“Family voting and manipulation in some areas”, OSCE-ODIHR raises concerns about May 14th elections

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“Family voting and manipulation in some areas” are further issues voiced by Audrey Glover, Head of the OSCE ODIHR, at the first media conference, while the media’s frequent use of materials prepared by the parties undercut clear and understandable campaign coverage.

“The Central Election Commission carried out its duties in a transparent and efficient manner.” However, repeated substitutions by political parties harmed the stability of lower-level commissioners. Laws governing political campaign coverage heavily favor the major parties, and the media’s frequent use of party-produced materials undercut clear and understandable campaign coverage. Election day was mainly peaceful, but it was marred by multiple interventions by parties, as well as technical and procedural concerns, widespread group voting, and issues with vote secrecy. We observed several instances of family voting. Individuals were assisted to vote in certain polling stations because they did not understand the procedures.”

In terms of manipulation, Glover adds that suspicious individuals were observed around polling places.

“There were clear cases and areas where there was manipulation in some form or another.” We spotted folks standing at polling places with nothing to do. They were a little skeptical. We were also aware that in the past, people had been requested to vote in a specific manner. There were several occurrences involving persons who appeared to be coerced to vote in a certain way, while authorities attempted to prevent this in some cases and assisted in others. There have been a number of such events.”