If elections are the lifeblood of democratic societies, then political campaigns are the pulse.
For researchers, elections yield more than ballot results: artifacts from campaigns—leaflets, handbills, brochures, websites, and other transitory items—embody the prevailing collective political sentiment, ideals and values of a nation. Perhaps nowhere else does this ring truer than in the 15 former republics of the USSR, where there is a mixed bag of fledgling democracies and authoritarian, corrupt regimes. East View is leading the digital preservation and online availability of political ephemera and official results from recent election campaigns in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and South Ossetia. East View’s Social Movements, Elections, Ephemera series eliminates the need to acquire, catalog and shelve thousands of campaign materials that are fleeting by nature and challenging to obtain.
The results of the March 1, 2015 Parliamentary Elections in Tajikistan were never in doubt. As in previous elections, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (Hizbi Khalqī-Demokratī Tojikiston) which has the backing also of the country’s autocratic president Emomalii Rahmon, came on top with over 65% percent of the votes. Although there were additional 7 parties represented in the elections, they were never in competition for a majority representation, although some of them did indeed gain seats in the new parliament. A large part of the reason for the poor showing of the other parties was due to the restrictive campaigning environment that “failed to provide a level playing field for candidates,” characterized by “restrictions on the right to stand, freedoms of expression and assembly, and access to media limited the opportunity to make a free and informed choice.”