On the initiative of the non-profit Center for European Initiatives (CEI) and Russia's largest election monitor Golos, 20 observers have arrived from Russia to follow the parliamentary ballot rounds of Estonia’s presidential election.
“Our aim is to acquaint Russian colleagues with the head of state election tradition in a parliamentary democracy, and compare different political cultures in European countries and the territory of the former Soviet Union. We invited to Estonia primarily political scientists and journalists, for whom comparative political analysis offers the most interest,” CEI director Jevgeni Kristafovits said.
The observers come from the Mari El and Karelian regions, from Chelyabinsk, Krasnodar, Kostroma, Perm, Sverdlovsk, Vologda, Ivanovo, Samara, Novosibirsk, Pskov, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.
According to Golos’ director Liliya Shabanova, what interested their observers the most was how parliament, and possibly also local government representatives, elect the head of state. “In the Russian context this is comparable for example to the new procedure of mayoral elections, in which a direct vote is no longer held. It is important to us to find out how such a system of executive power formation has affected the political situation in other countries,” Shabanova said.
Golos was founded in 2000 to protect the electoral rights of citizens and unites observers from 40 regions of Russia. It was banned in July 2016 on the initiative of the Russian Justice Ministry as a “foreign agent”. A sister organization continues to work in Lithuania, supporting the training of Russian election observers and providing them with the necessary legal assistance.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn