№ 3, 2020
Although by the beginning of the twenty-FIRST century, the institution of elections has become an integral part of the political system of almost all countries of the world, it does not always guarantee true control of society over the formation and operation of power, often being a decoration designed to legitimize an autocratic regime. In order to fill this institution with real content, standards are required to distinguish real elections from simulated ones. And here the question naturally arises: what influences the formation of such standards to a greater extent — a priori attitudes or practice?
In search of an answer to this question, the author refers to the experience of the Organization of American States (OAS). The subject of his research is the relationship between the recommendations of the OAS observation missions and its guidelines on various aspects of the electoral process. His analysis shows that the recommendations of the observation missions significantly influenced the structure and content of the guidelines on the methodology of election observation, media, and campaign finance, as well as the international electoral standard TS 17582. On the contrary, the guidelines for integrating a gender perspective into OAS observation missions and for the participation of indigenous and African-American people in elections mostly formulate General guidelines that should be used as a basis for making recommendations. In many ways, this also applies to the guidelines on the use of digital technologies in the electoral process. Rather, it dictates the guidelines and guidelines for electoral law, but it has little influence on the recommendations in the field of electoral justice, as well as the organization of political and legal systems, which are mostly empirical in nature and have little correlation with the topics of the guide.
According to the author, the experience of Latin American countries clearly demonstrates that a positive answer to the fundamental question of whether society should control power does not mark the end, but only the beginning of a long process of working out procedures and standards that guarantee the democratic nature of elections. And in the course of this process, there is a great risk of turning on the wrong path, leading to a dead-end or turning into trampling on the spot.
Korgunyuk Yu. G.
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