generally was neutral and proportional, the Voice of America's Amharic Service had been jammed during the last two weeks of the campaign, which "contributed to reduce the possibility for voters to receive information from a wider range of sources."

Gabon (2001L, 2005P, 2006L, 2009P)
Francophonie (fair)
OAU (fair)
France (alliance?)
African Union (fair)
In the 2001 general elections, Francophonie and OAU sent in observers, who concluded the first round of the parliamentary elections had irregularities and organizational problems. In the 2009 presidential elections, the opposition party accused the French of supporting Ali Bongo or that France had done nothing to prevent Bongo from his influence and wealth to win the presidential vote. Protesters set fire to the French consulate and attacked the compound of the French oil company Total. Observers from France said the 2009 presidential elections took place under "acceptable conditions." The African Union observers okayed the elections despite irregularities.
Francophonie, OAU (fair)
• 2001L: LIBREVILLE, GABON (PANA) - GABON'S GENERAL ELECTIONS SUNDAY WERE BEING monitored by international observers, including 12 from the Francophony International Organisation (OIF), and six from the OAU.
The observers at the weekend met with government officials and representatives of different organisations involved in the electoral process AHEAD OF SUNDAY'S BALLOTING.
The foreign monitors included French Senator Francois Trucy and Cape VERDE'S FORMER PRESIDENT, ANTONIO MASCARENHAS MONTEIRO WORKING FOR THE (OIF).
(Foreign Observers for Gabon’s Sunday Elections, December 9, 2001, Panafrica News Agency Daily Newswire)
• 2001L: International observers said Tuesday that the first round of a parliamentary election in Gabon was marred by irregularities which needed to be addressed.
Observers from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) said many voting stations were lit only by candles, and security forces were often present and sometimes got involved in the "technical and operations of voting and counting."
"Organisational inadequacies and errors in applying electoral rules complicated the vote," their joint statement said.
"International observers express the hope that the national electoral commission and political actors can, at an appropriate time and in a consensual way, remedy these inadequacies," it said.
The statement also cited "multiple errors on electoral lists," without elaborating.
(Observers say Gabon parliamentary vote highly disorganized, December 11, 2001, Agence France Presse)
Francophonie, Economic Community of Central African States (fair)
• 2005P: Gabon's President Omar Bongo, who has been in power since 1967, was re-elected for seven more years after winning 79.2 percent of the votes cast in weekend election, officials said late Tuesday.
Bongo crushed at the polls his two main opponents, the "radical" Pierre Mamboundou, 59, who received 13.6 percent of the vote, and former top government minister, Zacharie Myboto, 67, with 6.6 percent, said Interior Minister Christian Clotaire Ivala, citing figures from the National Election Commission.
Voter turnout in the oil-rich former French colony was at 63.3 percent of the nearly 555,000 Gabonese who were eligible to cast ballots.
(Gabon’s 38-year president Bongo re-elected, November 29, 2005, Agence France Presse)
France (alliance)
• 2009P: The clashes that erupted following Gabon's disputed presidential elections reflect not only anger at the results of the August vote - which proclaimed Ali Bongo the winner - but also at former colonial ruler France. Paris has denied any involvement in the vote, but the unrest raises new questions at what has changed - and what has stayed the same - when it comes to France's relations with its onetime African colonies.
They call it France-Afrique. France's historically close - critics argue suffocatingly close - relations with its former African colonies, and sometimes with African strongmen and undemocratic regimes. Few ties have been closer than those beween France and Gabon, particularly under long-time Gabonese leader Omar Bongo.
Mr. Bongo died in June. And last week, Gabonese authorities announced his son - former defense minister Ali Bongo - had won August presidential elections to succeed him.
The announcement drew violent protests. Opposition supporters looted stores and clashed with security forces. They claimed the elections were riddled with fraud. But their ire was also directed at France, for allegedly having supported the younger Bongo.
Protesters set fire to the French consulate and attacked the compound of the French oil company Total. They were angry that France had done nothing to prevent Ali Bongo from allegedly using his influence and wealth to win the presidential vote.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner condemned the violence, and said the French government was ready to help French nationals - including repatriate them - if needed.
Earlier this week, the French government announced President Nicolas Sarkozy had sent a letter of congratulations to Ali Bongo for his victory. But French authorities deny playing any role in the outcome.
Analyst Alain Antil, head of the Africa Program at the French Institute of International Affairs in Paris, agrees France played no part in the vote.
But Antil says that doesn't mean France has played a neutral role when it comes to Gabon, or that its historically close ties with the older Bongo won't continue under his son.
President Sarkozy came to power in 2007 vowing a 'rupture' in traditional French-Africa ties. He said France would support democratically elected governments. But, Antil says, Gabon raises questions on whether the old 'France-Afrique' has vanished forever.
Earlier this week, a close confidante of Mr. Sarkozy, Robert Bourgi told French radio that the elder Bongo and other African leaders pressured the president to remove a top French official that they dislike from his role in dealing with developing nations.
Bourgi told French radio that Mr. Sarkozy had responded by saying the official in question would be leaving his post shortly. It's unclear whether Bourgi's description of the events are true. But the official did leave his post.
Relations between Gabon and France may be strained by another matter - an ongoing corruption investigation targeting three African leaders, including former president Bongo. Following Mr. Bongo's death, the plaintiffs in the case, including corruption watchdog Transparency International, said they would pursue the case against Mr. Bongo's relatives.
Meanwhile, analyst Antil says ties between France and other parts of Francophone Africa are changing.
Antil says that when it comes to Benin, Mali, Madagascar and Ivory Coast, ties have developed in a healthier way. But problems remain, he says - and France's relations with Gabon are among them.
(France’s Role in Gabon’s Politics Unchanged, September 10, 2009, Voice of America News)
African Union, France (fair)
• 2009P: African Union observers say the vote was held in a general atmosphere of calm and tranquility despite irregularities that included the presence of security officers around the polls, confusion about electoral laws, the absence of officials during vote counting, and some ballot boxes not being properly sealed.
Former colonial power France says the vote took place under "acceptable conditions" and losing candidates who want to contest the result should do so in Gabon's constitutional court.
(Africa/France Security Tightens Following Overnight Curfew in Gabon, September 8, 2009, Thai Press Reports)

Gambia (2000P, 2002L, 2006P, 2007L):
Commonwealth (Fair)
UK (Fair, Corruption)

Description: The Gambia has recently come to the center of its formal colonial power’s attention as the UK has issued calls for the Gambian leader to resign ahead of the next polls in 2011. The UK, acting by itself or through the Commonwealth Secretariat, has traditionally overseen the Gambian electoral processes, investing in the logistical structure of the elections as well as in the training of opposition parties as a means to increasing political competition, and possibly defeating the somewhat autocratic leadership of current President Yahya Jammeh.


Commonwealth: President Jammeh won the elections on 22 September with 66% of the vote to Darboe’s 27%. The vote was considered by observers to have been free and fair on the day, although the Commonwealth Secretariat noted 'abuses of incumbency' in the lead up to the polls. President Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) confirmed its overwhelming dominance of the political scene by winning 37 of the 43 elected seats in the legislative elections of January 2007. (Home Office, Border and Migration Agency: Operational Guidance Note on The Gambia;

UK: The United Kingdom and the Gambian United Democratic Party call on Yahya Jammeh to resign before next election and allow for free and fair elections.  With him and his politicized military and security apparatus in place, free and fair election will continue to be hampered in the Gambia. ( 11, 2010, JollofNews Network)

a.       On Wednesday, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh accused Britain of backing opposition politicians ahead of 2011 elections, and said the West African nation would not be colonised again. The Gambian leader has a record of arresting dissenters, rights activists and journalists. Earlier this month a Gambian court sentenced eight people to death after finding them guilty of plotting to overthrow the government. The U.S. and Britain have criticised the jailing of an opposition member for using a megaphone at a rally without permission. (Ahmed M. Kamara, Newstime Africa;

Ghana (2000P, 2000L, 2004P, 2004L, 2008L, 2008P)
African Union, Commonwealth Observer Mission, Pan African Parliament, Carter Center, EU, Economic Community of West African States (fair)
The 2008 election in Ghana was perceived to be critical for democracy in Africa because the elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe that year turned out to be failures. The African Union, the Commonwealth Observer Mission, the Pan African Parliament, the Carter Center, the EU, and the Economic Community of West African States sent election monitors.
Context: elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe in 2008 went terribly wrong; coup d’etat in Guinea in 2008
• African Union, Commonwealth Observer Mission, Pan African Parliament, Carter Center, EU, Economic Community of West African States (fair)
The rest of the international community strongly shared these anxieties, and it is significant that this concern tran- slated into a record number of international observers who undertook to monitor Ghana’s elections, some of whom had been stationed in the country long before the elections were due. The African Union Electoral Observer Mission had an unspecified number of observers on the ground, the Commonwealth Observer Mission had de- ployed seven people; the Pan African Parliament sent 21, the Carter Centre had a 58-member team, the European Union’s mission team were eventually up to 70 people
people, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent in 200 observers; the world had its eyes on Ghana.

Guinea (1998P, 2001R, 2001Lpostponed, 2002L, 2003P, 2010Lpostponed, 2010P)

US (Fair)
EU (Fair)
Senegal (Alliance, Fair)

Description: The United States and the European Union have sought keep democracy alive in Guinea, despite the country’s temporary slide into authoritarian rule after a military coup in 2008. Most of the intervention happens through aid for election set up and monitoring. After the coup in 2008, Senegal vigorously supported the military junta, while also mediating the standoff with the Guinean opposition, and paving the road to the 2010 presidential elections.


US: In the West African nation of Guinea, officials are still counting ballots in a very close run-off election for President. This vote could transform Guinea into a democracy after decades of dictatorial rule. And here in New York, a group of international volunteers called Alliance Guinea has found an unusual way to support the country’s transition. They have asked Guineans to use their cell phones to send a text if they experience an election-related problem. And they are mapping the results at
Alliance Guinea got a $13,000 dollar grant from the U.S. State Department through the Embassy in Guinea, but that went mostly to technology, billboards and banners, and radio and television spots. The people running the Alliance are all volunteers. When Swift-Morgan took a break from work and stepped into a conference room with her laptop, she found other volunteers already logged in, on computers in France, Albuquerque and Philadelphia.
The voting was Sunday and international monitors have said it went relatively smoothly, but Swift-Morgan says she’s still getting some allegations of fraud. Reading from a text message about allegations of ballot-stuffing, she said in one village someone claimed you could buy a blank ballot, fill it out, and put it into the ballot box ahead of time.
(Monitoring Guinea’s Election from Laptops in New York; Marianne McCune, November 11, 2010)

-       Communication Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guinea has with bewilderment taken note of the content of the communique dated 20 August 2009 by the Cultural and Media Affairs Section of the United States embassy in Guinea on the postponement of the Guinean elections.

Evidently, this communique is likely to undermine dangerously the prospect of the elections in Guinea. It also arises out of a lack of information which calls for precisions for a better understanding of the circumstances for the establishment of the ad hoc commission and the making of a new electoral timetable.

In fact, the ad hoc commission was not an initiative of the CNDD (National Council for Democracy and Development) much less a decision by its chairman. It was proposed freely in June 2009 by the stakeholders to assess the transitional timetable prepared by the same stakeholders in March of the current year.

In the same way, the term of office and the composition of the said commission reflecting the sensitivity of the nation were submitted to the chairman of the CNDD by the stakeholders. The new timetable comes out the consensus between the various parties involved in the transition process.

With the concern for transparency, the president of the republic invited the stakeholders, diplomatic corps and the international community to the presentation of the final report of the work of the ad hoc commission. On that occasion, no reservation or challenge was made. It is also paradoxical that foreign observers and partners should say they are "disappointed" at the consensus decision of all Guinean on the issue of national sovereignty.

The government and the CNDD consider the press communiqué from the cultural and media affairs section of the United States embassy in Guinea as a clear case of interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Guinea.
(Guinean military junta says US statement likely to undermine upcoming poll; Guineenews website in French 22 Aug 09)
EU: The head of the European Union Observer Mission in Guinea, Alexander Lambsdorff, held a press conference at a hotel on 6 September. During the press conference, he said 19 September 2010 represents an opportunity for the UFDG [Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea] candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo (43.69 per cent), and the RPG [Rally of the Guinean People] candidate, Alpha Conde (18.25 per cent) to show their commitment to democracy.
Setting the scene, the head of the EU Observer Mission, Alexander Lambsdorff, said first and foremost that their mission has been in Guinea since 28 May 2010. We maintained, he said, a continuous presence in the country since the first round in order to continue with our work of uninterrupted evaluation during this delicate phase between two rounds.
"... [Ellipsis as published]. With the arrival today of observers with a long experience, the mission is reinforcing its presence for the presidential runoff. From Wednesday 8 September, our teams will once again be deployed to Nzerekore, Kankan, Labe and later to the rest of the country (...) [Ellipsis as published]", announced Alexander Lambsdorff.
(EU makes recommendations for successful presidential runoff in Guinea; Guineenews website in French 6 Sep 10)
Senegal: Following the death of the long time dictator, Lansana Conte, the people of Guinea, rather than heave a sigh of relief and hope for a smooth transition to democratic rule that they have always longed for, they are now faced with a military dictatorship courtesy of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara who seized power in commando style coup.
Although Camara who earlier said elections would hold by 2010, in a recent conversation with an elder statesman, President of Senegal, Abdullahi Wade, promised that elections would hold in 8months from now. For the first time after Conte's death, Wade is the first Head of State to urge neighbours' not to interfere in Guinea's affairs either through mercenary, militarily or with money. He described Camara as a perfectly honest man who has no intention of standing elections.
With Wade's support, it is very likely that other Francophone countries would rise in support of the junta which of course will be an advantage for him. Camara has re assured the international community that he would restore order to the country and rid it of corruption. The questions now are? Will Camara keep to his promise? Will democracy be finally restored in a country that has suffered so much under military rule? Will Camara hold onto power like his predecessor, Conte? Only time will tell.
(Guinea; What Hope for Guinea Under Camara?; Africa News, December 29, 2008)

-       Interview with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade:

I am taking the opportunity to appeal to all our neighbours not to interfere, either militarily or through mercenaries. I have been told that the presence of mercenaries had been reported at a certain border, who were ready to act. My feeling is that this group of military men deserves support. We should not throw stones at them. Here are soldiers saying that they took power because there was a void and that they want to hold elections involving political parties and all concerned, hand power over to civilians and go home. We do not often hear this kind of discourse. It is evident that this delay to hold elections depends on what one wants to do. If one really wants to hold elections where the people will completely have their say, voters' lists have to be updated and I would suggest to use the highly reliable, foolproof Senegalese digitized system. I am acting as a neighbor with good will, this is an institution worthy of the African Union. This young man has turned to me asking me to help his group to return power to the civilians.
(Senegalese president calls for support for Guinean junta; Radio France Internationale, December 26, 2008)

Guinea-Bissau (2000P, 2004L, 2005P, 2008L, 2009P):
European Union (Fair)
African Union (Fair)
Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS (Fair)
Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (Fair)
Portugal (Corruption)
Senegal (Peace, Alliance)

Description: Seeking to consolidate its democracy after experiencing a coup d’état in 1998-1999, Guinea-Bissal has been relatively successful at organizing free and fair elections. Despite occasional violence between opposing political factions, most international observers have confirmed that elections in Guinea-Bissau fall within a reasonable limit of fair standards and procedures. In the past decade, most elections have been observed by a combination of groups from the following organizations: EU, African Union, ECOWAS, and the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries. Foreign intervention is not rampant, and specific cases have involved Portugal, Guinea-Bissau’s former colonial power, and the neighboring Senegal, which has sought to intervene in elections as a way to avoid the spill of political violence into its borders.


Observers: Election monitors from the Francophonie Organisation, the OAU, the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries, Angola, Cape Verde, the United States, Mozambique, Portugal, Cote d'Ivoire and Sweden observed the poll. (Africa News, Panafrican News Agency, November 30, 1999)

a.       The Head of Mission of observers from the European Union, Johan Van Hecke, also indicated that in what concerns the general "technical planand logistics”, no complaint had been registered. (Franck Salin, Afrik-News; July 27, 2009:;

b.      The European Union (EU) has announced that it would provide financial assistance for the elections and that it would send elections observers. The African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (Comunidade de Paises de Lingua Portuguesa- CPLP)1have also expressed willingness to send election observers. The elections will also be monitored by Guinea-Bissau observers drawn from civil society groups.
Previous elections in Guinea-Bissau have been monitored by observers from the AU, ECOWAS, EU and CPLP and have been generally free from violence. The last elections were held in November 2008 to elect a new parliament. They were praised by the UN for having been conducted in a transparent and orderly manner without any political or military interference. They were expected to stabilise the country. However, stability remains elusive. (Amnesty International USA, June 2009:


Senegal: Rosa also brushed aside a suggestion by President Abdoulaye Wade of neighbouring Senegal that next month's presidential election should be postponed. The interim head of state bluntly told Wade not to interfere in Guinea-Bissau's internal affairs.

Confirming that the presidential election would take place on schedule, Rosa told reporters during a visit to the offices of the National Electoral Commission: "I must ask President Abdoulaye Wade to take care of his own problems, and he has quite a few of them to deal with in Senegal, leaving Guinea-Bissau to pursue its own path."

