Elections in occupied Donbas would be a farce

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Freedom House report shows OSCE monitored elections in occupied Donbas would be a farce, writes Halya Coynash for Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group.

According to Freedom House, while Ukraine is assessed as Partly Free, with a rating of 62/100, Russia has dragged occupied Crimea and Donbas down not merely to its Not Free status, but to an even lower level of observance of fundamental rights and rule of law (Crimea has a rating of 8/00 and Eastern Donbas has 5/100 against 20/100 in Russia). 

The report shows unequivocally how impossible it would be to hold free and fair elections.  The international human rights NGO examined three questions to determine the state of the electoral process in the self-styled ‘republics’.  The first two pertained to whether the heads of government, and elected representatives were chosen through free and fair elections, the last to whether the electoral legislation and electoral bodies allowed for real choice. 

In all cases, the score was a damning 0 out of 4, with supposed ‘elections’ in November 2018 having been flawed, with no meaningful competition.

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