BHHRG

About BHHRG

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions

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Cyprus 2004: Parliamentary Election in TRNC
HITS: 2320 | 1-06-2004, 17:51 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Cyprus , Political science, Political leaders

BHHRG sent observers to monitor the conduct of the election itself held on 14th December 2003. As TRNC is an unrecognised state, official monitoring organizations like the OSCE as well as EU bodies were unwilling to send representatives to observe the poll. However, a group from the University of Oslo had been in TRNC for several months monitoring the campaign and a small number of German SPD MPs (including a member of Turkish Cypriot origin) attended the election itself. There were also two British observers, acknowledged supporters of TRNC.
7 parties contested the 50 seats in TRNC’s parliament. Elections are conducted by a complicated system of proportional representation which allows not only a vote for the bloc but also a preferential vote which can be for candidates from other parties. There is a 5% threshold for entry into parliament. By polling day, 141,479 electors had been registered.

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US midterm elections: New Voting Systems
HITS: 2188 | 29-11-2002, 09:19 | Comments: (0) | Categories: United States , Foreign media, Politics

The new iVotronic voting system in use in Miami-Dade County and other areas of Florida was produced by Omaha, Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software (ES&S). In 2001, ES&S received an order from various counties in Florida for $70.6 million to provide the new system. Of this sum, Miami-Dade County paid $24.5 million, while neighboring Broward County paid $18 million. A group called, appropriately, the Florida Association of Counties lobbied for ES&S before the Florida legislature after endorsing ES&S’s touch-screen iVotronic machines, receiving a commission of $300,000 from ES&S in return. The chief lobbyist for ES&S in the deal was Sandra Mortham, who served as Florida’s top election official from 1995-99 and founded “Women for Jeb” (Bush). Some local officials have suggested that Mortham’s actions exhibited a conflict of interest.

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Swedish General Election 2002: Media Coverage
HITS: 2035 | 30-10-2002, 04:32 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Sweden , Media World, Foreign media

Parties which are outside the centre-left/centre-right consensus, even though not necessarily particularly hard left or right find it difficult to get access to the media whether in its news coverage or advertising space. The high cost of newspaper and journal distribution through the PressByran network which appears to have an effective monopoly on retail outlets for news and current affairs makes marginal viewpoints still more marginal in Sweden.
The Swedish Democrats complain that their attempts to place advertisements have been boycotted by the news media. According to the Swedish Democrats some media refuse their materials point blank, while others invoke their need to show solidarity with an informal media “blackout” of the “extremists”. Private media may have the right to pick and choose whom they permit to advertise, but when nationwide public organizations like Swebus choose to provide a platform for some but not other legal parties then the fairness of the campaign may be drawn into doubt.

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