Wade is widely seen as a close ally of Yala, although the Senegalese leader issued a statement on Wednesday, publicly condemning his attempt to occupy the presidential palace.
When Yala was first elected president in 2000 he closed down all the bases on the Guinea-Bissau side of the border used by separatist guerrillas in Senegal's southern Casamance region, a move that helped restore peace.

Last Sunday, Wade was one of three West African heads of state to visit Guinea-Bissau for talks with the country's political and military leaders to try and prevent any trouble in the run-up to the presidential election. The following day, the Senegalese leader sent a plane to fly Yala to Dakar for further discussions. (Africa News, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, May 26, 2005)

a.       We assisted them in the legislative elections, which was held in a very good conditions and the parliament has been working. (RTS radio, Dakar, in French; May 13, 2005)

Portugal: The Movement Kumba for President (MKP) has accused Portugal of "partiality to political choices, strategies and alliances which have always evinced Portugal's bad sense of timing". The movement called on all Guineans to "unite and condemn yet another attempt, by the Portuguese government, to interfere politically and militarily [in Guinea-Bissau]". (Portuguese Newspaper Publico, May 2, 2005)

Cote d'Ivoire (2000R, 2000P, 2000L, 2010P)
OAU (fair, peace)
UN (fair)
South Africa (fair)
EU (fair, peace)
US (fair, peace)
World Bank (fair, peace)
France (fair, peace)
Economic Community of West African States (fair)
In the 2000 referendum, OAU monitors praised the orderliness of the Cote d'Ivoire elections. In the 2000 general elections, the chairman of the OAU and appealed to protesting citizens to end post-electoral violence. South African President Thabo Mbeki called for new elections after military strongman Robert Guei halted the election count and declared that he won the presidential elections. The EU threatened to use possible sanctions to if Guei declared himself president; the EU has also urged leaders in Cote d'Ivoire and opposition politicians not to resort to violence. The UN halted its electoral technical assistance to Cote d'Ivoire when the country's supreme court banned a former prime minister to participate in the 2000 legislative elections. In the 2010 presidential elections, the incument Laurent Gbagbo's victory was rejected by the US, the UN, the EU, France, and the Economic Community of West African States. These states affirmed support for opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara, who had to be protected by the UN. In response to the post-election violence, the EU and US imposed travel bands. The World Bank halted aid commitment to Cote d'Ivorie. Despite Gbagbo's order for UN peacekeepers to leave the country, the UN extended the mission's mandate.
OAU (fair)
• 2000R: [Guede - recording] It is certainly after receiving the report of the OAU observers sent to Cote d'Ivoire during the 23rd and 24th July referendum that OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim met the head of state for over 50 minutes. Their discussions took place in the presence of Col Mouassi Grena, minister of interior and decentralization, and Balla Keita, special adviser at the Presidency in charge of political and religious affairs. After the audience, the OAU secretary-general refused to comment on the recent statement made by French Cooperation Minister Charles Josselin. However, Mr Salim lauded the Ivorian people for having clearly and democratically expressed themselves on the Ivorian constitution.
[Salim - in English, fading into French translation] Well, as you know, I got the opportunity to be briefed by the head of state on the situation and more specifically on the referendum. As you know, we have been closely monitoring the evolution of the situation in Cote d'Ivoire because the stability and security of Cote d'Ivoire are very important, not only for the countries of the subregion but also for the whole of Africa. We know that Cote d'Ivoire is a country of tolerance. Cote d'Ivoire is a country of unity and understanding. This is to say that Cote d'Ivoire is truly an African country, and we want this good tradition to be maintained.
Well, you know very well that the referendum is for the people of Cote d'Ivoire and the people expressed themselves. We, who are friends of Cote d'Ivoire, can only be encouraged by this referendum in which the people expressed themselves and we must say that we are satisfied with the fact that the referendum took place in a good atmosphere. It took place peacefully and the result of the voting must be taken seriously, not only by other African countries but also by the international community.
Well, I do not think that it is proper for me to comment on the French minister's statement. The only thing I can say is that our only interest is to see to it that what the people of this country decide is respected. Our interest is to see that the referendum is just one part of the process and we expect and hope that the other measures would be respected and the elections themselves will go on. Because at the end of the day, we will like to see the will of the people of this country respected by us all.
(OAU secretary-general meets Guei, comments on referendum, August 1, 2000)
• 2000P/L: Lome, Togo (PANA) - The Chairman of the OAU, President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo, has appealed to the people of Cote d'Ivoire to exercise restraint in order to avoid plunging their country into chaos.
A statement issued from Berlin, where Eyadema is on a visit, said he was "following the development of the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, and expressed his deep concern about the confusion which characterised the proclamation of results of the 22 October presidential elections."
The statement added that it was to prevent such a crisis that Eyadema and Benin's President Mathieu Kerekou, held discussions in Yamoussoukro 10 October with Ivorian political leaders when then military ruler, Gen. Robert Guei, promised to respect the constitution and allow all candidates to participate in the presidential election.
(Kerekou is chairman of the Entente Council that groups Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Togo).
"It was for the same purpose and in the same spirit that the heads of State of OAU Committee of Ten went to Abidjan on 25 September," the statement recalled.
It expressed the believe that "the present crisis results from the exclusion of the candidates sponsored by the major political parties."
"This is why the OAU decided not to send observers to Cote d'Ivoire to supervise the elections," it explained.
"In view of the seriousness of the situation, the current OAU chairman calls on Ivorians to show restraint with a view to ensuring peaceful debate and promoting dialogue and consultations in order to avoid plunging Cote d'Ivoire into chaos," the statement warned.
(Ivory Coast; OAU Urges Ivorians to Exercise Restraint, October 26, 2000, Africa News)
• 2000P: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The OAU conflict management body has commended the people and political leaders in Cote d'Ivoire for their responsible handling of the explosive post- election situation in the country, in which scores of people were killed.
In a news release issued in Addis Ababa Friday, the body, which met at ambassadorial level, also praised Ethiopia and Eritrea for complying with their June agreement on cessation of hostilities in their border conflict.
The OAU mechanism for conflict prevention, Management and resolution considered reports prepared by the OAU Secretary- General Salim Ahmed Salim on developments in the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea and on the situation in Cote d'Ivoire...
They also endorsed Salim's proposal to dispatch an OAU observer team to monitor parliamentary elections in the country scheduled for 10 December.
(Ivory Coast; OAU Conflict Prevention Body Commends Ivorians, November 24, Africa News)
EU (fair)
• 2000P: Brussels, Belgium (PANA) - As the political situation in Cote d'Ivoire remains uncertain in the aftermath of Sunday's presidential elections, the European Union, whose observers monitored the polls, has warned of possible sanctions against any "serious breach of democratic principles".
Michael Curtis, spokesman of the Commission, said Tuesday that the EU remained concerned about the evolution of the situation in Cote d'Ivoire where preliminary results gave FPI candidate Laurent Gbagbo a slight lead over junta leader Gen. Robert Guei.
Premature jubilation by Gbagbo's supporters who claimed their man had won the polls, forced the military government to suspend the public announcement of further results, leaving Ivorians restive and in suspense.
Curtis said the EU's 30-member observer mission in Cote d'Ivoire would make an "important statement" Tuesday in Abidjan after the announcement of official poll results.
The content and nature of the statement were not specified.
(Ivory Coast; EU Threatens Sanctions Against Electoral Fraud, October 24, 2000, Africa News)
South Africa (fair)
South Africa called Wednesday for a "hasty" solution to the crisis in Ivory Coast, where military strongman General Robert Guei declared himself president after disputed elections.
"Given that Cote d'Ivoire is an essential economic pole in west Africa, its political stability is crucial for that sub-region and for Africa as a whole, and a hasty solution must be found by all stakeholders to normalise the situation in that country," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The statement urged all Ivory Coast leaders to search for a peaceful and just solution to the "political polarisation" there.
"We regret that the elections (on Sunday) were held in circumstances which excluded major parties, resulting in a very low voter turnout," it said, referring to a Supreme Court ruling limiting a field of 19 presidential hopefuls to just five candidates.

PRETORIA, Oct 25 (AFP) - South African President Thabo Mbeki called Wednesday for new elections in Ivory Coast to include candidates excluded from last weekend's polls and warned of the danger of "enormous conflict" in the west African nation.
Ivory Coast strongman General Robert Guei halted the election count, dissolved the national electoral commission, and declared through the interior ministry that he had won the presidential election at the same time as challenger Laurent Gbagbo announced that he had triumphed and declared himself president.
(S. Africa calls for ‘hasty’ solution in Ivory Coast, October 25, 2000, Agence France Presse)
EU (fair)
• 2000L: Nice, France (PANA) - The European Union has urged authorities in Cote d'Ivoire and opposition politicians to disengage all forms of violence, but at same time deplored the "restriction on the Ivorian voters' freedom of choice."
The Union condemned the decision by the Supreme Court in Abidjan to bar the candidature of Alassane Ouattara, leader of the Rally of Republicans' (RDR) in Sunday's parliamentary elections.
In a statement issued in Nice, southern France, the EU called on "the Ivorian authorities to restore national cohesion and take into account the country's entire political forces."
Earlier this year, consultations had been organised in Brussels following Gen. Robert Guei's coup d'etat in December 1999. But the EU then gave Guei's junta the benefit of the doubt and imposed no sanction against the military.
(Ivory Coast; EU Urges Ivorian Politicians To Avoid Violence, December 10, 2000, Africa News)
• 2000L: In Cote d'Ivoire, there have been mixed reactions to France's consultations with its European Union partners. The question is whether to continue cooperation with Abidjan. France and the rest of the EU consider that the presidential and legislative elections were not democratic enough and recent political violence has resolved nothing. The result is that Paris, which is chairing the EU till the end of the year, is wondering whether speeches should not be translated into action, making disapproval known where it hurts - the purse. Paris has been consulting its European partners and there are mixed assessments of these consultations in Abidjan. The first reaction is that of the government through the country's Economy Minister Mamadou Koulibaly: If Europe does not want us, we shall turn elsewhere.
Koulibaly - recording I think that means Cote d'Ivoire and the government should continue to intensify their search for self-reliance, probably seek new friends around the world and review its cooperation with the EU. I wish to say that since last January, the EU has virtually stopped its cooperation with Cote d'Ivoire. That signifies that Europe considers that Cote d'Ivoire and Africans do not really have a right to democracy because they are subhuman. The Europeans who are making this decision because Cote d'Ivoire has not followed to the letter or has perhaps not towed their line are expressing another form of racism. They do not consider Africans capable of making laws and applying them. That's a pity.
(Minister says Cote d’Ivorie should look elsewhere if EU cuts aid, December 20, 2000, Radio France Internationale)
• 2000L: Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - The interference of the European Union in Ivorian affairs and the rumours of a coup d'etat before the end of the year are the focus of commentaries of Ivorian papers this week.
"Debate on the elections in Cote d'Ivoire: the EU should begin with the United States," Le National, a daily close to former President Henri Konan Bedie, says.
The paper believes that "if there is a nation that should receive lessons on democracy from the EU, it should be the United States, where Al Gore was cheated, and deprived of a victory, and not Cote d'Ivoire."
"The holding of fresh elections should start with those that have just been organised in the United States, where judges designated the president of the world's most powerful country," it says. "Where was the EU, anyway?".
The paper also points out that there "will be no fresh elections in Cote d'Ivoire, either today or tomorrow, unless there is one in the United States."
(Ivory Coast; Papers Condemn EU Interference in Cote d’Ivorie Affairs, December 22, 2000, Africa News)
UN (fair)
• 2000L: Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, ended his visit this afternoon with a news conference at the UNDP United Nations Development Programme headquarters in Abidjan. Several meetings marked the special envoy's visit, notably with the head of state, political party and religious leaders, and civil society representatives. The meetings enabled the UN secretary-general's special envoy to review the sociopolitical situation in Cote d'Ivoire. His impression is that there is hope again with the holding of the legislative elections in the days ahead. He hopes that these elections will be open. Let us listen to Mr Lakhdar Brahimi talking to our correspondent, Awa Toure:
Brahimi - recording We are profoundly relieved to see that the decisions made by the National Electoral Commission CNE are welcome in general. Of course, there were some protests but in general they are welcome. In any event, this augurs well for the future and one should now hope that these elections will be conducted properly and that there will be a parliament that will not be rejected by anybody. On this basis, the country would be able to organize itself, to heal its wounds, recover its good health and then set out again towards the situation that has always characterized it: social peace, development, and its important role in the subregion and in Africa. End of recording
Concerning the involvement of the UN in the organization of the forthcoming elections in Cote d'Ivoire, Mr Brahimi tried to reassure Ivorians:
Brahimi - recording As you know, we are already granting considerable technical assistance, and the UNDP is at the heart of all the assistance granted to the CNE to help it succeed in its operations. We also have some other types of technical assistance, and I am very happy to have heard from the CNE chairman that the UNDP technical assistance is being used in very good conditions and that it is efficient. Despite the very, very short time available, we will try to take the necessary steps to ensure good coordination of the international observers.
(Cote d’Ivoire: UN special envoy ends visit, comments on elections, November 26, 2000, BBC World Monitoring - Radio Cote d’Ivorie)
• 2000L: The United Nations Tuesday said that the world body suspends its electoral technical assistance to Cote d'Ivoire due to a recent decision by the nation 's Supreme Court to ban a former prime minister from participating in the December 10 election.
A statement, issued by the spokesman for the U.N. secretary- general, said that the United Nations will also withdraw its offer to coordinate the activities of international observers.
"Because of the recent decision of the Ivoirian Supreme Court and the subsequent events on the ground, the United Nations is of the view that the conditions are no longer conducive for the involvement of the United Nations in the forthcoming legislative elections in Cote d'Ivoire," the statement said.
"The United Nations has therefore decided that it will suspend its electoral technical assistance and withdraw its offer to coordinate the activities of international observers," the statement said.
(UN Suspends Electoral Technical Aid to Cote d’Ivoire, December 5, 2000, Xinhua General News Service)
UN, France, EU, US, World Bank (fair)
• 2010P: It has already become a routine: as dusk sets in, residents block the crumbling, potholed tarmac roads in their neighbourhood with everything they can find. Wooden tables, sticks, rocks, disused signboards. This is for "security", they say.
But still, regularly after midnight, the 4x4s arrive – luxury cars or pick-up trucks carrying armed men. "Usually they wear hoods, so we can't see their face," says one resident, Baba, who does not wish to give his surname. "They shoot in the air, and everybody runs away. The unlucky ones who don't run fast enough are followed to their houses and taken away."
The climate of fear is palpable in Abobo, a suburb of Abidjan and opposition stronghold in Ivory Coast, haunted again by the spectre of civil war. It seems nowhere is safe from the alleged "death squads".
A tense standoff continued today between president Laurent Gbagbo and the man almost universally acknowledged to have defeated him at the ballot box, Alassane Ouattara, who remains holed up in a UN-guarded hotel. Amid reports of post-election atrocities by Gbagbo's security forces, France urged its nationals to flee the west African nation.
Baba, a car mechanic, says he knows of at least four young men who have been "arrested" in Abobo and not seen again. Worse are the unresolved deaths of three of his colleagues, who had been travelling in an old taxi to buy spare parts at a scrapyard on the outskirts of town.
"Their car was sprayed with bullets," he recalled. "This is what others have told me. I didn't see it, but I saw their bodies. They were Muslim, so we buried them the same day."
After two weeks of night-time raids by armed men – sometimes in military uniform, sometimes in unmarked cars – residents of Abidjan have devised their own neighbourhood alarm system.
"I grabbed my biggest cooking pot and started banging it with a wooden spoon," explained Amandine (not her real name). "If the police are killing us, we need to find homegrown solutions to protect ourselves. All my neighbours started doing the same."
Young children play their part by blowing whistles, while youths erect barricades at the end of streets. The noise warns residents that so-called "death squads" have descended into the area. Feared and ruthless, they targeted hundreds of opposition activists in 2002, and have re-emerged after the disputed election.
Amandine, taking care to speak in hushed tones, continued: "We are most frightened when we hear them speaking English and wearing balaclavas. Then we know they're Liberian mercenaries, and if you are a woman, they are the ones who will rape you."
So far, Amandine and her family of four have been lucky. She gestured at a nearby house pock-marked with bullets. "Their son was taken away last week. We heard the mother wailing afterwards; it was an unbearable noise. Every day they trawl the morgues of this city, but they can't find him. The workers at the morgue keep saying 'come back tomorrow'."
Amandine blinked back tears. "What they mean is, maybe they will have been able to remove him from a mass grave somewhere. The police are blocking anyone from reaching these places."
She added: "Even if the machinegun fire wasn't keeping me awake, each night I lie awake thinking: in [the 2002] conflict, I had only one child. But now, with four – how can I flee?"
Not even hospitals are safe havens. A medical worker, who did not wish to be named, said several men died from bullet wounds over the weekend as their families refused to have them transported to hospital. "They are scared of the large hospitals," he said. "They think the military will come to finish them off."
The medical worker had been told of two disappearances among friends and relatives. In one instance, a friend's brother had vanished on Monday after he went to see their mother in a different part of town. "First, they went to several police stations, and after that they did the rounds of the morgues. They found his body in a morgue on Tuesday afternoon."
Gbagbo's interior minister Emile Guirieoulou has dismissed allegations of rights abuses and mass graves. Aid workers have not confirmed any mass grave sites. The UN said its human rights experts had received information on one alleged site, but have not reached the area to confirm its existence. The site is currently sealed off by armed policemen, Guirieoulou said.
Gbagbo's refusal to surrender power despite international pressure has triggered deep crisis in Ivory Coast, where north and south fought each other in 2002-03. Ban Ki-moon, the UN's secretary general, has warned that it now faces a "real risk" of a return to civil war.
A French government spokesman, François Baroin, today urged French nationals to leave temporarily. At least 15,000 live in the country, which keeps close ties to the former colonial power.
After a meeting in Paris with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, World Bank chief Robert Zoellick confirmed that loans have been halted to Ivory Coast. The World Bank's aid commitment was $841.9m as of January 2010.
The EU and US have already imposed travel bans, but a leading opposition figure called for the international community to use arms to oust Gbagbo. "It is obvious that there is one solution left – that of force," Guillaume Soro told France's i-Tele television channel.
He added that "200 people have been killed by the bullets of Liberian and Angolan mercenaries" in Ivory Coast but he did not elaborate and the numbers could not immediately be confirmed.
Gbagbo, a southern Christian, has forces surrounding the Golf hotel in Abidjan, where his rival has set up headquarters, protected by the UN. The UN has expressed concern that people inside are not getting medication, and that delivery of food and water has also been impeded.
Ban said: "Any attempt to starve the United Nations' mission into submission will not be tolerated."
Gbagbo ordered UN peacekeepers out of the country at the weekend but the UN instead extended the mission's mandate into June. Gbagbo's camp today offered the opposition safe passage from the hotel, but the notion was rejected. Ouattara spokesman Patrick Achi said: "We don't trust him. This morning the press people tried to come to the hotel and were not allowed to come. We don't trust him. There has been too much killing in the past week."
Ban said the UN peacekeeping force had "confirmed that mercenaries, including freelance former combatants from Liberia, have been recruited to target certain groups in the population".
Ivory Coast's civil war saw Liberians fighting on nearly all sides. Liberia itself suffered back-to-back civil wars until 2003, and the two countries share a porous, 370-mile border. Liberia's president has urged citizens not to get involved in Ivory Coast's latest crisis.
(Ivory Coast: death squad on the rise as civil war looms, December 22, 2010, Guardian, by Pauline Bax and Monica Mark,
• 2010P: Defying pressure from the international community.
Despite warnings of major civil unrest, Laurent Gbagbo has been sworn in for another term as Ivory Coast president.
His victory has been rejected by the US, the UN, the EU, including former colonial power France, and the West African regional body ECOWAS.
The election commission had earlier said that opposition leader Alassane Outarra had won. But then the Constitutional Council, whose head is a close ally of Gbagbo, overturned that.
The army seems to have backed Gbagbo’s victory, while former rebels in the north say they support Outarra’s claim to power. At least 15 people have died in post-election violence.
In the city of Bouaké, Outarra supporters staged a protest, while the prime minister said he and his government would resign because of the overturning of the initial results.
Outarra said: “The special representative of the General Secretary of the United Nations has just certified the results proclaimed by the Independent Electoral Commission, which is proclaiming me winner of the presidential elections. I am therefore the elected president of Ivory Coast.”
Gbagbo supporters claim the election commission’s initial announcement was not legal as a deadline for the results had passed. They also allege there was intimidation and vote rigging.
“We’re very worried,” said one man in Abidjan. “Nothing’s functioning, the economy’s come to a halt, people aren’t working. It’s very worrying.”
All eyes are now on Gbagbo, to see how he intends to convince his detractors that his presidency is legitimate.
(Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo defies world leaders, April 12, 2010, Euronews,
From Wikipedia entry “Ivorian presidential election, 2010”
The international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, the United States, and former colonial power France have affirmed their support for Ouattara, who is "almost universally acknowledged to have defeated [Gbagbo] at the ballot box," and have called for Gbagbo to step down.[8][9] On 18 December, Gbagbo ordered all UN peacekeepers to leave the country.[10] However, the UN has refused, and the Security Council has extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Côte d'Ivoire until 30 June 2011. International powers have been in talks to enlarge the UN force in the Ivory Coast. The World Bank has halted loans to the country and travel restrictions have been placed on Gbagbo and his political allies.[11] The rising political tensions resulted in a sharp jump in cocoa prices, up to an increase of 10 percent. The Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of the crop.[12]

