The challenges of OSCE electoral assistance in the former Soviet Union

in Security and Human Rights
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Abstract

Electoral assistance by the OSCE in the undemocratic states of the post-Soviet area is faced with a number of serious challenges: there has been no improvement in the quality of elections over the past decade; recommendations by the OSCE to improve electoral legislation are routinely disregarded in most countries; and, within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the undemocratic countries have stepped up a range of alternative electoral assistance activities that replicate and in large part contradict comparable OSCE efforts. This article discusses these three challenges and considers possible changes to the practice of OSCE electoral assistance that may contribute to its continued relevance and effectiveness.

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