What is fake observation?
Fake observation is politically biased international election observation. It is a form of political activity performed by international actors and aimed at advancing interests of politicians and political forces by imitating credible election monitoring during electoral processes. Politically biased election observation ignores common standards and good practice of interntional election observation as defined in relevant basic documents.
Why do politicians engage with fake observers?
- to whitewash electoral fraud for domestic and international audiences;
- to legitimise electoral processes considered illegitimate by the international community;
- to delegitimise and weaken the institution of free and fair elections;
- to subvert and/or relativise findings of credible election observation;
- to weaken political rivals;
- to build networks of influence.
How do we identify particular individuals as fake observers?
- they lack credible and transparent methodologies for observing election processes;
- their activities are limited to short-term or stand-alone observation without clearly and publicly admitting that their activities and/or conclusions are limited in scope;
- they make personal comments, especially on the election day, about their observation or conclusions to the news media;
- the missions to which they belong do not publish preliminary or final reports informing about methodology, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the observation;
- they are unwilling, or refuse, to report publicly preliminary and/or final conclusions on their electoral observation mission;
- they have political, economic or other conflicts of interest that would interfere with conducting observations accurately and impartially;
- they have their travelling and/or accommodation costs paid by politicians or other political actors in the country holding elections, or by individuals or organisations related to those politicians or political actors;
- they receive remuneration or expensive gifts from politicians or other political actors in the country holding elections, or by individuals or organisations related to those politicians or political actors; and/or are unwilling, or refuse, to disclose the sources of their funding upon appropriate and reasonable requests;
- they are willing to take part in observation of the electoral processes considered illegitimate or illegal by the international community;
- they have experience of taking part in earlier identified fake observation missions.