On 7 May, several other countries, including France, Japan, and the United States, announced that they were providing 115 billion CFA francs in aid money to fund the election and the process of resolving the civil war. The third meeting of the CPC, chaired by Compaoré,[63] was held on 9 May at the House of Deputies in Yamoussoukro; those present included Gbagbo, Soro, Ouattara, and Bédié. Soro was to present a report on the peace process and CEI President Robert Mambé was to present a report on CEI's work.[64] The meeting concluded with a communiqué urgently appealing to the international community to provide financing for the electoral process. According to Soro, another 35 billion CFA francs are needed.[63]
At a meeting with the United Nations Security Council on 9 June, various important figures in the election, including Gbagbo, Ouattara, and Mambé, expressed confidence that the election would be held on schedule. South Africa's Ambassador to the UN, Dumisani Kumalo, observed that, in contrast to the situation a year beforehand, all sides appeared committed to holding the election on a specific date. Members of the Security Council wanted to hear from representatives of the bodies carrying out the electoral census and registration, and these representatives agreed that it would be possible to meet the 30 November date. Kumalo credited the unprecedented progress that had been made over the previous year to Ivorian control of the process, and he said that the UN had only an "accompanying" role. According to Kumalo, Gbagbo asked the Security Council to apply pressure to speed up the process, which he felt was not going fast enough, and also wanted the UN to take a larger role in financing the election; however, he was rebuffed by the Security Council on both points. Despite the Council's concerns about security, Gbagbo did not feel that this would be a problem; Ouattara said that it was important for UN peacekeepers to ensure security during the election. Mambé, for his part, said that he was actively working to finalize the system of voter registration, and he called on electoral observers to begin observing the registration process, rather than waiting until "two or three days before the election to observe". Bakayoko, the former New Forces commander, also spoke to the Security Council, saying that disarmament was proceeding "little by little".[65]
On 14 June, Kouchner visited Côte d'Ivoire and met with Gbagbo and Ouattara, among others. He accepted that there was still not enough money to fund the election and agreed to help Côte d'Ivoire find African and international financial assistance, although he said that France would not send any more of its own money. The cost of the election had been estimated at over 100 billion CFA francs, and although 115 billion had already been pledged by other countries, part of that money was to go towards the disarmament process.[66]
Although the mandate of ONUCI and French peacekeepers was set to expire on 30 July 2008, the UN Security Council unanimously voted on 29 July to extend the mandate to 31 January 2009 so that the peacekeepers could "support the organization of free, open, fair and transparent elections". The Ivorian Permanent Representative to the UN, Alcide Djédjé, said that the election would enable his country to get off the Security Council's agenda and "regain [its] full sovereignty", but also emphasized that money was still needed to fund the election.[67]
On 27 January 2009, the Security Council voted to again extend the peacekeepers' mandate by six months, while also reducing ONUCI's size from 8,115 to 7,450 personnel. Additionally, the Security Council called for the establishment of a clear timetable for holding the election. UN envoy Choi Young-jin expressed concern that "for the first time since the signing of the Ouagadougou peace deal in March 2007, the Ivorian people and the international community have neither a date nor a timeframe for the elections." He argued that the organization of the election could falter if it was not driven by a clear objective.[68]

Kenya (2002R, 2002P, 2002L, 2007P, 2007L, 2010R)
EU (fair)
UK (fair)
U.S. (peace, fair)
African Union (peace, fair)
Ghana (peace, fair)
UN (peace, fair)
EU monitored the 2007 general election and declared it flawed. The UK expressed concerns with irregularities, but the U.S. did not. The African Union, Ghana, and the UN attempted to bring the two parties to negotiation to solve the 2007 election crisis. The U.S. and the U.K. governments publicly supported the approval Kenya’s new constitution in the 2010 referendum.
1. EU (fair)
• 2007P/L:
European Union said its observers witnessed election officials in one constituency announce on election night that President Kibaki had won 50,145 votes. On Sunday, the election commission increased those same results to 75,261 votes. “The presidential elections were flawed,” said Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, the chief European observer.”
2. UK (fair)
• 2007P/L: “The British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said London had "real concerns at the irregularities reported by the EU observers and others".
But the United States congratulated Mr Kibaki on his re-election and called on all sides to respect the result despite the allegations of fraud.”
3. U.S. (fair, peace)
• 2007P/L: “The State Department says the United States is engaged in a wide-ranging diplomatic effort to try to end election-related political violence in Kenya. U.S. officials are making direct appeals to President Mwai Kibaki and opposition chief Raila Odinga, and are urging Kenya's neighbors to do the same. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.
The Bush administration is trying not to take sides in the Kenya election dispute. But is trying to maximize pressure on both sides to reach an accommodation and end post-election violence that has killed more that 300 people and threatens to split one of Africa's most stable countries along ethnic lines.”
• 2010R: “The new constitution, the US and UK say, is part of reforms that would guarantee political stability in Kenya. However, the western powers on Sunday maintained that the final decision was in the hands of Kenyan voters. “It is a Kenyan referendum and it is for Kenyans to decide,” Ms Katya Thomas, the US embassy information officer said.”
3. African Union, Ghana, UN (peace, fair)
•2007P/L: “Initial efforts by African Union president, President John Kufuor of Ghana, failed to bring the two parties to engage in negotiations. Since the failed AU initiative, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has been actively engaged in mediation efforts since mid-January. He has succeeded in getting Kibaki and Odinga to meet for the first time since the crisis erupted in late December. In late January, both sides agreed to start negotiations and have appointed their respective negotiation team members.”

Lesotho (2002L, 2007L)
Commonwealth (fair)
OAU (fair)
African Union (fair)
South African Development Community (fair)
Commonwealth (fair)
In the 2002 legislative elections, the Commonwealth Observer Group, OAU, and the EU all said they were satisfied with the election. In the 2007 elections, the African Union, South African Development Community and the Commonwealth observers said elections were fair and transparent.
Commonwealth, OAU (fair)
• 2002L: As polling and counting in the Lesotho's 2002 general elections draw to an end, several election observer missions released their preliminary reports to the media. Most of the reports indicated that, despite some administrative and logistical problems, the elections were conducted in a manner that provided Basotho with the opportunity to freely vote for the parties and candidates of their choice.
According to the Commonwealth Observer Group the administrative and logistical problems experienced by the IEC before and during polling did not affect the overall organization of the elections.
However, the Commonwealth Observer Group said the counting of votes at the several polling stations was very slow, impeded by lack of light, equipment and other minor administrative issues which resulted in the delayed release of the results.
"We are, however, satisfied that, when we were present, the polling stations officials were acting fairly and we welcome the assurances of party agents that they were satisfied with the conduct of the poll," The Commonwealth Observer Group added.
They applauded the (IEC), the law enforcement agencies and the political parties for the excellent manner in which they commended themselves during the elections.
On the basis of observation on the voting and counting, the OAU Observer Team stated that, in general, the elections were held in a transparent and credible environment which allowed the Basotho to exercise their democratic right in dignity.
The OAU called on all political parties to respect the wishes of the people.
(Lesotho; Observers Say Elections Were Free And Fair, May 29, 2002, Africa News)
EU (fair)
• 2002L: The European Union said Thursday that parliamentary elections in Lesotho, which gave a massive win to the ruling party, were free of major irregularities and urged all parties to accept the final results.
"Despite the administrative mistakes affecting some polling stations, there were no significant cases of irregularities or contraventions," the Spanish EU presidency said in a statement issued here.
(Lesotho elections fair: EU, May 30, 2002, Agence France Presse)
African Union, South African Development Community, Commonwealth (fair)
• 2007L: International observers monitoring Saturday's parliamentary elections in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho have declared the process as generally fair and transparent.
The African Union (AU) observer mission said the voters in Lesotho have demonstrated "an enviable degree of calmness" during the national elections.
"The process in this election has been transparent, free of any degree of coercion or intimidation," Badru Kiggundu, leader of the AU Observer/Monitoring Team, said in Maseru on Tuesday, describing the election as successful.
Kiggundu said the presence of party agents at each polling station had minimized chances of any complaints during and after the polling process.
Saturday's poll was the fifth general elections since the country secured independence in 1966, whose final results are yet announced though the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) has enjoyed a comfortable lead.
The process was monitored by hundreds of observers from the AU, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Commonwealth, as well as foreign embassies in Lesotho.
Patrick Balopi, spokesperson of the SADC Parliamentary observer mission, told the press on Tuesday that the political environment within which the elections were conducted was generally calm, peaceful, tolerant and conducive for the free exercise of the right to vote and be voted for.
Balopi said this was evidenced by the three final rallies, which he said went on peacefully as supporters of the parties interacted without incident.
The AU observers also pointed out some shortcomings such as late delivery of polling materials to some polling stations, errors on voter cards, and slow process of counting.
Counting of the last four constituencies was halted for hours on Tuesday while the Independent Electoral Commission was waiting for helicopters to transport the results from those remote mountainous areas.
(International observers give Lesotho's elections thumbs up, February 20, 2007, Xinhua General News Service)

Liberia (2005P, 2005L)
After several years of dictatorship under Charles Taylor and war, the 2005 general election is critical for establishing democracy in Liberia. The Carter Center, IFES, UN, EU, African Union and the U.S. all provided election monitors. The international community spent $14.3 million on the election.
• Coalition for the Future of Liberia: Carter Center, IFES, UN, EU, African Union, U.S. (fair, peace)
“devoted to creating awareness among electorates with specific emphasis on engaging presidential aspirants to disclose what formulas they have to solve problems hindering the country.”
“Liberal; Welcome, Elections Co-Workers!,” Africa News, Aug 5, 2005.
About US $ 18.8 million was expended on the conduct of the 2005 elections. Of that amount, 4.5 million was contributed by the government of Liberia and 14.3 million by the international community.

Madagascar (2001P, 2002L, 2006P, 2007R, 2010R)
US (fair, peace)
EU (fair, peace)
Japan (fair, peace)
France (fair)
UN (fair)
Organization of African States (fair)
After the first round of the 2001 presidential elections, ambassadors from the US, European Union and Japan met with opposition officials to mediate tensions. The main problem is that the main opposition candidate Marc Ravalomana declared he clearly won and does not want a second round run-off. But France, UN Security Council, and OAU urged him to comply with a top court's ruling to participate in a second round. No international observers attended the 2007 referendum. In the 2010 referendum, the African Union and South African Development Community sent monitors.
US, EU, Japan (fair, peace)
• 2001P: Opposition officials met with ambassadors from the United States, the European Union and Japan Friday to discuss the crisis over presidential elections in Madagascar.
Officials representing main opposition candidate Marc Ravalomanana met with the ambassadors after he said he would not stand in a presidential runoff election later this month, insisting he already won the election's first round outright.
On Friday some 500,000 Ravalomanana supporters gathered in the main square of the capital Antananarivo to demand he be named the winner of the Dec. 16 election. Since the election, opposition activists have held huge peaceful protests almost everyday.
(Opposition officials, ambassadors discuss crisis in Madagascar’s presidential elections, February 1, 2002, Associated Press Worldstream)
France, UN, Organization of African Unity (fair)
• 2001P: Madagascar's oppositition leader Marc Ravalomanana on Thursday urged the international community to examine irregularities surrounding the first round of a presidential election he insists he has already won.
"Before calling for a second round, come yourselves to look at the unresolved problems of the first round," said Ravalomanana, speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of supporters holding daily protests over the alleged rigging of the December 16 poll.
France, Madagascar's former colonial power, the United Nations Security Council, the Organisation of African Unity and other international organisations have urged Ravalomanana to comply with a top court's ruling that he fight a second round run-off with President Didier Ratsiraka.
(International community urged to probe Madagascar poll fiasco, January 31, 2002, Agence France Presse)
EU (fair)
• 2002P: Madagascar's oppositition leader Marc Ravalomanana on Thursday urged the international community to examine irregularities surrounding the first round of a presidential election he insists he has already won.
"Before calling for a second round, come yourselves to look at the unresolved problems of the first round," said Ravalomanana, speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of supporters holding daily protests over the alleged rigging of the December 16 poll.
France, Madagascar's former colonial power, the United Nations Security Council, the Organisation of African Unity and other international organisations have urged Ravalomanana to comply with a top court's ruling that he fight a second round run-off with President Didier Ratsiraka.
(EU praises Madagascar vote despite “lapses,” December 18, 2002, Agence France Presse)
• 2010R: The European Union remains very concerned about the current political situation in Madagascar, where the High Transitional Authority has decided to implement the road map emerging from the Ivato Political Agreement (13 August 2010) and from the National Conference in September 2010, which included the holding of a constitutional referendum on 17 November 2010.
Owing to the lack of consensus and transparency surrounding the adoption of that route out of the crisis, the European Union has been unable to agree to a request by the Malagasy authorities to send an EU election observer mission to Madagascar for the constitutional referendum and for the local elections to be held on 20 December 2010.
The referendum was held peacefully on 17 November throughout the territory of Madagascar. However, on the same day an abortive military coup d'etat took place near the international airport of Antananarivo. It bears witness to persistent economic, social and security tensions.
The European Union would call on the High Transitional Authority and on all well?intentioned Malagasy factions with the national interest at heart to resume dialogue as a matter of urgency to ensure that the transition process is really based on consensus and allows the appointment of a government of national unity and a swift return to constitutional order, founded on credible and open elections.
The European Union urges the international mediation team led by the African Union and by the SADC to consider how best to reinvolve itself rapidly in the intra?Malagasy process, in order to make it more consensual and democratic, with the support of the international community. The European Union stands ready to make a political and financial contribution to such facilitation, with the aim of bringing an end to a protracted political crisis whose economic and social consequences are growing worse by the day.
(Belgium: Declaration by the High Representative Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union, on the political situation in Madagascar, November 24, 2010, Right Vision News)
• 2007R: Unlike the last election four months ago, no international observers were seen at 17,584 polling stations all over the country as local media described the referendum as a "family affair.
(Referendum goes on calmly in Madagascar, April 4, 2007, Xinhua Gneral News Service)
France (peace), EU (fair), US (fair)
• 2010R: Until some days ago, when a few dozen military officers announced they were dissolving the government and forming a committee to create another one, Madagascar was just another African country well outside of the media's glare.
Now that the coup attempt has been halted and the coup leaders have been arrested without casualties, observers are asking whether any of this belated attention will help lift the country out from almost two years of political and economic crisis...
France's foreign Minister Christine Lagarde was quick to condemn the rebels, but an EU statement from High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton pointed the finger at the lack of transparency and inclusivity in the government's decisions, especially the electoral calendar. Along with the US, France has urged parties to return to internationally mediated talks with the African Union and SADC.
(What Madagascar's failed coup attempt could mean for the fragile country;
A coup attempt by rebel officers against a government that itself came to power by military force, leaves Malagasy citizens calling it an example of political theater and all eyes on a constitutional vote, November 22, 2010, Christian Science Monitor)

