The observation mission of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has become an integral part of the international monitoring of electoral processes, First Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee Viktor Guminsky said at the international conference devoted to modern electoral trends in the multipolar world in Moscow.
“It is safe to say today that the CIS observation mission has become an essential element of the international monitoring of electoral processes and an effective form of political cooperation,” Viktor Guminsky noted.
The CIS Executive Committee has organized 92 observation missions so far. When evaluating the elections, such missions are guided by the actual legal framework in the CIS member states rather than by political viability, Viktor Guminsky underlined.
In his words, over the years of independence, as a result of the gradual modernization of politics, public administration, and law, the CIS member states have formed an electoral system complying with democratic requirements. Viktor Guminsky recalled that Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia use video surveillance to monitor the voting procedure. Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia apply software and hardware for voting and vote counting. The work of central electoral commissions has been improving year by year.
The comparative analysis of election laws in the CIS member states for their compliance with the CIS Convention on the Standards of Democratic Elections, Electoral Rights and Freedoms and the OSCE commitments on elections has shown that the CIS election laws fully comply with the convention and the OSCE Copenhagen Document of 29 June 1990.
Viktor Guminsky emphasized that the CIS mission evaluates elections basing on its own observations and the analysis of facts and data collected during long-term and short-term monitoring. When drafting the final document, the mission thoroughly chooses as clear and accurate wording as possible.
Viktor Guminsky also stressed that the CIS member states are becoming more and more concerned over the “double standards” of separate international missions monitoring elections and the absence of accurate legal criteria of democratic elections in these organizations, which enables them to carry out observations relying on vague rules.
Viktor Guminsky views the absence of the legal framework of election observation as a main source of disputes in the work of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in this field. He believes that the European states should be moving towards a common codification through the development and adoption of a common document on the standards of democratic elections and guarantees of electoral rights by the Council of Europe.