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OSCE / ODIHR: “Women should be represented at every second place in the electoral list”

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has published the Final Report of Observation Mission for snap elections of the National Assembly, held on December 9, 2018.


The report notes that 317 observers from 39 countries were deployed on election day, including 244 long-term and short-term observers sent by the ODIHR, as well as a delegation of 46 members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, a 12-member PACE delegation and a 10-member delegation from the European Parliament. The ODIHR Observation Mission assessed the compliance of the electoral process with OSCE commitments and other international commitments and standards of democratic elections as well as domestic legislation. The final report follows the “Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions” published at a press conference in Yerevan on December 10, 2018.


The statement said that the elections were “held under the protection of fundamental freedoms and enjoyed the trust of the public, which should be maintained through further electoral reform. The open political debate, including the media, has contributed to a lively campaign, despite the fact that online provocative rhetoric has caused concern. The total absence of electoral frauds, including election bribes and pressure on the voters, has provided an opportunity for real competition. The integrity of campaigning funding has been hampered by a lack of regulation, accountability, and transparency. Despite the short terms, the elections were well-organized. The Election Day has been calm and peaceful, all of which have been assessed positively by almost all observers of the IEOM, who also mentioned the general compliance with the procedures. ”


The final report of the observation mission introduces the details of the electoral process, including the issue of women’s involvement.


The authors of the report argue that women remain under-represented. The political parties have registered 32 percent of the total number of female candidates, and the percentage of women deputies in the newly elected National Assembly is 24 percent.


On this occasion, the members of the observation mission recall the third paragraph of Decision 7/09 of the OSCE Ministerial Council. It urges the participating States “to encourage all political actors to promote equal participation of women and men in political parties with a view to achieving the most balanced gender representation at selective public positions at all levels of decision-making.”


At the end of the report, the authors also give recommendations to the authorities, pointing out the possible steps that will help improve the situation. According to one of them.


“All stakeholders in the electoral process should be informed about the importance of equal participation of men and women in the political and public life, emphasizing the role of women in political parties. It is necessary to consider the promotion of women’s candidates promotion. This can be done by including gender-disadvantaged candidates in every second position on national lists.

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