Malawi (2004P, 2004L, 2009P, 2009L)
African Union (fair)
EU (fair)
Commonwealth (fair)
Electoral Institute of South Africa (fair)
The African Union said the 2004 general elections did not provide a "level playing field" for all the parities and ruling party used the public media for its own gain. Observers from the EU and the Commonwealth also criticized the elections. But observers from the Southern Africa Development declared the elections was free and fair. Election observers from the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth and the Electoral Institute of South Africa praised the 2009 general elections for its peaceful conduct, but criticised the overwhelming media bias in favour of the incumbent.
African Union, EU, Commonwealth (fair)
• 2004P/L: The African Union Wednesday said Malawian elections did not take place on a "level playing field", adding its voice to all other foreign observer missions which failed to endorse the polls as free and fair.
The nine-member AU observer mission, led by Tanziania's William Shija, criticised the excessive use of public media by the ruling United Democratic Front and said controversy around the voters' roll exposed weaknesses within the country's electoral body.
"The excessive use of public media and other resources by the ruling party did not provide a level playing field for all opposition parties," the AU said in a statement, published in local papers on Wednesday.
The ruling party's candidate Bingu wa Mutharika has been inaugurated as the new president after parliamentary elections in the southern African country last week, but the main opposition bloc Tuesday filed a suit for re-run citing "massive irregularities".
The European Union has hit out at former president Bakili Muluzi for saying all foreign observers including the EU and the Commonwealth had declared the results "free and fair".
The EU stressed that in its preliminary statement last week on the elections, "in no place did we use either the word free or the word fair."
"Rather, our overall assessment at this point is that while the elections were peacefully conducted with a wide choice of political contestants, they were marred by serious shortcomings in the electoral process," the statement said.
Commonwealth observers have said "the process prior to election day was unfair" while the Southern African Development Community said media coverage was "tilted in the favour of the ruling party".
(Foreign observers fail to endorse Malawi’s polls, May 26, 2004, Agence France Presse)
South Africa Development Community, Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Southern African Development (fair)
• 2004L/P: Election observers from parliaments in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states have said the 20 May Malawi poll was free and fair.
Speaking to the press in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Ponsiano Nyami, leader of the Tanzanian delegation, said SADC observers were satisfied that Malawians were given the democratic chance to vote and be elected.
Passage omitted
However, a statement by the observers from Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia na Zimbabwe, said they were a number of issues that needed to be improved in Malawi.
Nyami, who is the MP for Nkasi, said these included a reform of the Malawi Electoral Commission, the conduct of civic education for voters and streamlining of the voters' register. Passage omitted
(Southern Africa observers said generally “satisfied” with Malawi elections, May 4, 2004, Dar es Salaam)
EU, Commonwealth, Electoral Institute of South Africa (fair)
• 2009L/P: Election observers from the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth and the Electoral Institute of South Africa praised the election for its peaceful conduct, but criticised the overwhelming media bias in favour of the incumbent.
(Election 2009: Incumbent Declared Victor in Malawi amid Opposition Recriminations, May 22, 2009, Global Insight)

Mauritius (2005L, 2010L)
SADC (fair)
Southern African Development Community (SADC) sent monitors to observe the 2005 and 2010 legislative elections.
SADC (fair)
• 2005L: Angolan deputies, Lourdes Veiga and Beatriz Socola, left the country today bound for Mauritius in a mission to observe the elections there, to be held on July 03.
Speaking to Angop, moments before their departure Lourdes Veiga said that the Angolan MPs were invited to be part of the observers mission of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The MP considered this participation as important, which according to her, will serve to gain experience, in view of the forthcoming 2006 elections in Angola.
Lourdes Veiga of the ruling MPLA and Beatriz Socola of the main opposition UNITA party, will return to the country on July 07.
(“MPs Observe Elections in Mauritius,” June 22, 2005, Angola Press Agency)
• 2010L: The Office of the President of Botswana issued the following news release:
Members of the public are informed that the Government of Botswana has sent a delegation of 5 people to Mauritius to observe the country's Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The elections started on the 5th May and are due to end on the 8th May, 2010. The team, which has been deployed to cover two constituencies each, is comprised of:-
i) Mr Sydney Modimakwane
ii) Mr Mothusi George
iii) Mrs Edith Phiri
iv) Ms Gaontebale Mokgosi
v) Mrs Tlhabologo Chephethe
The team is working alongside other observers from other 14 SADC Member States, who are deployed in all the 21 constituencies of Mauritius in order to observe all the 3 phases of elections: Pre-election, the polling day including the counting and announcement of result and the post election phase.
(“OP Press Release: Botswana Delegation in Mauritius to Observ...,” May 12, 2010, Targeted News Service)

Mozambique (2004P, 2004L, 2009P, 2009L)
Commonwealth (fair)
EU (fair, peace)
Southern African Development (fair)
Commonwealth (fair)
UN (fair)
Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (fair)
African Union (fair)
Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (fair)
In the 2004 presidential elections, the Commonwealth monitors said the polls were free and fair. The EU made a similar statement and urged the protesting opposition party to accept their loss; nevertheless, the EU made a statement criticizing the the "serious shortcomings and irregularities" of the election. The EU also provided $16 million to help fund the elections. Southern African Development Community also refuted the opposition presidential candidate Afonso Dlakama's assertion that his party monitors were expelled form polling stations. In the 2009 general elections, the UN, EU, SADC, Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), the African Union (AU), the Commonwealth and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries sent monitors.
Commonwealth (fair)
• 2004P: The Commonwealth Tuesday endorsed Mozambique's presidential election results and said it expected southern African neighbor Zimbabwe to return to the union of former British colonies.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon said Mozambique's Dec. 1-2 presidential and parliamentary polls were free and fair despite massive objections from opposition parties.
"I've been in many elections in the world. All the elections I have witnessed were never completely free of irregularities," McKinnon said after a meeting with the country's National Elections Commission head to discuss the Commonwealth observers election report.
"What is important is all the political parties work for the development of the country."
(Commonwealth endorses Mozambique elections, January 11, 2005, Associated Press, by Emmanuel Camillo)
EU (fair)
• 2004L/P: The Presidency of the European Union has urged Mozambique's main opposition party Renamo to accept election results, saying that the elections would "reflect positively on the democratic climate in the southern African region."
According to an EU statement reaching here on Thursday, the EU Presidency said the elections had been "broadly conducted along the lines of internationally established standards," and that process was made in comparison with the previous elections in 1999, "although incidents have occurred in some provinces."
The EU noted that "both leading parties (the ruling Frelimo party and the main opposition Renamo) have made allegations of fraud and misconduct, which should be investigated and resolved in accordance with the law."
While recognizing that "irregularities" took place, the EU argued that "this did not have an impact on the result of the elections." The opposition should therefore accept the results.
The EU statement describes the elections as "a further step in the consolidation of democracy in Mozambique as well as of peace and stability in the country."
The EU Presidency also congratulated Armando Guebuza, general secretary of Frelimo, for winning the country's general elections. Guebuza was on Tuesday officially declared winner of the Dec. 1-2 presidential election.
This statement from the EU Presidency is considerably more suave and diplomatic than the remarks made on Monday by the head of the EU observer mission, Javier Pomes.
(EU presidency urges Mozambique’s opposition to accept election results, December 23, 2004, Xinhua General News Service)
• 2004L/P: The European Union (EU) election observer mission to Mozambique has released a preliminary statement criticising the process for 'serious shortcomings and irregularities', which produced inflated results for the ruling FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Movement) party. Javier Pomes, head of the 90-member EU observer mission, told a press conference on 20 December 2004 that while the localised irregularities would not have been enough to change the national result, they undoubtedly denied the RENAMO opposition a number of parliamentary seats. Pomes said that the outcomes in Tete and Gaza provinces were influenced by false results sheets and that RENAMO observers were kept away from polling booths by police. He also criticised the National Electoral Commission (CNE), which he said was 'over-politicised' and had 'failed to make good use' of time, money and expertise. Pomes again raised the issue of CNE obstruction, linking it to rigging, which he said occurred mostly in stations where observers were not present or excluded (see Mozambique: 12 October 2004: Election 2004: Showdown Between EU Observers and Mozambican Election Authorities). Finally, for good measure, he reserved a final slap for the newspaper Noticias, which falsely claimed that the EU mission had declared the process to be 'just, free and transparent'.
Significance: It is all a far cry from the praises heaped upon the 1999 elections, in which a Finnish member of the observer team enthused that his own country had much to learn from the transparency of the Mozambican process. FRELIMO has only itself to blame: all it had to do to keep Mozambique as one of Africa's most popular aid destinations was to resist the temptation to mess about with the organisation of elections that it was likely to win anyway. At the beginning of 2004, another round of democratic consolidation was almost a foregone conclusion - now FRELIMO's behaviour, as well as the sloppy administration of the CNE, has needlessly endangered that process. RENAMO's latest position is that it will not take up its parliamentary seats in protest to what it claims was widespread rigging. Furthermore, its obstructive behaviour towards the EU, which provided around US$16m of funding (around half of the total bill for the elections) will have repercussions. President-to-be Armando Guebuza will now begin his tenure with a significant cloud over his relations with one of the country's biggest donors and investors.
(Election 2004: EU Election Observers Deliver Harsh Verdict for Mozambique’s Polls, December 21, 2004, World Markets Analysis)
• 2009L/P: European Union election observers noted "numerous irregularities" during the count at polling stations during Mozambique's general and provincial elections of 28 October - but the EU mission estimates that this malpractice did not significantly affect the results.
A statement issued by the EU Election Observation Mission on Wednesday says that in polling stations across the country returning officers refused to accept complaints from monitors of the political parties.
The returning officers who behaved in this way were guilty of a criminal offence. The polling station manual, which all polling station staff received, lists a number of electoral crimes, including "refusing to receive claims, protests or counter-protests from political party delegates".
The EU mission's brief statement does not list the polling stations where its observers saw this behaviour - but if it provides the National Elections Commission (CNE) and the Constitutional Council with such information, that should make prosecutions possible.
EU observers also received copies of six complaints from political parties referring to the voting and the count in Lichinga (Niassa province), Chimoio (Manica), Quelimane (Zambezia), Mutarara and Angonia (both in Tete).
(Mozambique; Elections - EU Observers Saw ‘Numerous Irregularities,’ November 18, 2009, African News)
Southern African Development Community (fair)
• 2004P: Maputo, Mozambique (PANA) - Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum poll observers and Mozambican police Sunday refuted claims by opposition RENAMO presidential candidate Afonso Dhlakama that his party monitors were expelled from polling stations during the country's Wednesday and Thursday parliamentary and presidential elections.
Dhlakama had told Radio Mozambique Sunday that RENAMO polling monitors were expelled by police from the polling stations on Wednesday, and were thus unable to exercise their legal right to stay with the ballot boxes overnight.
But a spokesperson said SADC Parliamentary Forum's 43 observers, who visited over 590 polling stations in 11 of Mozambique's provincial constituencies, saw no sign of police harassment of any polling station monitors from any party.
Deputy mission leader, South African MP, Obed Bapela, said in all the stations observed, monitors from all political parties stayed overnight "without exception."
"In the morning they were still there when the stations re-opened," he said.
The national police spokesman, Nataniel Macamo, in an interview with Radio Mozambique, also denied Dhlakama's claims, saying the police had scrupulously obeyed the electoral law.
(SADC Observes, Mozambican Polic Dismiss Dhlakama’s Harassment Claims, December 5, 2004, Antara - The Indonesian National News Agency)
Commonwealth, EU (fair)
• 2004P/L: Commonwealth and European Union (EU) observer teams that monitored Mozambique's two-day election both said Saturday the poll had been well organized and largely free of irregularities.
"We have concluded that overall the voting phase of the elections went well," Commonwealth organization team chairperson Vaughan Lewis said in a statement received here.
"We came across few serious irregularities."
A team from the European Union came up with a similar assessment on Saturday, when its Spanish chief, European legislator Javier Pomes, said "the election took place in an orderly and calm atmosphere".
"Political parties waged active and peaceful campaigns" in the run-up to the vote in the southeast African country, he said, adding that "public media coverage was relatively balanced (though) the ruling party benefitted from a little, but not to an unusual extent."
On Friday former US president Jimmy Carter also voiced preliminary satisfaction with the poll, which was held on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.
Partial results compiled by Mozambique Radio along with the public television network put Armando Guebuza, candidate of the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), comfortably ahead of Afonso Dhlakama of the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO).
RENAMO on Friday denounced what it termed "gross irregulatities" in the election, which marks the end of the 18-year rule of President Joaquim Chissano, who chose not to run.
Lewis described the counting of votes at polling stations as "meticulous and transparent and generally in line with procedure."
But he also noted "unwelcome shortcomings" in the management of the poll.
"Unfortunately some polling stations did not open at all and some opened a day late," he said.
"And in places there was confusion about the location of the polling stations. As a result some people were unable to vote. In rural areas distances to polling stations were sometimes excessive."
Speaking of the continuing vote counting he said: "We hope that other observers, the political parties and our Commonwealth colleagues can be given full access to and information about the rest of the results procedures."
Pomes said the same thing, adding that the European team also wanted access to "the justifications for the spoilt ballots. The law doesn't rule this out and common sense calls for it".
For several weeks, there has been controversy between the national electoral commission and foreign observers over whether the latter should be allowed in for the last count and the inspection of problem voting slips.
(Commonwealth and EU observers happy with Mzambique poll conduct, December 4, 2004, Agence France Presse)
UN, European Union, SADC, the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), the African Union (AU), the Commonwealth and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) - Fair
Maputo - Mozambique is almost ready for the elections. Seven helicopters are making the last material deliveries to the polling posts. The police are stationed to secure peace during the elections. The observer groups too, are geared up for their important role.
More than 2,000 observers, national and international, will oversee the presidential, legislative and provincial assembly elections taking place on 28 October in Mozambique. They will observe the quality and smoothness of the polling process at some of the 12,600 polling stations.
In addition to this mission, there are several other international observer missions, from the European Union, SADC, the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), the African Union (AU), the Commonwealth and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), as well as two missions of parliamentarians, from the SADC countries and from the European Parliament.

Namibia (2004P, 2004L, 2009P, 2009L)
Southern African Development Community (fair)
Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (fair)
EU (fair)
The Southern African Development Community delcared the 2004 and 2009 general elections to be free and fair. South African- based Electoral Institute of Southern Africa also praised the 2004 elections. The EU sent observers to the 2009 general elections.
SADC, Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (fair)
• 2004P/L: THE Namibian elections had high levels of political tolerance among political parties, the SADC Parliamentary Forum has noted.
Hifikepunye Pohamba, the candidate of Namibia's ruling SWAPO party won a landslide victory in presidentialelections held this week.
According to a report released yesterday and signed by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum mission to that country who included members of parliament from Zambia such as Regina Musokotwane, Imange Phiri and Rosemary Chipampe, the members noted that despite the absence of police in most of the political gatherings, there were no incidents of violence.
The Forum has declared the elections free and fair because they were held in line with regional norms and guidelines for democratic practice.
The Forum stated that the legal and constitutional framework generated an atmosphere conducive for free elections.
(SADC lauds high levels of political tolerance in Namibian elections, November 24, 2004, The Post (Zambia))
• 2004P/L: INTERNATIONAL observers believe that Namibia's Presidential and National Assemblyelections could set the benchmark for free and fair elections in Africa.
Both the South African-based Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) and the SADC Parliamentary Forum'sobserver missions said yesterday that although it was too early to make their final pronouncement, Monday and Tuesday's polls went peacefully and reasonably smoothly.
"This was one of the best elections I have witnessed in my life," said the head of the EISA team to the Omaheke Region, Djilio Kalombo.
"Everything was fine and played according to the rules of the game."
(Namibia; Observers Happy with Poll, November 18, 2004, Africa News - The Namibian)
• 200P/L: The recent Namibian elections were characterised by a peaceful, tolerant yet enthusiastic political atmosphere, a Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer mission has said.
"There was clear evidence of vigour and enthusiasm among political leaders and their supporters as they conducted their campaigns," said Head of the SADC observer mission to Namibia Francisco Madeira, who is also Minister for Diplomatic Affairs in the Office of the President of Mozambique.
He said posters, pamphlets, flyers, stickers, T-shirts and other regalia were prevalent and visible throughout the country.
"Therefore, I, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Armando Em¡lio Guebuza, the President of the Republic of Mozambique, hereby declare that the 27 and 28 November 2009 Presidential and National Assembly Elections were transparent, credible, peaceful, free and fair," said Madeira.
The 17-team SADC observer mission had observed that all the political parties were free to hold rallies and meetings, and relevant law enforcement agencies were poised to respond to any threat or disruption of law and order and political party agents expressed satisfaction about the voter verification process.
(South Africa; Namibian Election Declared Peaceful, Transparent, December 7, 2009, Africa News - BuaNews)
EU (fair)
• 2009P/L: THREE EU election observers were involved in a car crash in Windhoek on Saturday afternoon.
The driver of the other car was killed and one of the observers was injured.
The three are diplomats from Germany and the Netherlands.
(Namibia; EU Election Observers in Windhoek Car Crash, November 30, 2009, Africa News)

Nigeria (2003L, 2003P, 2007P, 2007L)
African Union (fair)
ECOWAS (fair)
EU (fair)
National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute (fair)
IDASA (fair)
Commonwealth Observer Group (fair)
In 2003, monitors from the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Commonwealth, the European Union (EU), the US-based National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, and the non-governmental organization Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) observed the elections. In the 2007 elections, the EU and the Commonwealth Observer Group concluded had many irregularities.
• 2003P/L: Overall, in organisational terms elections fell short of the standards Nigeria had achieved in 2003, and certainly well below those to which Nigeria is committed, Group says
Nigeria’s April 2007 elections were marred by serious deficiencies but the country must not lose faith in democracy, the Commonwealth Observer Group present for the elections has said.
• 2007P/L: ABUJA, April 23 (Reuters) - Nigeria's elections were not credible and fell far short of basic international standards, European Union observers said on Monday as they reported many different kinds of irregularities.
Elections for president, state governors and legislators were marred by violence, poor organisation, lack of transparency, significant evidence of fraud, voter disenfranchisement and bias, the observers said.
• 2003 P/L: The 2003 elections in Nigeria were seen as very significant on the international stage, and donor government and intergovernmental organizations provided considerable financial and technical assistance.
Several foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations and other international groups sent delegations to Nigeria to observe the elections. These included the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Commonwealth, the European Union (EU), the US-based National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, and the non-governmental organization Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). Of these, the EU fielded the largest number of observers (more than one hundred). However, the number of observers deployed by any of these organizations was very small compared to the thousands fielded by Nigerian groups; for example, the TMG alone deployed 10,000 observers.

Rwanda (2003R, 2003L, 2003L, 2008L, 2010P)
International Crisis Group (fair)
Human Rights Watch (fair)
US (fair)
UN (fair)
Netherlands (fair)
South Africa (fair)
Canada (fair)
Reporters without Borders (fair)
Human Rights Watch (fair)
The 2003 referendum, parliamentary and presidential elections were the first held since the genocide. The constitution voters were voting on had been criticized by organizations including the International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch. The U.S. donated $8 million to finance Rwanda's general elections. The EU has donated $1.8 million; the UN Development Program and the Netherlands donated $500,000 each. The EU declared the 2003 referendum as free and fair but criticized the 2003 legislative and presidential elections as riddled by irregularities. The South African observer mission said the 2003 presidential elections was free and fair. The US, UK, EU, and Canada monitored the 2008 legislative elections. The 2010 presidential elections was marred by scandal, such as the suppression of the media and the assignation of the leading opposition candidate. Reporters without Borders, the UN, Human Rights Watch, and the US condemned incumbent Paul Kagame's actions. Kagame won the election. The EU, which monitored the 2010 elections, expressed concern but it not take further action.
International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch (fair)
KIGALI, Rwanda - Thousands of Rwandans lined up across hilltops and at schools yesterday to vote in the country's first constitutional referendum, a charter many hope will bring democracy and prevent a repeat of the 1994 genocide that has forever scarred this central African nation.
But the draft has been criticized because it permits parliament to pass laws that could restrict civil rights enshrined in the constitution.
Tito Rutaremara, who led the constitutional commission, said parliament needs that power to protect public security and traditional values and morals.
However, the International Crisis Group, which monitors global hotspots, also said the charter, while not undemocratic, does make it difficult for political parties to challenge the RPF.
The government points to its restoration of order after the genocide as proof that it is Rwanda's best defence against more chaos, but critics say its tight control of national affairs amounts to repression.
"The constitution confers on the government broad powers to curtail speech or meetings that are deemed divisive," said Human Rights Watch.
Analysts say the proposed text includes elements clearly designed to keep Mr. Kagame's ruling RPF in power.
Article 52 in effect prohibits political parties from lobbying at grassroots level and restricts their activities to institutions higher up the administrative ladder, a move that favours the dominant RPF.
(“Rwandans flock to vote on constitution: Registration tops 95%: Limits on power designed to avoid ethnic tensions,” May 27, 2003, Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire)
• 2003R: Paris, France (PANA) - Human Rights International Federation (FIDH) Wednesday denounced "irregularities that marred" the 26 May constitutional referendum in Rwanda, and expressed reservations about Kigali's readiness for democratic pluralism.
"Information note irregularities that mar the referendum, mainly the time granted for registration on the electoral rolls, which was very limited and deprived a significant number of citizens from voting," FIDH said in a release entitled: "Rwanda, what national reconciliation without democratic pluralism?"
The rights group noted that polling stations were limited to two or three per administrative sector, which proved to be small in highly- populated cities and rural areas.
FIDH also deplored "long queues at some polling stations at closing time" as well as the refusal of polling officials to "extend the deadline to allow people to vote."
It said provision in the constitution seeking to integrate political parties into a consultation forum amounted to an "infringement of political pluralism."
This supervision of political parties infringes the provisions of the international pact on civil and political law ratified by Rwanda in 1975 on the freedom of association and expression, the FIDH statement said in Paris.
For the presidential and parliamentary elections, it recommended that ample time be allotted for registration, increase in the number of polling stations and accreditation of credible organisations to participate in the electoral process.
EU (fair)
• 2003L: The European Union has given Rwanda's referendum a clean bill of health and described the electoral process as "well-organised, well prepared and satisfactory."
The referendum on a new constitution received a resounding yes vote in Monday's polls with more than 90% of the vote.
The new constitution seeks to provide safeguards against genocide and ethnic divisions by offering power-sharing guarantees in the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Kigali yesterday, the head of the EU Observer Mission to Rwanda, Ms Colette Flesch said the general outlook of the referendum was positive.
"We have no knowledge of any major trouble, major problem or major case of violence during this process," Ms Flesch said.
The EU official told journalists that there were a few problems during the referendum, such as late opening of some polling stations, errors in the voters register and unauthorized persons in some polling stations.
However, she revealed that these incidents were not as widespread so as to affect the observer's opinions about the referendum.
"These are not the kind of problems that would put the results of the referendum in question. The difficulties do not affect the validity or outcome of the referendum," Ms Flesch said.
While releasing the results of the referendum on Tuesday, the President of Rwanda's Electoral Commission, Mr Chrysologue Karangwa said the process had provided several lessons and room for improvement.
Ms Flesch also underscored the importance of the referendum to Rwanda's political transition.
"We consider this referendum the first step towards durable democratic institutions in Rwanda," she said.
The new constitution allows for an 80-member parliament, a 26-member senate and a maximum two presidential terms of seven years each.
(“EU OKAYS REFERENDUM,” May 31, 2003, The Monitor (Uganda) - AAGM)
• 2003L/P: The European Union (EU) has claimed that Rwanda's historic legislative polls, which took place over four days last week (29 September and 2 October 2003), were been characterised by serious irregularities and fraud. The polls, which were the Great Lake country's first-ever multiparty legislative elections, were easily won by President Paul Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) party in a ballot that was devoid of any real opposition parties or candidates (see Rwanda: 2 October 2003: Election 2003- Former Rebel Party Wins Rwandan Legislative Polls). With all but 53 members of the two houses (Chamber of Deputies and Senate) either being appointed or elected by special groups - such a those for women, youth associations and the disabled - or being reserved for each of the country's provincial regions, all the public attention was focused on the battle to secure one of the elected seats in the lower house. According to the verdict from EU observers who monitored the polls, irregularities included fraud and manipulation of voter lists in some polling stations.
Significance: The EU has already passed a similarly damning verdict on the 25 August presidential election, which saw Kagame win a 95% share of the vote (see Rwanda: 28 August 2003: Rwanda Poll Fails to Satisfy EU). The latest verdict puts a further question mark on the legitimacy of both Kagame's and the RPF's victories. The party is backed by the minority Tutsi ethnic group, whereas largely marginalised Hutus make up an estimated 85% of the population.
(“Election 2003: EU Observers Slam Rwandan Legislative Polls, October 06, 2003, World Markets Analysis)
• 2008L: Kigali, August 25 (RNA) - President Paul Kagame on Monday met with the European Union election observer mission for the coming parliamentary polls urging them to do their work as per 'international electoral code of conduct', RNA reports.
The meeting comes in the wake of allegations raised by the election commission indicating the EU team already in the country is engaging in activities that are contrary to their mandate.
According to media reports, the commission claims that some of 17 observers - who are the advance team of 80, went to the eastern province and wondered why it was less occupied as well as the ethnic group living there. The Observer mission has since dismissed the reports.
(“EU observers in Rwanda pledge to carry out duties objectively,” August 25, 2008, BBC Monitoring Africa - Political)
• 2010L: The European Union on Monday granted 73.8 millions euros in aid to Rwanda to contribute to rural development, the improvement of the road network and institutions.
Three months before the presidential elections, 5.3m euros will be allocated to the electoral commission, 4.5m of the remaining 20m euros will allow the improvement of food security of the country's 10 million inhabitants and land conservation.
(“EU gives Rwanda 73.8m euros for development projects, elections, May 11, 2010, BBC Monitoring Africa - Political)
• 2010L: BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, August 12, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs on the Presidential Elections in Rwanda
We congratulate Rwanda for the organisation of the Presidential Elections on 9 August 2010, in particular the calm atmosphere and the very high turnout of voters.
These elections constitute a new stage in Rwanda's democratic process and development. At the same time, we note that some progress remains to be made in ensuring fundamental freedoms, and freedom of the media. The EU is still concerned about the serious incidents which marred the preelectoral period and urges the Rwandese authorities to ensure that the investigations and judicial proceedings regarding these events are carried out in full transparency and as rapidly as possible.
Further opening of the political space and strengthening the public debate throughout the country would significantly contribute to safeguarding Rwanda's achievements and will benefit all Rwandese.
The EU sent out an Election Expert Team to follow the electoral process, and provided financial support to the National Electoral Commission and civil society.
(“Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs on the Presidential Elections in Rwanda,” August 12, 2010, African Press Organization)
EU, US, UN, Netherlands (fair)
• 2003R: Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - Rwanda has already secured US $ 8 million out of the required US $ 17 million to finance the forthcoming general election, the chair of the National Electoral Commission Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa said here Wednesday.
The European Union (EU) donated 1.8 million euros, while the UN Development Programme and the Netherlands provided US $ 500,000 each.
Karangwa expressed the hope that donors and the government would provide the remaining funds before the 26 May constitutional referendum.
The referendum will consume at least US $ 9 million, and the remainder will be used to finance presidential and parliamentary polls in September this year.
(“RWANDA SECURES HALF OF ITS ELECTION BUDGET,” May 7, 2003, Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire)
Returning the country to a semblance of political normality with local elections and the continuing aftermath of the genocide of 1994 formed the principal preoccupations of 2001. The pursuit of war criminals and trials should not become the overriding activity for any country, yet Rwanda has little choice if it is to exorcise the horrors of the past.
Local elections
The first local elections for 35 years were held in Rwanda on 6 March 2001. None of the total of 8,000 candidates contesting 154 district councils stood as members of political parties for fear of encouraging ethnic hatred. Instead, the candidates put themselves forward as independents and, according to officials, turnout was high. The elections marked the first step in a process of democratic transition, which should culminate in parliamentary and presidential elections in 2004. However, Human Rights Watch claimed that in 45 per cent of the districts, only one candidate stood for election and that some candidates were intimidated into standing for election against their will. These allegations were denied by the chairman of the NationalElection Commission (NEC), Protais Musoni, as well as Michel Moussalli, the special representative for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR). Moussalli said that only 20 per cent of districts had just one candidate standing and claimed that the polls had been well conducted and that there was no evidence of intimidation.
(“RWANDA: REVIEW,” September 26, 2002, Africa Review World of Information)
EU, South Africa (fair)
• 2003P: The head of Rwanda's Electoral Commission has accused the European Union observer team of 'bias' after they criticised last week's presidential election.
Chrysologue Karangwa told BBC's Network Africa programme that the EU report "comes from" a report made by opposition candidate, Faustin Twagiramungu.
The EU team had said the elections were "not entirely" free and fair but were nevertheless "an important step in the democratic process."
President Paul Kagame won 95 percent of the vote and Mr Twagiramungu rejected the results.
The election was Rwanda's first democratic election since the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people were killed.
Mr Karangwa noted that the EU report referred to the imprisonment of former President Pasteur Bizimungu, which he said was not related to the election.
Mr Bizimungu, Mr Kagame's predecessor, has been in detention on charges of threatening state security since April 2002 but a date has not been set for his trial.
"That delegation came to our country just to make a political report," he said.
"I declare publicly, the elections were free and fair."
The head of the EU observer team, Collette Flesch, had suggested that some ballot boxes may have been stuffed and some EU observers had not been welcomed as votes being were counted.
"There was illegal manipulation of the list (of voters) as seen in the significant differences in numbers of people on voters lists and number of counted ballot papers in some polling stations," she said.
Earlier, the South African observer mission said the election had been free and fair.
Mr Kagame is an ethnic Tutsi who led the rebel movement which ended the slaughter of the Tutsi minority and moderate Hutus by Hutu extremists.
He has been credited by both the Tutsi and Hutu communities with promoting ethnic reconciliation after the genocide.
Also a Gambian judge is to be nominated by UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan as the new chief prosecutor for the Rwanda Genocide Court.
Kofi Annan announced Hassan Jallow, 52, a former Gambian Supreme Court judge and Solicitor-General, as his choice, just hours after the Security Council voted to remove Carla Del Ponte from the role.
She had been chief prosecutor for both the Balkans war crimes tribunal and the Rwanda court for four years, but the council decided to split the two posts, which they considered too much work for one person.
(“Rwanda Accuses EU Observers of Bias,” September 1, 2003, Africa News)

• 2008P: International observers of Rwanda's parliamentary election are set to issue their verdict at a news conference today (Wednesday) in the capital, Kigali. Results so far released by the electoral commission puts President Paul Kagame's ruling Rwandan Patriotic Party (RPF) has taken a commanding lead in the 53 member parliament. The results show the ruling party wining 42 of the 53 seats contested in Monday's direct voting, while the opposition Social Democratic party took seven seats, and the Liberal Party won four. But the opposition parties are reportedly protesting that agents of the ruling party intimidated supporters ahead of the parliamentary election.
Jean Bosco Gasasira is the editor of the Umuvugizi independent newspaper. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Kigali that the verdict of the international observers would have no impact on the election.
"After the announcement of the results of the election, journalists were quiet. The president of the commission asked the journalists and observers who were there if they had any questions, but they were silent on the matter. But the president of the commission emphasized that the results are all provisional because they were waiting for the results from observes from United States, United Kingdom and Canada and the region adding that their verdict would not have an impact on the results," Gasasira said.
Amnesty International (fair)
• 2010P: Amnesty International has strongly condemned a worrying attack on a Rwandan opposition group as the country prepares for presidential elections in August 2010.
In a letter to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Amnesty International urged him to use the elections as an opportunity to show the government's commitment to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
"Past elections have been marred by intimidation, however this year's vote gives Rwanda the chance to promote rights not repression," said Amnesty International's Africa Programme Deputy Director Tawanda Hondora.
The letter was prompted by a recent attack on two members of United Democratic Forces (Forces Democratiques Unifiees, FDU-Inkingi) and harassment of the President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (Parti Democratique Vert du Rwanda, DGPR).
(“Amnesty International Condemns Pre-election Attacks on Politicans and Journalists in Rwanda,” August 5, 2010, States News Service)
Canada (fair)
• 2010P: Canada commends the people of Rwanda on participating in their countrys presidential election, demonstrating their desire for democratic development. Canada contributed to international election observation activities in Rwanda.
Canada is concerned, however, by the political environment during and after the election, as well as with the number of violent incidents that occurred. Reports of intimidation of political opposition and restrictions on the media are also troubling. We are particularly concerned by the grenade attack and shootings reported in Kigali yesterday. We call on the Rwandan authorities to investigate these occurrences in a transparent manner that promotes justice and accountability.
Canada continues to urge the Government of Rwanda to ensure freedom of association and freedom of the press, key elements of democratic development, in the post-election environment.
(Canada Concerned by Post-Election Situation in Rwanda, August 12, 2010, States News Service)
Reporters without Borders (fair)
• 2010L: Reporters Without Borders in Rwanda have called upon the European Union and other donors to suspend financial support towards next month's general elections citing crackdown on media freedom in the country.
This follows the arrest of several members of Kigali's independent tabloid Umurabyo on Monday.
Mr Saidati Mukakibibi was detained by Rwandan police on charges of defamation, inciting public disorder and ethnic division. The charges stem from an article published in the newspaper comparing President Paul Kagame and his government to Adolf Hitler in the Nazi Germany.
Mr Mukakibibi's arrest came just days after the tabloid's owner and editor, Ms Agnes Uwimana Nkusi, was detained on similar charges.
In 2007, Ms Nkusi served a one-year prison sentence for sectarianism and defamation. The editor has been in detention since July 8, and has not yet been produced in court.
(“Reporters Without Borders Urge EU to Blacklist Rwanda, July 22, 2010, The Monitor - Africa News)
UN, Human Rights Watch, US
• 2010P: A long-standing ally of successive U.S. governments, Rwandan President Paul Kagame is finding himself in the middle of a controversial election campaign, marked by media repression, jailings of opposition leaders, threats of war, attempted assassinations and several killings of political opponents.
The United Nations and U.S.-based Human Rights Watch have called for a full investigation into one of the recent killings, the near decapitation of an opposition leader. One of those jailed in the run-up to the August 9 presidential vote was American lawyer Peter Erlinder. He had gone to Rwanda to defend an opposition leader jailed for allegedly disagreeing with the government's official version of the 1994 genocide. He was then also jailed for three weeks on a charge of what Rwandan authorities call genocide ideology.
Erlinder said he would have never gone to Rwanda if he had known what the political climate was like.
"I thought with the election coming up and with the many nice things that the United States government has said about the Rwandan government recently and the progress that it has made ... Unfortunately what is happening now raises serious questions about whether that progress was real or whether we really do have a military dictatorship that is being supported by our government. It raises a lot of very difficult questions," Erlinder said.
Following the arrest of Erlinder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she understood the anxiety of Rwanda's leadership over what they view as genocide denial, but she urged Rwanda not to undermine its remarkable progress by beginning to move away from positive actions.
(“Rwanda’s Paul Kagame Center of Controversial Election,” August 2, 2010, Voice of America News)
• 2010L: The U.S. government has voiced mild criticism of the handling of the 9 August 2010 presidential election in Rwanda amid concerns that the ballot, won by incumbent candidate Paul Kagame, was stage-managed. "We remain concerned ... about a series of disturbing events prior to the election, including the suspension of two newspapers, the expulsion of a human rights researcher, the barring of two opposition parties from taking part in the election, and the arrest of journalists," National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement. "We hope the leadership will take steps toward more democratic governance, increased respect for minority and opposition views, and continued peace," Hammer said.
Significance:Kagame, who has been head of state since 2000, was able to easily secure another term in office following a similarly one-sided victory at the last election in 2003 (seeRwanda: 11 August 2010:). This is due to the absence of any serious challengers in the race, with the three candidates who stood against him all considered too close to the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party after their parties backed Kagame in the 2003 ballot. Opposition candidates, such as Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza of the opposition Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) and Bernard Ntaganda of the Parti Social Imberakuri, were denied a chance to partake in the poll after their parties were prevented from obtaining the required formal registration. As such, Kagame's victory appears to lack legitimacy and credibility, which the U.S. government has belatedly noted in its mild rebuke.
(Election 2010: US Expresses Concern Over Rwandan Presidential Polls, August 16, 2010, Global Insight)

Senegal (2000P, 2001R, 2001L, 2007P, 2007L)
Economic Community of West African States (fair)
African Union (fair)
Francophonie (fair)
In the 2007 general elections, Economic Community of West African States, African Union and Francophonie sent monitors.
1. Economic Community of West African States (fair)
• 2007P,L: Senegal's presidential election was free and fair, observers from regional body the Economic Community Of West African States (Ecowas) have said.
Supporters of the incumbent, Abdoulaye Wade, have been celebrating, claiming he has won Sunday's poll.
2. African Union, Francophonie (fair)
Monitors were expected from the African Union, the Francophonie international organisation, and the Economic Community of West African States.

Sierra Leone (2002P, 2002L, 2007P):
EU (Corruption, Fair)
US (Corruption, Fair)
UK (Corruption, Fair, Peace)
UN (Corruption, Fair, Peace)

Description: Sierra Leone has only recently emerged from a bloody civil war in which both the United Nations and the UK had to intervene militarily to bring about a cease fire and, eventually, a restructuring of the state. That considered, Sierra Leone’s first shot at free and fair post-conflict elections only came in 2007, which were considered relatively successful by all international observers. The country still has an important international presence, with both UN peacekeepers and a few hundreds of UK troops assisting the government in cementing democratic institutions. When it comes to elections, the international community’s greatest concern in Sierra Leone is corruption, as the government has been increasingly liable to both internal and foreign corruption networks – especially the Colombian carterls, which have also established themselves in other West African countries and represent a growing force in the political underworld. The UK is probably Sierra Leone’s biggest economic and political partner, which accounts for its leading role in providing resources and guidance to the government on electoral matters.


EU, US, France, UK: Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Momodu Koroma Wednesday registered government's displeasure over a joint statement issued by the European Union, British High Commission, French and US Embassies in Freetown over the arrest and trail of Charles Margai, leader of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC). The joint diplomatic release stated that "we are concerned, as this may have implications for Sierra Leone's security and stability and also for the preparations for credible and democratic elections in 2007 " and continued, "it is important that all parties and candidates for the elections should be able to prepare for these on an equal basis". (Concord Times, December 15, 2006)

Observers: the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) will also be monitoring the elections. (BBC News, “Q&A: Sierra Leone Elections”, August 9, 2007:

UK, UN: The initial British (military) presence has shrunk to 335. The UN has 17,500, the world's largest peacekeeping force. After its timely intervention, British soldiers whipped government troops into shape and provided a crucial psychological presence as UN peacekeepers restored peace and stability. The army and police are in effect under British control, while Whitehall has seconded civil servants to a host of ministries. The country has become one of the world's largest per capita aid recipients. (Mark Tran, The Guardian, May 14, 2002:

a.     First, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) proved far more resilient, efficient and independent than had been anticipated. Excellently chaired by Christina Thorpe, and with experienced advice fromUNIOSIL, the NEC was able to devise a campaigning, voting and counting process to which all parties found themselves adhering far more closely than they may have felt comfortable with. It was this overt protection for and championing of the NEC by the overwhelming majority of international actors, such as the National Democratic Institute, that led some who perceived NEC independence as being de facto opposition to attribute these qualities to the international community as a whole. (Tom Cargill, Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs, September 2008:


South Africa (2004P, 2004L, 2008L)
No intervention.

Swaziland (2003L, 2008L)
SADC (fair)
Commonwealth (fair)
Pan-African Parliament (fair)
SADC and the Commonwealth sent monitors to the 2003 parliamentary elections, which was marred by boycotts. Swaziland's parliament has no real power and King Mswati III is an absolute monarch. The election-monitoring team from the Commonwealth Secretariat called for political reform after the elections, specifically an amendment to the country's draft constitution that would include a transition of power from the king to an elected government. Monitors from the SADC observed the 2008 parliamentary election and called it "free and fair," but the the head of the Pan-African Parliament (legislative arm of the African Union) Mary Mugyenyi criticized the election because it was held under a multiparty ban. Commonwealth observers also monitored the 2008 legislative elections.
Commonwealth (fair)
• 2003L: As Swaziland's newly elected parliament begins another term, an election-monitoring team from the 54-member Commonwealth Secretariat has called upon the country's absolute monarch, King Mswati III, to devolve some of his powers in favour of the legislative body by amending the country's new constitution (see Swaziland: 18 October 2003: Election 2003: Latest Swazi Legislative Polls Fail to Excite Nation). The team, which travelled to the Southern African country to observe the 18 October parliamentary polls, called for an amendment to the country's draft constitution - unveiled by King Mswati III at the end of May - to include a transfer of the monarch's powers to an elected parliament and government (see Swaziland: 2 June 2003: Swazi Monarch Unveils Draft Constitution and Sets Date for General Elections). Swaziland's legislature has no power and is officially an advisory body. MPs do not create laws, but debate laws brought to them by cabinet ministers, who are palace appointees themselves. King Mswati can override MPs' decisions, decree laws without any parliamentary participation, and dissolve parliament at his will.
Significance: Despite the growing domestic and international calls for a political reform, King Mswati continues to rule Swaziland as his personal estate, with no parliament to check and balance his moves and no official opposition to highlight his shortcomings.
(“Commonwealth Calls for Political Reform in Swaziland,” November 05, 2003, World Market Analysis, by Gus Selassie)
• 2003L: A Commonwealth team sent to observe elections in Swaziland last month has urged the 54-state body to put pressure on Africa's last absolute monarch to introduce reforms, including transfer of his powers to an elected government.
The three-person team presented a 50-page report to Commonwealth secretary general Don McKinnon in London late Monday night, following low-key elections in the small southern African country on October 18.
It said a draft constitution unveiled by King Mswati III at the end of May could be changed to include a transfer of the monarch's powers to an elected parliament and government.
"We urge you to press the King of Swaziland as urgently and as strongly as possible to adopt this reform agenda and recommend that you should respond speedily should technical assistance for that agenda be requested," the team said.
"We would like to believe that the current draft constitution can yet be changed to provide for a transfer from the King to parliament and government and freedom of association."
King Mswati has been widely criticised for refusing to introduce democratic reforms to the tiny mountain kingdom squeezed between South Africa and Mozambique.
His image has been tarnished by a series of indiscretions, including plans to spend millions of dollars on a private jet even as AIDS and famine devastate his country, and the alleged kidnapping of a schoolgirl to become his 10th bride.
Mswati and some of his ministers have also sparred repeatedly with the country's judiciary.
Voters in the tiny kingdom were called to the polls to choose representatives to the country's lower House of Assembly under the Swazi "tinkhundla" (SeSwati for "meeting place") system.
Candidates could only canvass on an individual basis, as party politics have been banned for 30 years, and the king rules by decree.
The Swazi parliament has a mainly advisory role to Mswati.
Added the Commonwealth team: "We do not regard the credibility of these elections as an issue. No elections can be credible when they are for a parliament which does not have power and when political parties are banned."
(“Swazi king to be pressed to adopt reform: Commonwealth team,” November 4, 2003, Agence France Presse)
• 2003L: Swaziland's election officials started distributing ballot papers in the tiny kingdom on Friday, but pro-democracy groups and international diplomats warned that voting will have little impact on the political landscape in the absolute monarchy.
Thousands of voters were expected to cast their ballots Saturday to elect individual members to the 55-seat lower House of Assembly in Swaziland, where there is a ban on political parties.
Pro-democracy groups on Friday called for a total boycott of the elections, saying it would do little to install democracy in the southern African country. International diplomats have also warned that the vote would have little impact on the rule of King Mswati III.
International diplomats have warned that the vote would do little to change the political landscape in the country, wedged between South Africa and Mozambique.
"It's more like a popularity contest to elect development officers, rather than real politicians," said one diplomat, who asked not to be named.
"Because there are no political parties, it will not make a real difference," said another diplomat.
But he added: "The fact that there are elections is not a bad thing. It's just that it's the skewing of a whole system."
The candidates elected in 55 constituencies in the southern African kingdom will take their seats in the House of Assembly.
King Mswati III will appoint another 10 seats in the House of Assembly after the election in the 55 constituencies.
The upper house, the Senate, will consist of 30 seats, of which 10 are chosen by the House of Assembly and 20 others -- at least eight of them women -- will be appointed by the king.
Meanwhile, several organisations including the South African Development Community (SADC) as well as the Commonwealth have sent teams of experts to observe the elections in the country.
"The decision to send an expert team follows an invitation from the government of Swaziland," said David Thompson, the team's leader told AFP.
"The team will observe preparations for the elections, the polling, counting and results, before a report would be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary General (Don McKinnon)," he said.
(“Absolute monarchy Swaziland prepares for election,” October 17, 2003, Agence France Presse)
SADC, Commonwealth (fair)
Swaziland officials began counting votes Sunday following the kingdom's parliamentary elections, with pro-democracy groups claiming success in their call for voters to stay away from the polls in Africa's last absolute monarchy.
Chief electoral officer Robert Thwala said the sealed ballot boxes had been taken to counting centres around the county and results were expected by late afternoon, but only one constituency had reported results by 1:00 pm (1100 GMT).
Saturday's polls were to elect 55 members for the tiny kingdom's 65-seat lower House of Assembly, with the 10 others to be appointed by King Mswati III, who rules by decree inSwaziland, where political parties were banned in 1973 and parliament serves mainly in an advisory capacity to the monarch.
Government officials said they were satisfied with the turnout in rural areas but admitted that many stayed away in the cities, while officials of Swaziland's powerful trade union and its unofficial opposition claimed their call for a boycott had been successful.
Andrias Mathabela, Swaziland's acting deputy prime minister, admitted Saturday that the low turnout in the cities may have been influenced by the call by pro-democracy groups and the southern African country's powerful labour federation.
But Thwala denied this, saying Sunday that "many voters in the cities went to rural areas because that's where they came from and would rather vote for people they know".
Pro-democracy groups and international diplomats have warned that voting will have little impact on the political landscape in Swaziland.
On Friday the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU), which claims a membership of around 83,000 members out of a total work force of 110,000, called for a boycott of the polls.
It was supported in their call by Swaziland's banned People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), a small, but vocal unofficial opposition in the kingdom.
SFTU secretary-general Jan Sithole said: "The system of these elections will not usher in any meaningful change that the Swazi people need.
"The number of people who attended in yesterday (Saturday's) elections clearly shows that many of our people stayed away from the polls."
Bonginkosi Dlamini, PUDEMO secretary-general, said for his part: "I'm very happy that the people of Swaziland heeded our call for a poll boycott."
He told AFP: "I don't have a full report, but in the major areas where we have sent our people to monitor elections, we are satisfied that the people understood what was meant by the call to boycott (the vote)."
After the newly elected members take their seats in the House of Assembly alongside another 10 appointed by the kind, Mswati III is to appoint 20 members of the 30-seat upper house, the Senate, of which at least eight must be women. The other 10 are to be chosen by the House of Assembly.
Several organisations including the South African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth sent teams of experts to observe the elections.
(“Swaziland count ballots, pro-democracy groups claim successful boycott call,” October 19, 2003, Agence France Presse)
• 2008L: The legitemacy of next week's elections is viewed with suspicion by a growing number of citizens
Although Swaziland has had a new Constitution since 2006, the country has failed to shake off its status as one of Africa's remaining undemocratic nations.
King Mswati III, who recently celebrated the 40th independence anniversary of the country and his own 40th birthday, frequently invites fierce criticism from political opposition parties and civil society inside and outside the country.
Assistance in building its capacity to organize for change
For international organizations, including the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to play a pro-active role in facilitating dialogue between the contending forces, to bring about
For the region and the international community to challenge the Swazi government at international forums about its human rights record;
To see Swaziland excluded from all international forums until proper process towards democratization
For regional and international communities to pronounce openly the current elections as undemocratic because political parties remain banned and the environment is not conducive to free and fair elections; and
For South African businesses to exert pressure on the king to create a climate of democratic stability that facilitates sustainable investment.
Obstacles to democracy
There is a low level of political debate and those challenging authority are labelled "unSwazi".
There is pressure on the media and the judiciary to behave in a manner defined by royalty as "loyal Swazi". These institutions feel particularly threatened when issues arise that are perceived to be a threat to the royal family.
There is an underperforming civil service because most senior positions are occupied by members of the royal family or its associates. They feel no obligation to deliver because they owe their allegiance to the king.
The private sector operates to please the royal family, even though this makes no business sense. This has created low economic productivity and a disincentive to invest in the economy and create jobs.
Source: Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, in English 19 Sep 08 p 18
(“SAfrica: Comment discusses Swaziland's political, democratic "farce”, September 19, 2008 Friday, BBC Monitoring Africa - Political)
SADC (fair), Pan-African Parliament (fair)
Swaziland officials September 21 released the results of parliamentary elections held September 19, the first since a 2006 amending of the constitution. The 2006 reforms allowed some limited political freedoms, but retained the country's long-standing ban on multiparty democracy. The small, impoverished kingdom in southern Africa remained one of the world's last absolute monarchies. In addition to the 55 candidates sent to the national assembly in the nonpartisan elections, Swazi King Mswati III would appoint an additional 10 representatives, as well as the country's prime minister and cabinet. [See 2006 Swaziland: Anti-Monarchy Protest]
With a ban on parties, the results offered little insight into the political preferences of the some 400,000 eligible voters. One of the few surprises saw the sitting health minister lose his seat. Foreign observers gave mixed assessments on the legitimacy of the vote. Monitors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC)--a 14-member regional grouping--characterized the poll as "free and fair." Mary Mugyenyi, head of the Pan-African Parliament, the legislative arm of the African Union (AU), questioned the significance of an election with no political parties, and urged a national referendum on the issue.
(“Swaziland; Elections Held Under Multiparty Ban,” October 16, 2008, Facts on File World News Digest)
Commonwealth (fair)
• 2008L: A Commonwealth expert team in Swaziland this week noted that the elections on 19 September were the first to be held under the new constitution.
Commonwealth observers of the previous elections, in 2003, had commented that they did not consider the credibility of the elections in Swaziland an issue, as "no elections can be credible when they are for a Parliament which does not have power, and when political parties are banned."
(“VOTERS WANT FOOD AND WATER,” September 19, 2008, UN Integrated Regional Information Network (Kenya) - AAGM)

Tanzania (2000P, 2000L, 2005P, 2010L, 2010P)
EU (fair)
European Parliamentarians for Africa (fair)
Organization of African Unity (fair)
Canada (fair)
Nigeria (fair)
Commonwealth (fair)
Southern African Development Community (fair)
African Union (fair)
Observers from European Parliamentarians for Africa, EU, Organization of African Unity, Canada, and Nigeria declared the 2000 general elections be to generally free and fair. But the Commonwealth observers said the polls were "shambles" and Tanzania showed "colossal contempt" for democracy. The Commonwealth observer group recommended fresh elections. Observers from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union said the 2005 presidential elections were free and fair. The EU, Canada and Southern Africa Development Community said the 2010 elections were free and fair.
European Parliamentarians for Africa, EU, Organization of African Unity, Canada, Nigeria (fair)
• 2000P/L: International observers have described last weekend's polls in mainland Tanzania as generally free and fair, in a joint statement released here Tuesday.
"The accuracy of the procedures followed on polling day and immediately after enables us to conclude that October 29, 2000 elections in mainland Tanzania were generally peacefully, freely conducted and representative of popular opinion," the observers said.
The signatories of the statement include European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA), the European Union in association with Switzerland, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Canada and Nigeria.
Polling Sunday in presidential, parliamentary and local council elections went smoothly in mainland Tanzania, but were characterised by chaos and allegations of malpractices in the semi-autonomous twin islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.
The observers commended Tanzania's National Electoral Commission (NEC) for distributing polling material throughout mainland Tanzania in good time for the elections.
"With the exception of some minor and isolated irregularities, which had no bearing on the outcome, the correct procedures were followed throughout the mainland," they said.
But they pointed to some flaws during campaigning, such as the use of abusive, provocative and divisive language, as well as frequent use by officials from the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM - Revolutionary Party) of government personnel and resources.
Meanwhile, on the twin Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, a volatile showdown was underway between the government and the opposition Civic United Front (CUF).
Zanzibar's electoral commission has said it planned to repeat polling in 16 of the state's 50 constituencies, but is under pressure for a total rerun of elections which international observers described as a "shambles".
Commonwealth election observers Monday said the polls in Zanzibar were a "shambles" and showed "colossal contempt" for democracy.
The CUF was expected to officially announce its reaction on Tuesday to plans for only a partial rerun of widely discredited elections.
The party has said voting should be repeated in all 50 constituencies.
(Observers describe mainland Tanzania’s poll as free and fair, October 31, 2000, Agence France Presse)
Commonwealth (fair)
• 2000P/L: London, UK (PANA) - Fresh elections should be held in Zanzibar, supervised by "a reformed election management machinery," according to a recommendation by the Commonwealth Observer Group that monitored the poll in October.
The group said that even though elections were held 5 November in the 16 constituencies where voting had been cancelled on polling day, 29 October, " the case for fresh elections remains unanswerable."
The observers also called for a reform of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission.
"These two measures are vital if there is to be a credible and secure basis for democracy in Zanzibar," the team said in its final report released in London Thursday.
The observers commended Zanzibaris who turned out in large numbers to take part in their second multi-party elections since independence in 1963. "Unfortunately, the conduct of the election fell far short of minimum standards," the report said.
It cited the lack of ballot papers, which led to the cancellation of the election in the 16 constituencies, representing 40 percent of registered voters.
"The cause was either deliberate manipulation or gross incompetence," the observers said.
They also questioned the legitimacy of the voters' register. They said these doubts "will only be dispelled once there has been a fresh registration exercise, conducted on the basis of a consensus with the political parties."
Another discrepancy on the part of the electoral commission was the practice of writing the voter's registration number on the ballot paper counterfoil and on the ballot paper itself.
The group recommended that this practice he stopped, saying "it undermines confidence in the secrecy of the ballot."
The observers concluded: "The group believes that only a fresh poll, throughout Zanzibar, undertaken by a commission reformed in line with international good practice, with its independence guaranteed in both law and practice and a restructured and professional secretariat, can create confidence and give credibility to Zanzibar's democracy. We hope that everyone in Zanzibar will work together for agreement on the way ahead."
(Commonwealth Calls for Fresh Elections in Zanzibar, November 17, 2000, Africa News Wire - Panafrican News Agency)
Southern African Development Community, AU fair)
• 2005P: TANZANIA received a pat on the back for holding peaceful, free, transparent and credible elections last week, by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Elections Observer Mission (SOEM).
"The people of Tanzania have spoken The people of the United Republic of Tanzania have expressed their will in an impressively instructive manner that will go a long way in contributing to the consolidation of democracy and political stability not only in Tanzania but also in the region as whole," Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister, who is also the Head of the Namibian Observer Mission, John Pandeni, remarked when he delivered SOEM's preliminary report.
"SADC wishes therefore, to commend the people of Tanzania for the high levels of political accommodation and maturity displayed," he said when he presented his views on that country's third parliamentary and presidential elections that took place on December 14.
(Tanzania; SADC Observers Commend Tanzania, Africa News, December 22, 2005)
• 2005P: Election observers deployed for the 14 December polls in the United Republic of Tanzania have praised the conduct of the elections and the voters.
The African Union said the elections were conducted efficiently in a secure environment, polling stations opened and closed on time and materials were available, and there was good cooperation between polling officials and party agents.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Election Observer Mission (SEOM) also praised the conduct of the elections, saying the process was conducted "meticulously and lawfully".
SEOM praised the "high sense of gender equity and youth representation in the electoral process", and said there was a peaceful atmosphere and a high level of political tolerance.
Overall, the SADC delegation, headed by a Namibian member of parliament, John Pandeni, said the elections were "peaceful, free, transparent, credible and professionally managed" and "reflected the will of the people".
The AU said the elections were conducted in line with the regulations, and consensus was built on many decisions. Other major points included the high turnout of voters, especially women, and respect for the secrecy of the ballot.
Baleka Mbete, who is the Speaker of the National Assembly in South Africa and a member of the Pan-African Parliament, headed the AU delegation and congratulated all stakeholders for their respective roles in the process.
She said in the areas covered by the AU observers there were no incidences of "party agents disagreeing with the outcome of the counting and verification of the ballots and number of votes."
Mbete said the AU findings were that the elections were conducted efficiently in a secure environment, thanks to the police presence at all polling stations. No one felt intimidated by the police officers' presence either, she said, as they had conducted themselves in a professional manner.
She added that the high turnout of voters was a surprise to observers. "We could not believe our eyes."
"Overall, the elections were free and fair," the AU mission said, citing "a few small problems that need to be rectified in future elections."
(Tanzania; Observers Say Polls ‘Free And Fair, Transparent, Credible’, December 16, 2005, Africa News)
EU (fair)
• 2010L: THE European Union (EU) has hailed last Sunday parliamentary bi-elections in seven constituencies, saying the exercise was peaceful, transparent and generally orderly.
In a statement issued in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday the EU said its observer mission which was present at six of the constituencies that went to polls also noted that voter turnout was similar to those registered during the October 31 general election - high in Zanzibar and low on the mainland.
"The key stages of the process observed showed a well administered Election Day, and contrary to the general election on 31 October, observers and political parties' agents had access to the counting and aggregation processes," it said.
The EU said its observers saw no complaints filed about the process and political party agents were present in all the polling centres observed by the EU EOM in the six constituencies: Mpanda Urban and Mpanda Rural in the mainland region of Katavi, and Magogoni, Mtoni, Mwanakwerekwe (Unguja) and Wete (Pemba) in the islands of Zanzibar.
Canada (fair)
• 2010P/L: CANADA has congratulated Tanzania for conducting peaceful general election and applauded President Jakaya Kikwete, on his re-election for the second and last term in office.
In a statement issued through the Canadian High Commission in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Lawrence Cannon, said his country welcomes the results of the October 31 polls and wishes President Kikwete a productive second term in office.
"We applaud the people of Tanzania on holding largely peaceful yet competitive elections that allowed for freedom of expression, association, movement and assembly.
"In particular, we commend the political parties of Zanzibar for accepting peacefully the results of the very close race and for being willing to move forward with the power-sharing Government of National Unity, as was envisioned in the successful July referendum", said the Minister.
Mr Cannon said Tanzania remains a key partner for Canada in Africa, and his country welcomes Tanzania's achievements in its evolution toward a vibrant multi-party democracy.
Canada contributed significantly to this election by providing funding through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to the UN Development Programme's Election Support Project in Tanzania, and to the Commonwealth Secretariat so that it could send an observer group to monitor the elections.
Four staff members of the High Commission in Dar es Salaam also served as observers within the EU election observation mission.
(Tanzania; Canada Impressed by General Election, November 10, 2010, Tanzania Daily News)
Southern African Development Community (fair)
THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders have welcomed the preliminary report on Tanzania's general election compiled by the community'sobserver mission and commended the country for conducting free, fair and peaceful polls.
SADC also congratulated President Jakaya Kikwete for his re-election to the post and Tanzanians for voting calmly and peacefully, according to the Community's Executive Secretary, Dr Tomaz Salomao. During the elections SADC was represented by 97 observers.
Dr Salomao made the remarks in Gaborone, Botswana on Saturday when briefing journalists on the outcome of a one-day SADC extra-ordinary summit. At the Summit, Tanzania was represented by the Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, who attended on behalf of President Kikwete.
The country's delegation also included the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Rajab Gamaha and the country's High Commissioner to South Africa and Botswana, Ms Radhia Msuya.
(Tanzania; Poll Conduct Pleases SADC, November 21, 2010, Africa News - Tanzania Daily News)

Togo (1998P, 1999L, 2002L, 2003P, 2005P, 2007L, 2010P)

France (Fair, Alliance)
UN (Fair)
EU (Corruption, Fair)
Senegal (Alliance)
Canada (Corruption, Fair)
ECOWAS (Corruption, Fair)
US (Corruption Fair)
AU (Corruption, Fair)
Burkina Faso (Corruption, Fair)

The Lome Agreements of 1998 enabled Togo’s political system to function with a reasonable degree of stability in the last decade. The country has suffered constant feuds between government and opposition leaders, which has led the EU, the UN, and both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the AU to intervene in the country’s pre-electoral and electoral processes to guarantee that the elections happen in a fair and law-abiding manner. The EU is the biggest contributor in terms of election monitors, and has at least once, in 2003, been accused of channeling in money to train and enhance the opposition. France, on the other hand, maintained a more friendly relationship with government leaders, often neglecting accusations of human rights abuses and alleged attempts at constitutional change for illicit electoral gain. Senegal seems to have been involved in 2003 in an attempt to rally the opposition groups against Togo’s government, but in general, the regional focus is in ensuring fair electoral processes.

EU: The Lome Peace Agreement was brokered by the European Union (EU) in 1998 and set up the Joint-Oversight Commission to supervise the implementation of the Lome Framework Agreement. The Agreement also sets up the establishment of a Parity Independent National Electoral Commission. (“Togo; Two Ugly Faces of Lome's Limping Democracy: the Way Out of the Crisis”, Ghanaian Chronicle, March 1, 2002.)

-          One hundred and twenty-two European observers will be deployed to Togo for the presidential election on 28 February 2010. This was announced in Lome on Monday [1 February] by the head of the European Union observer mission, the Spaniard José García-Margallo y Marfil, who indicated that impartiality would be mandatory.

"Our mission is to judge the process since we cannot be observers and at the same time interfere in the process. We shall publish our first preliminary statement two to three days after the election proper. This will be followed by a detailed report at the end of two months", explained the European Member of Parliament.

During the legislative elections in October 2007, an equivalent number of European experts were in Togo. They concluded that the elections were "free, democratic and transparent".

(Source: website, Lome, in French 1 Feb 10)

EU, Senegal, Canada: Reliable sources have confirmed that the Togolese head of state Gnassingbe Eyadema has not hesitated to make his reservations known to his Senegalese counterpart about "the possible but unwitting implication of the brotherly country in acts of political interference and destabilisation of Togo."

Even though observers are not privy to the real substance and main causes of the Togolese protest, unimpeachable sources said that of late, Togo has not been comfortable with some intelligence reports which seem to implicate "an unidentified West African country in the alleged recruitement of youths of northern Togolese origin with the collusion of leaders of a well known opposition party for armed training."

Notwithstanding the fact that the reports are yet to be substantiated, a recent attempt by a group of Non-Governmental Organizations calling itself the National Consultation of Togolese Civil Societies (CNSCTOGO) to hold an international colloquium on the Togolese political crisis in Dakar capital of Senegal on Wednesday 19th of March, 2003 has not been taken to kindly by the government of Togo.

Sources said Togo impressed the Senegalese authorities, the European Union, the Canadians who were to be co-sponsors of the colloquium that the forum could have been another Togo National Conference in disguise meant to destabilize the Eyadema regime. Otherwise, reportedly said the Togolese authorities, "there is no earthly reason why the colloquium cannot take place in Togo."

(“Togo; Senegal faces destabilization charges from Togo.” Ghanaian Chronicle, April 17, 2003)

ECOWAS, US: The United States fully supports the decision by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to impose sanctions on the Gnassingbe regime in Togo. The United States has ended all military assistance to Togo. We are reviewing all aspects of our relations with Togo in order to identify further means of supporting the actions of ECOWAS. We note that direct government assistance to Togo ended in 1994 following a flawed presidential election and gross human rights abuses.

The United States does not accept as legitimate the designation of Gnassingbe as interim president and calls on him to step aside immediately. The United States again calls on Togolese authorities to fully implement, without further delay, all the ECOWAS demands listed in the 9 February communique. We are convinced that peaceful national reconciliation and democratic governance can only be achieved in Togo through the conduct of free, transparent and fully participatory elections organized under a neutral, independent authority working closely with regional and international organizations.

(“Togo; U.S. Supports Decision by African States to Sanction Togo;” U.S. Department of State, February 19, 2005)

AU, ECOWAS: Less than a day after the African Union imposed sanctions demanding a return to constitutional legality in Togo, Faure Gnassingbe stepped down from the presidential post he had assumed after the death of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema three weeks ago. Virtually unanimous condemnation was followed by sanctions from Togo's West African neighbors and from the continent-wide organization. This sent the unmistakable message, in the words of one commentator's headline, that there would be "no business as usual for Baby Eyadema."

Both the regional West African organization ECOWAS and the African Union are planning to play an active role in this transitional period. But their capacity to be effective will depend on whether there is scope for Togolese citizens and civil society organizations, as well as political parties, to build a climate for change that does not descend into political violence.

(“Togo: Peer Pressure Plus.” AfricaFocus, February 28, 2005)

EU, Burkina Faso, ECOWAS, UN: The Togolese government and opposition parties have agreed to end a 12-year political impasse that had put off foreign donors, hurt the economy and triggered unrest last year that sent tens of thousands of people fleeing across the border.

The agreement calls for the creation of a national unity government that will lead Togo to parliamentary elections next year, the abolition of strict eligibility conditions related to one's country of residence, revision of electoral rolls and equitable access to public media during campaigns.

The government of President Faure Gnassingbe and the opposition Union of Forces for Change (UFC) reached the accord on Friday after a 10-day meeting in Burkina Faso overseen by President Blaise Compaore. They signed the agreement on Sunday in Togo's capital, Lome.

The implementation of the accord will be monitored by representatives of Togolese political parties, Burkina Faso and representatives of the EU and Economic Community of West Africa African States.

(“Togo; Political Agreement Aims to End 12-Year Feud.” UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, August 21, 2006)

Uganda (2000R, 2001P&L, 2005R, 2006P&L)


UK (Fair)
Human Rights Watch (Fair)
Libya (Alliance, Fair)
France (Alliance)
Canada (Peace, Fair)
The Netherlands (Fair)
Sweden (Fair)
Norway (Fair)
Ireland (Fair)
South Africa (Fair)
Nigeria (Fair)
Kenya (Fair)
The Gambia (Fair)

Description: Uganda has experience severe conflict in the last two decades, which has turned elections and the normalization of political competition the key target for neighboring countries, donors, and regional powers. The Western donors (UK, France, Norway, Ireland, and Sweden) have put in place severe restrictions in the flow of aid in order to ensure political accountability and electoral fairness. At the other end, African nations involved in monitoring the Ugandan elections tried to smooth out the country’s internal problems and quickly declare its electoral process fit for democratic standards. NGO’s such as Human Rights Watch have also been highly critical of the Ugandan political and electoral system, fueling greater restrictive measures by donor countries and inciting the wrath of incumbent politicians.


UK: Britain's lawmakers tabled a motion that puts Uganda's cabinet on the spot over its decision to lift the presidential term limits. "We are encouraging the government of Uganda to open up political space and look forward to publication of the constitutional review commission's recommendations for political change," Mr Chris Mullin, secretary for foreign and commonwealth affairs (Africa) told the UK House of Commons last week.

Mullin was answering queries from lawmakers who also tabled a motion, "Political Pluralism in Uganda", which pointedly questions the cabinet decision to lift the two term limits. Says the motion: "this House notes that the Ugandan authorities have restricted political activities for the past 18 years; welcomes the decision by the government and opposition groups to agree to commence talks on the country's transition to political pluralism in 2006; and regrets that the cabinet has recommended a constitutional amendment to lift the presidential two-term limit."

Adds the motion: "This House calls therefore on Her Majesty's Government, as a major donor to Uganda, to encourage the Ugandan authorities to respect the constitution and to co-operate with the opposition and arrive at a consensus if Uganda is to have a peaceful transition to multi-party democracy after the 2006 presidential election." (The Monitor web site, Kampala, in English 15 Feb 04)

- After these moves, and unhappy about state funds flowing to Mr. Museveni's own party for the election campaign, Britain said it would cut £15-million ($30-million) in direct aid and send the money instead to humanitarian agencies working in the north. Another £5-million will be held back until after next month's election. Mr. Museveni responded to this action by his country's biggest donor by accusing Britain and other foreign governments of seeking to interfere in Uganda's affairs. "That's how they have been running Africa for all this time," he told the BBC. "They think that when they give us aid, we should abdicate from thinking." (The Globe and Mail, Canada, January 9, 2006)

France: HOPES WITHIN Uganda's opposition that donors will press President Yoweri Museveni not to amend the 1995 constitution to allow him to run for the 2006 presidential election were shattered last week when Western diplomats said they will not interfere with the country's transitional process.
However, the diplomats warned that economic and political gains that the country had achieved in the past decade might be lost unless the government handled the transition to the 2006 presidential election well.
"It's for the Ugandans to decide, not me, not France," said the French ambassador to Uganda, Bernard Thiant. "We have examples of countries that are under a one-party system and are democratic, and those under multipartyism that are not democratic." (The East African, August 2, 2004)
CANADA: Canada called on the United Nations Security Council to take urgent measures to deal with the humanitarian disaster in northern Uganda. The situation there "is nothing short of catastrophic," Canada's UN envoy, Allan Rock, wrote in a letter that went into considerable detail about the horrific conditions in an area plagued by a vicious insurgency that is entering its 20th year. Its features include mass kidnappings and conscriptions of young children, torture, mutilation and the displacement of 1.7 million people, who have been crowded into more than 200 disease-ridden camps. About 1,000 civilians die every week from war-related causes. (The Globe and Mail, Canada, January 9, 2006)
UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Sweden: The United Kingdom on Tuesday announced that it would reduce budget support to Uganda by £15m (about Shs48 billion) and withhold another £5m (about Shs16 billion) until after theelections in February because of concerns over the "events surrounding" the arrest and trial of opposition leader Kizza Besigye and delays in the political transition.
The British aid freeze followed similar cuts by the Dutch, Norwegian, Irish and the Swedish governments over similar concerns, including overruns in public administration expenditure. (The Monitor, December 22, 2005)

-          Donors fund nearly 50 per cent of our budget. The recent cuts will certainly adversely affect the ability of the government to deliver services. The government has assured the public that the reductions in budget support will not affect expenditure on government programmes in the short term because it has built sufficient foreign reserves to deal with such "short term shocks" in its expenditure, and that revenue collection has been above budget. (Daily Monitor website, Kampala, in English 22 Dec 05)
Human Rights Watch: Army spokesman Maj Felix Kulayigye described the Human Rights Watch report accusing UPDF of involvement in the current electoral process in order to interfere with the outcome of the polls of 23 February as contempt of the Uganda People's Defence Forces. The organization further predicts that the election will not be free and fair. He said the army will not accept to be attacked unfairly, saying that the Human Rights Watch has expressed ignorance of the Ugandan constitution. (UBC Radio, Kampala, in English, 15 Feb 06)
EU: Summary report and recommendations of the European Union Election Observation Mission:
"Overall, the (2006) elections fell short of full compliance with international principles for genuine democratic elections, in particular because a level playing field was not in place.
Despite the adoption of a multi-party system, the structures of the Movement system and its officially sanctioned organs remained intact, active and funded by the state throughout theelection period, with the effect that the President and his party enjoyed substantial advantages over their opponents, which went further than the usual advantages of incumbency and the existing legal presidential privileges.
In addition, in a judgement on a petition brought by Dr Besigye challenging the result of the presidential election, and seeking to nullify the election, the Supreme Court noted a number of serious irregularities in the process." (The Monitor, Africa News, June 15 2007)

South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, the Gambia, Libya: The election monitors from African countries said yesterday the presidential elections were transparent, free and fair.
The monitors from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, the Gambia and Libya said they visited polling stations in different districts and were impressed by the manner in which the exercise was conducted.
They said they visited polling stations in Kampala, Jinja, Kabale and Ntungamo and were impressed by the peaceful and orderly manner in which the voting was done. (New Vision, Kampala, in English 14 Mar 01)

Libya: The opposition Uganda people's Congress (UPC) has criticised Libyan strong man Col. Muammar Gadhafi for advising president Museveni to rule for life.
"He (Gadhafi) should know that Uganda is a republic where every leader is subject to elections. Those who want to behave like monarchs and hang on to power are doomed. They should forget about it because Ugandans will certainly never accept that," ruling Presidential Policy Commission (PPC) vice Chairman Henry Mayega said yesterday. His UPC counterpart Dr. Adonia Tiberondwa also joined him on condemning the Libyan president.
"I find it difficult to believe that Gadhafi should have made the statements he made. Giving Museveni a perpetual term of office should be treated with all the contempt it deserves," Tiberondwa told The Monitor in a separate interview. (The Monitor, Africa News, May 16, 2001)

Zambia (2001P, 2001L, 2006P, 2006L, 2008P)
EU (fair)
China (alliance)
France (fair)
Sweden (fair)
Commonwealth (fair)
African Union (fair)
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (fair)
Southern African Development Community (fair)
EU observers criticized the 2001 elections; they did it had serious shortfalls, accusing Zambia's Electoral Commission had managed to register only 55 per cent of voters, failed to enforce its code of conduct, was guilty of maladministration on polling day and failed to address serious concerns relating to accuracy results. But it did not impose sanctions. France called for an investigation into claims by the opposition that the 2001 general elections were rigged. Sweden supported the EU observers' report and also expressed concerns about irregularities in the elections. China intervened in the 2006 general elections, when its ambassador declared China may move to suspend its ties with Zambia if opposition party leader Michael Sata is elected president. Sata had called Taiwan "a soverign state" and spoke out against Chinese labour practices in Zambia. The Chinese envoy has also warned that Chinese investment in Zambia mainly in mining would slow to a trickle if the opposition leader becomes president. Presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema took this opportunity to praise the Chiense government. President Mwanawasa apologized to China on behalf of Michael Sata. (Mwanawasa won the elections.) EU observers said the 2006 elections showed an improvement in transparency, despite some problems in ocunting, tabulation and transmission of results. Commonwealth, African Union, and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa observers said the 2006 elections were free and fair. Observers from the EU and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) said the 2008 presidential elections were free and fair.
EU (fair)
• 2001P/L: In Tuesday, the EU raised serious concerned about the fairness of the presidential elections held in the African country of Zambia in December. EU election observers were present during polling day to oversee the fairness of the proceedings.
On Tuesday, the EU raised serious concerned about the fairness of the presidential elections held in the African country of Zambia in December. EU election observers were present during polling day to oversee the fairness of the proceedings.
In a statement, presented by former British MP and leader of the election observer team, the EU said that Zambia's Electoral Commission had managed to register only 55 per cent of voters, failed to enforce its code of conduct, was guilty of maladministration on polling day and failed to address serious concerns relating to accuracy results.
(EU raises concerns about Zambia’s elections, February 7, 2002,, by Blake Evans-Pritchard)
• 2001P/L: The European Union (EU) criticised Zambia's general elections in December as seriously flawed, but is not rushing to impose sanctions on the new government of President Levy Mwanawasa.
"There is more than one way to try and influence a situation for the better," an EU official in Brussels told IRIN. "You can encourage best practice by encouraging talking."
She rejected any comparison with Zimbabwe - where an EU election observer team was pulled out this week and sanctions imposed on the political leadership. "The two cases are qualitatively and quantitatively different". In Zambia, "the important element is whether the results matched people's expectations rather than the bloodshed we are seeing in Zimbabwe."...
Brussels has asked European heads of mission in Lusaka to recommend steps to be taken in the wake of the mission's findings. The envoys in turn are awaiting a formal response from the government to the February report, and the outcome of a legal challenge in the Supreme Court by three opposition parties that allege the results of the 27 December election were rigged.
(Zambia; EU considers response to New Government, February 20, 2002, Africa News)
• 2006P/L: Zambia's tripartite elections held in September were marked by increased transparency throughout most of the electoral process though there were some problems in counting, tabulation and transmission of results, the European Union election observation mission has said in its final report.
"Overall, the elections were marked by increased transparency and confidence in the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) throughout most of the electoral process, a generally successful voter education campaign, a pluralistic campaign environment in which freedom of assembly was respected as well as active participation in the electoral process from numerous civil society groups," Saturday's newspaper The Post cited the report as saying.
The report said that the elections were generally well- administered, largely peaceful and offered voters a wide range of candidates to choose from in a genuinely competitive process.
It said that conduct of the elections demonstrated improvements in comparison to the 2001 elections and the high turnout of over 70 percent on polling day suggested a strong commitment of the Zambians to further the democratic development of the country.
(Zambian elections transparent despite delays in vote counting: EU observers, November 25, 2006, Xinhua General News Service)
• 2008P: The European Union (EU) has endorsed the observers' findings that the October 30 Presidential election was conducted in accordance with Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) principles governing democratic elections.
According to a statement released from Brussels, Belgium yesterday, the EU says it closely followed the Zambian Presidentialelection.
"The EU welcomes the peaceful conduct of balloting and the work of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), which succeeded with increased professionalism and concern for transparency despite the short notice in organizing a major ballot.
It is regrettable that the time available did not permit the electoral rolls to be brought up to date," the statement reads in part.
The EU, which is Zambia's important partner for aid, hopes the elections will confirm Zambia's stability and democratic identity.
(EU praises Zambia electoral commission for conducting “peaceful” polls, November 12, 2008, BBC Monitoring Africa - Political - Zambia Daily Mail, by Charles Musonda)
France (fair)
• 2001P/L: France has called on the authorities in Zambia to investigate claims by the opposition that the December 27elections were rigged, a statement from the French embassy said Wednesday.
"The opposition alleged incidents of fraud and poor management which, should they lead to formal complaints, should be investigated and resolved quickly according to law," the statement said.
(France calls for probe of Zambia election results, January 9, 2002, Agence France Presse)
Sweden (fair)
• 2001/L: NEW Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Christina Mathilde Rehlen yesterday defended the European Union Observation Mission (EUOM) report on Zambia's last presidential and general elections.
Speaking during presentation of her credentials at State House, Rehlen said her country shared the concern expressed by EUOM with regard to the Electoral Commission's handling of the elections.
"We are confident that the petitions submitted to the courts will be handled in an efficient and professional manner," Rehlen said. President Levy Mwanawasa said his government was distressed by EUOM report. However, Mwanawasa said that his MMD government was anxious to normalise its relations with the EU which he said was strained by the EUOM report.
(Zambia; Sweden Defends EU’s Polls Report, February 21, 2002, Africa News - The Post)
China (alliance)
• 2006P/L: The Chinese government demonstrated its increasing economic and political clout on the African continent this week, when it interfered in the Zambian elections. Chinese ambassador Li Baodong declared that the Communist giant may move to suspend its ties with Zambia if opposition Patriotic Front (PF) party leader Michael Sata is elected president, after Sata called Taiwan "a sovereign state" and spoke out against Chinese labour practices in Zambia. The Chinese envoy has also warned that Chinese investment in Zambia mainly in mining would slow to a trickle if the opposition leader becomes president.
Significance: This marks China's first overt interference in African politics for decades, and highlights the country s increasingly important role as an investor in the continent, as part of its large-scale efforts to secure access to raw materials especially in the energy field. China is a leading investor in the Zambian copper sector, and the country's companies are believed to have invested in excess of US$300 million in copper and other sectors in Zambia. China has invested billions of dollars in Africa since the beginning of the decade, and Chinese trade with the continent has quadrupled over this period. China has become an increasingly important economic partner to countries in Africa, as well as the Middle East, rivalling the United States' position there; the Financial Times (FT) reported today that China is expected to surpass the United States as Egypt s largest trading partner within the next eight years.
(Government of China Intervenes in Zambian Elections, September 7, 2006, Research Centre)
• 2006P/L: Zambian presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema, one of the five campaigners for the Sept. 28 elections, has paid tribute to China for helping the south African country to develop, Zambia Daily Mail reported Friday.
Hichilema, leader of the umbrella United Democratic Alliance ( UDA), praised the Chinese government for having been helpful to Zambia and pledged to work with China once voted into office.
The Chinese government has played an important role in the economic development of Zambia and it is just proper that every Zambian recognizes the assistance, he said at a meeting organized by Ndola Press Club Wednesday night in Ndola, the capital of Copperbelt Province.
"Unlike our colleagues in other parties, we say thank you very much to China for the role she has played in the economic development of this country. We shall continue with this sound relationship when we take over office after September 28," he said.
(Zambian presidential candidate praises Chinese assistance, September 15, 2006, Xinhua General News Service)
• 2006P/L: PRESIDENT Mwanawasa yesterday thanked China for accepting his apology over Patriotic Front president Michael Sata's remarks.
And President Mwanawasa has urged the opposition parties in the country to learn to praise where it was necessary.
Receiving preliminary designs for the urban water supply infrastructure project from Chinese Ambassador to ZambiaLi Baodong at State House, President Mwanawasa said he was glad that Ambassador Li accepted his apology.
"A few days ago I announced that China was assisting us in many ways. And I warned the nation against careless talking which had threatened some of our investors and donors from assisting us. I singled out the People's Republic of China and I mentioned that they were going to assist us very shortly under the water project," President Mwanawasa said. "But because they had announced that they were going to withdraw until its clear after theelections, I tendered an apology on behalf of the nation and Your Excellency I am glad that you accepted that apology and your plans to develop with us and to continue assisting us are still on board. I congratulate you for that."
During a public rally last month, Sata said he would deport bogus investors of Lebanese, Chinese and Indian origin when he assumes office on September 28.
(Zambia; Levy Thanks China for Accepting His Apology, Africa News, September 23, 2006)
Commonwealth (fair)
• 2006P/L: THE Commonwealth observer group has released its final report on the September 28 elections in which it has maintained that the elections were free and fair.
The group has however, expressed misgivings over the process of releasing the results saying these had generated complaints among political parties and civil society.
Chairperson of the Commonwealth observer group, Paul Berenger, said in his departure statement released in Lusaka yesterday that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) ensured the whole electoral process was open and transparent.
"The results process was the one area where these efforts did not result in a totally satisfactory level of transparency and credibility," he said.
The group was also saddened that the general atmosphere of peace that characterised the campaign and polling stages were marred by violent incidents during the announcement of results.
(Zambia; ‘Sept 28 Polls Free and Fair,” October 6, 2006, Africa News - The Times of Zambia)
African Union, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (fair)
• 2006P/L: The African Union (AU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) highly praised Zambia'sSept. 28 tripartite elections on Monday.
AU observer mission said in a statement released in Lusaka that the elections were conducted in a transparent, free and fair manner and people were able to express their will without any fear of intimidation.
The general administration of the elections by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) was both systematic and well organized. The voter registration process was considerably improved from the last elections.
The voter education campaign, rolled out by ECZ and civil society organizations for at least 90 days before the elections throughout the country, had a positive impact both on the levels of participation as well as the relatively small number of spoilt ballots, said the AU.
(Africa Focus: International observer missions highly praise Zambia elections, Xinhua General News Service, October 2, 2006)
Southern African Development Community (fair)
Zambia cemented its democratic credentials on 30 October in an election that observers judged free and fair, even though a defeated opposition leader has disputed the results in what was an exceptionally tight race.
"The just-ended elections were credible, peaceful and transparent," said John Kunene, team leader of the electoral observermission from the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
"In the course of observing the elections, we noted best practices that could be emulated by other countries within the region, among them high levels of political maturity demonstrated by leaders of political parties and the voters."
Rupiah Banda, vice-president to Levy Mwanawasa, whose death in office in August necessitated the election, narrowly won the hotly contested ballot by a single percentage point from his rival, veteran populist politician Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front (PF).
(Zambia; Observers Declare Eleciton Free and Fair, November 3, 2008, Africa News - UN Integrated Regional Information Network)

Zimbabwe (2000L, 2002P, 2005L, 2008P, 2008L):

Description: Zimbabwe has been a clear example of Western interference and African political indulgence. The U.S., and the EU (the UK and the Netherlands, particularly) have openly interfered in the country’s elections through democracy-promotion initiatives usually based on and carried out under the aegis of neighboring countries that are critical of Mugabe’s rule such as Botswana and Madagascar. Furthermore, Botswana has been accused of training militias connected to Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party aimed at destabilizing the country. Botswana’s leadership is very critical of Mugabe’s authoritarianism. On the other hand, the South African Development Community and South Africa have tried to mediate the electoral disputes in Zimbabwe, though not without tacit support of Mugabe, indicating some opposition to Western meddling in African affairs.

1. South Africa, SADC
2. European Union

1. African Union
2. USA
3. The Netherlands, Madagascar, the UK: these nations continuously violate the Zimbabwean radio frequency, broadcasting programs such as “Voice of America” and “Voice of the People” which oppose Mugabe, and urge Zimbabweans to support Morgan Tsvangirai.;http://w3.......
4. Botswana: