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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Electoral Law Experts to "EF": Alert on Flaws typical of 2020 US Presidential Vote's Row

CoE Electoral Law Experts to "EF": Alert on Flaws typical of 2020 US Presidential Vote's Row

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 16 February 2021

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- During a landmark CoE Electoral Legal Experts' Video-Conference accessible to Journalists, several Keynote Speakers from allover Europe and well Beyond, Replying to "Eurofora"s Questions, gave clear Critical Alerts on Many Flaws Typical of the 2020 US Presidential Vote's Controversy about alleged Fraud and/or Gross Irregularities, Starting from Elections' "Accessibility"principle, which Includes Votes' and Counting's "Transparency" as well as Independent "Observers", as it was Topicaly stressed, (See Facts Infra).

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The Event was Organized by CoE's prestigious "Venice Committee" for "Democracy through Law", where USA is a Full Member, since that PanEuropean Organisation's outreach exceptionaly Extends, here, Far Beyond its usual PanEuropean scope, with 47 Member States (including Russia), going up to ...62 Member Countries accross the World, including Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Morocco, Tunisia, (etc), with "Observer" Status for Japan, Holy See, Argentina and Uruguay, while Today, Exceptionaly, was also actively present even India...    

Significantly, the move came While USA's Supreme Court has Not Yet Decided on the course to give to several Post-Electoral Legal Complaints on the 2020 US Presidential Vote's Row, including 2 Lodged by former US President Don Trump, (on Pennsylvania and Wisconcin crucial "Swing" States, whose Great Electors would be Numericaly Sufficient in order to Affect the overall Electoral Result), as well by the GOParty itself (on anOther Issue concerning the Biggest "Swing" State Pennsylvania, insufficient alone in order to Change the overall Result), etc.

 

The Chosen Date is, Even, very Close to February 19, when SCOTUS is Expected to Announce, at Washington DC, its Intentions on those Unique remaining Chances to Examine, Discuss and Pronounce itself on the Merits of at least some Key Parts of that UnPrecedented US Presidential Election Row, (since an Earlier Legal Complaint, lodged by Texas and 18 Other States was Droped for Exclusively Procedural Claims of "Locus Standi", provoking Dissending Views from Experienced Associate Justice Alito and SCOTUS' vice-President, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas).

+ This is, probably, the Reason for which, even OAS' expected Final Report on the 2020 USA Elections, initialy Due on January 2021, has Not Yet been Published until Now (mid-February 2021), since the treatment of Post-Electoral Legal Complains is  an integral Part of any International Observers' mission to Monitor an Electoral Process.

And Today's CoE's "Scientific Electoral Experts Debate", (the 3rd in a Series), brought Together Senior Legal Experts from about 70 European and Other Countries accross the Globe, in an International Cooperation with Romania's Permanent Electoral Authority (ROAEP), which Traditionaly Publishes the Only Review exclusively dedicated to Electoral Law in Europe, as "Venice Commission"'s competent Head of Elections and Political Parties' Division, Pierre Garrone, from Switzerland, pointed out from the outset. Among various Practical Innovations by ROAEP for Local + Parliamentary Elections during Later parts of Virus' Emergency on 2020 was also the Registration of "Electronic Signatures", added to a Special "App". ready to use in the Future, pointed out its President, Constantin Mituletu-Buica.        

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- However, Kick-Starting the Beginning of CoE's Video-Conference Today, Garrone gave it from the outset a Timely "Spicy" Tone, by Stressing, in particular, the Importance of "the Post-Electoral Phase", sometimes full of "Conflicts" and "Disputes' Resolution", on which "Staline had boasted in the Past that <<the Most Important is Not  Who Votes, But Who Counts>>, while a Nicaraguan Dictator had warned adversaries that <<You Won the Election, But I Won the Count>>"...  

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An Obviously Relevant Point to the above-mentioned Trump - Biden Controversy on alleged Electoral Fraud in the 2020 US Presidetial Vote, since it concerned Mainly Legal Voters' Identification, (particularly at "Mail-in" Ballots, "Drop-in" Boxes, Delayed Mails, Signature Verification on Absentees' Ballots, etc), Serious Doubts on Electronic Machines' Counting Reliability in Counting, and Lack of Transparency vis a vis Independent (National and/or International) Observers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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 - For the 1st Key Note Speaker, Austrian Katharina Pavel, Professor of Vienna University, the particular issue of this year's Conference : how to ensure a better "Accessibility" of the Electoral Process, was Key to Citizens "Participation" and "Trust", in general, as she stressed from the outset.

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- In a Question raised by "Eurofora", subsequently, on this occasion, we Observed that, indeed, recently, "there were Interesting Developments on Accessibility", "But", also the Fact that "a Topical Issue, Now, particularly after the latest US Elections of Nov. 2020, was that on occasion of the Virus, Many Efforts, of Various kinds, Controversial (f.ex. too many "Mail-in" Ballots, etc : See Infra), and Non-Controversial (f.ex. "Early Voting", etc), emerged for a More Accessible Vote, so that, Sometimes, this provoked Problems and/or occasions to Contest the Security of that Vote", "Claiming f.ex. Fraud, or Irregularities, or Technical Problems of such Voting" processes, "including also for Hacking, even from Abroad", etc., (Points on which Professor Pabel noded her Agreement).

=> - "Do you think that there will be any Possibility to Speak about Concrete Points in this Direction at this (CoE's 2021) Debate, or to Ask certain Concrete Questions about What Could be done in order to have the Opinion of the Speakers on that very "Hot" and Topical Issue about How to Succeed to be Accessible, But in Security", "Eurofora" asked the Speaker on "Accessibility during a Period of Emergency", Professor Oliver Kask, from Esthonia, President of CoE's "Council for Democratic Elections", competent for relations between the "Venice Commission" and CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, and Congress of Regional/Local Authorities, as well as the EU, OSCE and OAS, which are Monitoring also Elections in the USA.

Inter alia, OAS' own Credibility is at Stake, here, since the PanAmerican Organisation has Notoriously Denounced, on 2019, Bolivia's former Long-Time President Morales ("Left"), for Suspicion of Electoral "Fraud", based Mainly on the Fact that a Negative for him Initial Result's Trend, Suddenly, ...Vanished, and was even Reversed, by a Sharp "U-Turn" in Ballots Counted, Later-on, in the Middle of the Electoral Night, almost at the Last Minute, in a DisProportionate Move, of so High imProbability that it appeared Fake... I.e. precisely a Similarly Late Surprizing Artificial MidNight "Zig-Zag" as  it Occured, Also, Several Times, during Many among USA's crucial "Swing" States, at the November 2020 Presidential Election ! (See relevant Photo + Graph. Document, attached herewith, as it was Afterwards shown on Video-Screen by President Trump himself).

+ To this, was Added, Later-on, also a -comparatively Secondary- Criticism about Wrongdoings related to an Electronic Machines System in Bolivia on 2019, (as it was Notoriously done Even in USA's case on 2020, by the Republicans, with the "Dominion" Machines' alleged various Discrepancies), and some Other, punctual, OAS' Critical Findings, quite Less Impressive than those allegedly Denounced by the GOP in the USA, just 1 Year Later...

=> In Consequence, an UnPrecedented Political Change occured on 2019 in Bolivia, practicaly implementing OAS' Findings against Morales' alleged Electoral Fraud, (Even if the Supreme Electoral Court of that Country had Officialy "Certified" Morales' Contested "Victory"...), After Not 1 (Contrary to what has happened until now in the USA, with Jan. 6, 2021 Wash. DC Popular Demostration), But ...Many Popular Protests at Various Regions in Bolivia, throughout a 1,5 to 2 Months-Long Period since that Contested Presidetial Election of 2019, Culminating up to a Crucial Point When the Chiefs of the National Army and Police were reportedly Convinced to Warn Morales that they did Not Intend to Oppress the Bolivian People's further protests, de facto Obliging him to Abandon Power and Leave the Country, (after which, a President of the Right was Elected, with Official Aim to lead into a New and Fair Presidential Election asap, according to OAS' main proposals) !

So that, Nowadays, Obviously, it remains to be seen If and How OAS' Final Report on the Subsequent, 2020 US Presidential Election Controversy, (which Clearly presents Striking Similaities to that of the Previous, 2019 Bolivian Presidential Election, from the point of view of Main Principles : Comp. Supra), might, eventualy, lead to, more or less Similar, or, on the Contrary, Different Conclusions by the PanAmerican Organisation's Elections Monitoring, just 1 Year Later, and Why...

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=> Meanwhlle, at any case, Today's Reply of Professor Oliver Kask, (President of CoE's "Council for Democratic Elections", which includes CoE - OAS' relations, while the PanAmerican Organisation has a Special "Observer" Status at CoE's "Venice Committee", where USA is full Member : comp. Supra), to  the abovementioned Relevant "Eurofora"s Question (Comp. Supra), appeared Crystal-Clear and Adamant on main Principles :

- "It's a very Good Question !", Acknowledged from the outset President Kask, on "Eurofora"'s Query about How to have "Both Accessibility and Security" (i.e. No Fraud/Gross Irregularities/Hacking Risks) in Elections during the Current Pandemic situation (Comp. Supra).

- But, "there are Not yet very Clear and Good Answers to it", at least for the moment, he observed. Because, "Otherwise, we would have had a much Better Situation, in different Countries", while, on the Contrary, this has been a Very Big Problem, in various Countries, quite Recently", (he Regretted, obviously Implying also that mainly USA's current Post-Electoral Developments should have been "much Better", than what they Notoriously became lately...).

- Speaking on Concrete Matters, as "Eurofora" had Invited (Comp. Supra), President Kask, -"First of all", Pointed out that, "the Transparency (i.e. including the Notorious Big Row in the USA about National and/or International Independent Observers' Access in the 2020 Elections organized by Each Federated State, etc), and the Openess of the (Electoral) Procedures, of the Work of Election Management Bodies", i.e. "If there is enough Information on What has been done, what Will be done, and Why", then, "I think that the Level of Trust in the process, in General, Would  Raise !"... (Given, Indeed, the well Known Fact that, inter alia, as Revealed also a Series of Public Hearings organised by the Parliaments of the 6 Crucial "Swing" States, including Thousands of written and signed "Affidavits" by Eye-Witnesses, Many simple People were Shocked by various Obstacles, excessive Distances, Exclusions, Interferences, etc., reportedly Opposed to accredited Electoral Observers throughout Nov. 3, 2020 Votes and Counting, sometimes Even in the Total Absence of Any Independent Observers, Overnight, f.ex. as a notorious Official Video Revealed in Pennsylvania, for Many Thousands of Votes' Counting, etc)...

+ "Ir concerns also the (stricto sensu) Security", (as "Eurofora" had observed : Comp. Supra) : Indeed, "If we have More Postal ("in-Mail") Voting", (Notoriously, the Most Controversial Matter in the USA, both Before and After the Nov. 2020 Elections, which Provoked a lot of Legal Complaints by the GOP, Systematicaly "Rejected on [Political] Partisan Lines", mainly by Dems-Appointed Judges, at least Until SCOTUS' Composition Changes recently, as "OSCE"'s Preliminary Report Criticized, since Nov. 2020), "more Internet Voting, or Mobile Ballot Boxes", (including so-called "Drop-In" Boxes, etc), or Hospital-Voting" (sometimes, reportedly, even ..."Parc-Voting", and/or "Drive Through Voting" etc, sic !), i.e. "in those Places Where the Possibility to Observe the Elections is Lower, (Comp. Supra), then, "I think that the Rate of (Citizens') DisTrust Raises !", President Kask Denounced... (A Key Problem, which in Other Countries stays there, but in the US it's even Worse, because several Legal Complaints have Also Criticized the Supplementary Fact that such Controversial and Obviously Dangerous for Fraud Measures, were Not Decided by the Competent, Parliamentary Bodies of the Federated States, as the US Constitution requires, But Only by some ..."State Secretaries" a.o. local Executives, in Violation of the Federal Constitution, as LawSuits at the SCOTUS clearly Denounced, including still Pending ones).

=> - As one of the Consequences of such a state of affairs, "due to the Emergency situation, and to the Pandemic, we just have to Take into Account that Trust to the Electoral Process might be Lower" Nowadays, he Warned.

>>> Otherwise, "this is why many Countries might be enclined to Postpone Elections, until just the Pandemic is over", (i.e. at an UnDetermined yet Future, given the Recent Worsening of the Virus' Spread Risks), President Kask further pointed out, underlying the Seriousness of what is really at Stake.

- Meanwhile, in particular, "concerning Transparency, one of the Key Issues is Observation". he went back to stress, on one of the "Hotest" Problems in the 2020 US Elections, (Comp. Supra). Indeed, -"We have to Guarantee that Observation, Both by the International Community (i.e. f.ex. EU, CoE, OSCE, OAS, etc) and by the Civil Society in the Country, is Still Possible !" And this, "Even with the "Drive-in" Polling Stations, or Mobile Ballot "Boxes", etc. (Comp. Supra and Infra), "we have to Give Enough Possibilities for Observers to be Nearby", Kask Urged, Demanding almost to make the Impossible..., "Even if they are Limited in their Number", "there Should, Still, be Possibilities to take Part in the Observation Missions". Among Various Practical Measures, f.ex., "for the International Community, we May find it necessary to take some Special Regulations, as  the Number of Observers is Limited : Maybe we should Get Rid of some long Isolation Periods after Entering the Country or Leaving", as one of the concrete means  for "the Trust and the Transparency of the (Electoral) Procedures to be SafeGuarded", he Concluded, in his Reply to "Eurofora"'s Question.

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    + Interestingly, while Kindly "Thanking" "Eurofora" "for that Question", Professor Tonea, from Romania's Police Academy, who Chaired that 1st Session of this CoE's 2021 Video-Conference of Electoral Experts, seized a Timely Opportunity to "Conclude" by observing that "All" this "underlines the Importance of (CoE's Venice Commission's) CODE for Good Practices in Electoral Matters".

 

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>>> Indeed, that landmark "Reference Document of the CoE in the field of Elections", (adopted on October 2018), as the Official "Concept Paper" for this "Scientific Electoral Experts"' 2021 Video-Conference stresses from the outset, should serve to "Address" the "Main Principles of Electoral Law" Nowadays, (Applying also to the USA, as CoE's full Member), And that Includes, in particular, "Voting Modalities, in a Period of Emergency", such as, f.ex., "Remote Voting", with Controversial "Postal ("Mail-in") Voting, Electronic Voting, Mobile Ballot Box", etc., where "the Question could be raised Whether it Should be Admitted in General, or for Certain Categories of Voters" Only..., and, "If Specific Modalities are Introduced during a Period of Emergency", whether "they should be Limited to that Period, or could they apply on a Permanent basis ?"

=> In particular, under that CoE's "Code", as a matter of General Principle,:

(1) "Voting" "should Always" take place "in a Polling Station", and "Other Means of Voting" might become "Acceptable" Only "Under ...Conditions" :

= F.ex., "Postal ("Mail-in") Voting" might be "Allowed Only where the Postal Service is Safe (i.e. withOut "Intentional Interference") and Reliable" (i.e. "Functions Properly"), while, even then, it "May may be Confined to people who are in Hospital or imPrisoned, or to persons with Reduced Mobility or to electors residing Abroad". + According to that CoE's "Code"'s "Explanatory Report" (CER), "Postal Voting" needs "a Special Procedure", "a few Days BEFORE the Election", (i.e. withOut Late Posting, arriving ...After the Electoral Day, as Dems Scandalously did on 2020 in Pennsylvania and other "Swing" States in the US !...)

= On the Contrary, "Mobile Ballot ("Drop In") Boxes" are "Only ...Allowed under Strict Conditions, Avoiding all Risks of Fraud". + And according to that CoE's "Code"'s "Explanatory Report" (CER), "the use of Mobile Ballot Boxes is UnDesirable, (sic !), Because of the attendant Serious Risk of Fraud", unless under "Strict Conditions ...Imposed to Prevent Fraud"... If Necessary, "Postal Voting ...would Dispense with the need for a Mobile Ballot Box, which Often causes Problems and Risks of Fraud", CoE's norms stress, (i.e. Contrary to what was Scandalously done in several "Swing" States in the USA back on 2020)...

(2) "The presence of Observers, appointed by the candidates, must be permitted during Voting and Counting". "Observers, candidates' Representatives and the Media, must be allowed to be Present" during "the Counting", which "Must be Transparent", and "have Also Access to the Records". "The Places where Observers are Not entitled to be present should be Clearly specified by Law" and Not Foggy desiderata of local Executives.

(3) "Electronic Voting" could be permited "Only IF it is Safe and Reliable", if "Voters" can get "Confirmation of their Votes, and Correct them", while "Respecting Secrecy of Suffrage" and "Transparency" of "the System". Even OSCE's Final Report on US 2020 Election observed "a Problem of using Machines that do Not provide a Meaningful possibility for Audit", noting "a Tendency to Move Away from using Entirely Electronic Voting Machines, and Towards Paper-Based ... Solutions", which Facilitate "for Voters to "Verify their Votes have been Recorded as Cast", and "for Authorities to establish that Votes have been Counted as Cast, through a Post-Election Audit", "Crucial for Ensuring Integrity and Trust". But in "Georgia" (a Notorious Controversial "Dominion" Machines Hotspot), and Other States, it's "Ballot Marking Machines (BMDs)" that are used to Mark the Choice made by the Voter, and their "Complexity" "may Lead to Confusion", inter alia, Also because "Only Machine Readable (rather than Human Readable) Codes are scanned", withOut any Possibility for the Voter to Verify that the generated ...Code Matches his Choice" !...

(Etc...)

+ Obviously, these are Only Some among the Various and Numerous Questions Raised Nowadays about the Controversial use of "Dominion" Machines in Georgia and Other Crucal "Swing" States, Including, f.ex., Repeated alleged "Glitching" "Errors", Connexions at the Internet, "Hacking" Vulnerabilities, Refusals of Audits, etc., which have Not Yet been seriously and comprehensibly Examined by the Courts...

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+ But Issues Raised by the most Controversial US 2020 Presidential Elections Extend also to Various Other Key Matters, including, inter alia, the Notorious Massive Censorship of mainly Conservative Politicians and even Citizens' Freedom of Expression at the Internet, even US President Don Trump himself, by "Twitter" and Other "Big Tech" Oligo-Monopolistic Corporations, which Obviously Challenge the Indispensable "Fair" character, or Not, of a given Election : A Topical Question that "Eurofora" raised, subsequently, during the 2nd Session of Today's CoE's Video-Conference, on the occasion of the introductory Intervention, by Professor Bordan Tonea, on relevant "National Law and European Regulations" :

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- Professor Tonea had just Warned, in particular, about Current Risks by various Threats to "Attack European Democracy", (while Also making manifold Topical References to Recent Developments in the USA, including, particularly, the recent Aquital from a 2nd Attempt to Impeach former US President Trump), emerging Both from Internal and External Forces of Manipulation, resulting in a Battle where Freedom of Expression, Education, and "Truth", would play a Key Role, (concerning also the Opposition's role to Check the Government in a Democratic Society), during the foreseable Future.

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- "You spoke very much and well also about the Freedom of Expression, and Other Related Issues, but, Recently, the German Chancellor, Mrs Angie Merkel, (currently President-in-office of the CoE, for the Period of November 2020 - May 2021), as it is well known, Found "Problematic" the Fact that, in some Countries, as in the USA, even if that Concerns us All, because of Obvious Reasons at the Internet, some Private Companies, sometimes were Accused to Go Too Far into Limiting the Freedom of Speech of some Key Players in the Political Game, (on the occasion of the Notorious Exclusion of former US President Trump from his "Twitter" Account, "Followed" by more than 83 Millions of People), either During or at the Aftermath of Elections, when, as you said, it's very Important", said to Prof. Tonea "Eurofora".

     => + "This was Recently Debated also at the Council of Europe, that you know well, in the Parliamentary Assembly", we reminded, (See Debate on Freedom of Speech versus Big Tech., at the End of Jan. 2021 : ..., etc). "Do you Find this to be a really Interesting Issue ? And How would you advise to Solve it ? Perhaps, by a kind of Principles, or Norms, to be set up by the International Organisations ?", we asked him.

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    - "Thank you for the Question. I Think that, in order to have some Success into Solving that Issue, in my view, I believe that the Solution should be at the European Level : Not at the National Level", stressed from the outset, Professor Tonea, Replying to "Eurofora".

    - "Because the Freedom of Expression is a Universal issue. It's Regulated in the Same Way, at the National Constitutions, and Also Other European Countries, at the PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights, etc. So, in my opinion, this is a Discussion which can be held at the European level, and have, as Results, some European Guidelines, or Normes, which would be Applicable to All Europe : Not Country by Country, in a Different way in Each of the Countries", he Concluded.

    The very Popular Issue of Free Speech versus Big Tech at the Internet had, initialy, Started in the USA by former US President Don Trump's Help to various simple Citizens' Censorship by Oligo-Monopolistic Corporations, as Twitter, FaceBook, Google, Amazon, etc, in Meetings organized at the White House, after a 1st Fight between Free Citizens' Web and Establishment's Medias during the 2016 US Presidential Election, (See, f.ex.: ... + ..., etc). But Trump's attempt to Reform an Old Legislation which had Initialy tried to Help Boost former Innovative Start-ups to Create popular Web Platforms withOut being bothered with Responsibility Issues for their Content in the Past, by Bringing them back to Editorial Liability whenever they Dictated which Content they accept on Citizens' Accounts Hosted in their Networks, meanwhile Grown into Powerful and often abusive Giants, Delayed and Backfired recently, when an Opposed Block of "Socialists"/Dems and RINOS Refused to Vote in US Congress a Bill Drafted by Trump and Backed by Conservative Senator Kruz up to even Leftist Top Politicians as Sanders and Warren, Journalist Greenwald, etc., (See : ..., etc). On the Contrary, it was, now, Trump himself who became, more and more, Target of various Harassments by Big Tech Oligo-Monopolistic Networks, until "Twitter" a.o. Recently Shut Down completely his own Private Accounts, amidst a Wider Attempt to Muzzle and Terrorize Millions of Dissident Citizens, Lawyers, Activists, etc., and Even Alternative Web Competitors (as "Parler", etc), who Dared Contest the Controversial 2020 US Presidential Election, notoriously accused for alleged Fraud/Gross Irregularities, (and still, Never Yet seriously Discussed on the Merits by Any Neutral Court)...

    => Such an UnPrecedented, Massive Oppression against Free Speech at the Internet, Stricking even at the Highest Political level of an Elected and Popular US President while still in Office, orchesrated by Only a Few Private Companies     of a Handful of UnElected and IrResponsible Individuals, Inevitably Started to Provoke a Growing Series of various Opposed Reactions, not only in the USA, But Even in Europe and Worldwide... Going, initialy, from German mainstream Chancellor Angie Merkel, to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro (who Already Transfered +6,6 Millions Followers to "Telegram"),  Mexican President Lopez Obrador (who Urged to Mobilize even the "G7" -currently Chaired by Italy, with a Foreign Minister from Bepe Grillo's Web Activist's Blog-Party "5 Stars"-- against Blocking Free Speech at the Internet), etc.

    So that, after Trump Spectacularly chose to Focus on "Free Debate" Democratic Values at his Last Official Speech a the White House as US President, (See : .., etc), it's, UnExpectedly the PanEuropean CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, in Strasbourg, which Suddenly decided to hold a "Current Affairs" Public Debate on Free Speech versus Big Tech, last January 2021, (See : ..., etc), Followed, Soon, Also by various Key Officials' Calls f.ex. from Slovenia, Hungary, Poland (UPDATED), now Romania, etc., to Take concrete Measures in order to Defend, at least, European Citizens and/or Friends from such Oppressive Abuses by those 4 "GAFA" Oligo-Monopolies, (some of whom Started to have, Already, Various Problems Worldwide, f.ex. "Twitter" losing Customers and Falling at StockMarkets, "Facebook" Closing its News in Australia because of a Disagreement with its Conservative Government, etc)...  In this regard, Warsaw's threat to Tax 13,5 Millions $ such Abuses against EU Citizens by Web's "Big Tech" (UPDATED), naturaly goes towards a right direction...

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+ Last, But Not Least : Recent Elections and Mainstream Medias (of the Establishment)...

>>> An "Ideal" Opportunity for "Eurofora" to Raise a Question on the, unfortunately, Notorious Topical Issue of Establishment Medias frequent "Biais" against any real Alternative, at the "Left" or the "Right" Side of the Political Spectrum, even During crucial Elections' Time, was given, soon afterwards :

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    Indeed, the President of Mexico's "National Electoral Institute", Lorenzo Vianello, was speaking about the "Understandability of the Electoral Process", and this was Followed by a "Session of Questions/Answers", according to the Official Programme. But, as "Eurofora"'s Readers, already Know, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/usasupremecourtandvotefraud.html), Mexico is also Famous for a landmark, Pedagogical Satyric Film, Titled "the Perfect Dictatorship", (i.e. "Dictadura Perfecta" : sic !), inspired by the Reality of the Controversial Presidential Elections mainly of 2006 and partly 2012, largely Denounced for massive Fraud and Corruption, (particularly the 1st). It Pictures a Corrupted Politician (in fact a Puppet of some Hidden "Powers To Be"), making a Deal with an even More Corrupted, mainstream Media Group, in order to Systematicaly Manipulate the People, Starting by those Elections, and Continuing with a lot of Various, Artificialy "Staged" Events, in order to Serve some unnamed, Dark and Ruthless Interests. The Current Mexican President, Andres Lopez Obrador, had personaly Faced such kind of "Rigged" Elections in that Past, that he had Scandalously Lost, Despite a lot of Popular Protests, Lawsuits, etc, finaly Winning only much Later-on, at 2018, so that he Notoriously Remembers well what Medias' Biais and/or Censorship means, being, Nowadays, a Strong Supporter of Freedom of Speech and Pluralist Information, (to the point that he has, even, Notoriously Backed Recently the former US President Trump, (Despite Other, Unrelated, Political Differences), when he also Faced, mutatis-mutandis, a Scandalous Mainstream Medias' Biais and/or Censorship nowadays about the November 2020 US Presidential Elections, (and had even Vowed to Bring the Issue at the "G7" and/or Other Regional or International Instances : Comp. Supra)...


=> In Consequence, when Chairman Vianello completed his overview about the Need to make "the Whole of an Electoral Process Crystal-Clear for the Citizens", as he stressed, in orde, also, to Succesfuly Fight against "MisInformation", "Fake News", etc., "Eurofora" reminded that interesting Mexican Film about the Key Role of Mainstream Medias, and the Need to Avoid Risks of Political Manipulation, (i.e. "the Perfect Dictatorship" : Comp. Supra), and Asked him What he Advises to do in order to Prevent such Dangers of "Collusion" between some Politicians and Establishment's Big Medias, with "Absence of Pluralism", which Obviously make very Difficult for real Democracy to thrive in Elections' Time...

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- At First, Chairman Vianello Stressed the Priority, in his view, for a Clear Understanding with "Social Medias" at the Internet about Elections' issues, Urging, f.ex., inter alia, also to Clearly and Simply Explain the way that Conflicts between Opposed Political Parties are Treated, as well as various other such Challenges for Electoral Management Bodies.

+ Then, when he arrived to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Reference to "Mainstream Medias" and Problems of Lack of "Pluralism", when Establishment's Medias Impose Only one Side's viewpoints, Censoring the Others, Vianello immediately Acknowledged that Problem, too...

- Indeed, that's a Real Problem, particularly in Countries "like Mexico", he Denounced, "where, unfortunately, the Traditional Medias are Monopolized Only by a Few Broadcasting Companies" : F.ex., in Recent Years, "a Great Step Forward in Mexico was to Pass from 2 Mainstream Broadcasting Companies to ...3 Big Broadcasting Companies", he Joked, with Black Humour... "So, we have a Problem, because we must also Regulate the Political Information between Radio and TV", and "this puts us (Mexico's "National Electoral Institute") in position of Permanent Conflict", with such Traditional or other Big Medias, he added.

=> Concerning his "Advise" on how to Deal with that, Chairman Vianello mainly Focused on the Need to "Act as an Authority", while "Avoiding to be Seen as Part of a Conflict". I.e. "you must Not Appear, in the Eyes of Citizens, as linked to One Partie, f.ex. With the Government, with some Political Parties, with this or that Broadcasting Media Company", etc., then, "it's Not Good, for your Task to Regulate Elections", he Warned... "You Must be Straight in Applying Regulations, But Avoid to be Seen as Part of a Conflict !", Because, at the End of the Day, If you do that, you can Provoke that some them, could Claim that the whole Electoral Process was Corrupted, because you did Not have, throughout the Election, an ImPartial EMB", he Warned...

----------------------------

coe_romania__electoral_experts_president_kask_adds_reply_to_agg_quest_3_coe_video_eurofora_screenshot_400 

+ Indeed, "that's a Big Challenge for All EMBs (Election Monitoring Bodies), in All Countries" : I.e. "to Avoid be Considered as a Party of this, as a Political Party", "whether one is against the Political System, or if one Takes Position on this or that, Already Risks to be considered by some as Trustfull, But by Others, Less"... , Agreed also the Chairman of this 2nd Session of CoE's Video-Conference, President Kask, Backing the main substance of Vianello's above-mentioned Reply to "Eurofora"s Question.

However, even if Public Officials Keep a Welcome  "Neutral" Look during Elections, nevertheless, this obviously does not, ipso facto, Settle the Problem of Mainstream Medias' Biais and/or Censorship... And, sometimes, that Problem is much Bigger than expected :

- F.ex, according to OSCE's Final Report on the Nov. 2020 German Presidential Election, (just Published on 2021)...All the Mainstream Medias were "very Critical" against Trump, while, on the Contrary, vis a vis Biden, they were All ..."Neutral" (sic !), i.e. complacent !

This Time (on Feb. 2021), in Comparison to the Previous, Nov. 2020 OSCE "Preliminary Report", it's Even the former Unique Exception of "Fox News", (Alone to be "Neutral" vis a vis Trump, Back in the Past...), Disappeared Now, After a Notorious "U-Turn" from the Millionaires who Funded it, which Notoriously send all Trump's Fans Running Away, and Denouncing "Fox" as a "renegate", "traitor", "turn-coat", etc... (So that, in real Practice, the Only Possibility for Pluralist Free Speech, remaining in the USA, was Limited Only to ...Citizens' "Social Medias" Publications - a Phenomenon Already Visible Since 2016 Elections, But considerably Aggravated on 2020 - which have, Notoriously, Become ...Even More Oppressive than ever, Nowadays, under the Joug of a Few "Big Tech" Companiess : Comp. Supra !)

=> In Consequence, converging Facts Obviously Reveal an UnPrecedented Worsening of the Situation against Medias' Pluralism and Free Speech in the USA, between the 2 Latest Presidential Elections of 2016 and 2020, with a Worrying Trend to be Aggravated Even Further (Comp. Supra)...

-------------------------------------------------------

+ However, almost at the Same Time, a Different, Encouraging Trend, is what Looks well to be, Despite all that, a kind of Resilient character of many American People themselves :

Already particularly Active Since 2016, (when they had Succeeded, for the 1s Time, to Bellie almost All Fake Polls then), as they Also did, Even More Nowadays, by Bellying 2020's aggravated Fake Polls, by Giving an Historic High, and UnContested ...75 Millions Votes to President Don Trump ! And, Nowadays, given that UnDeniable Recent Aggravation to the Detriment of Medias Pluralism and Free Speech (Comp. Supra), it's certainly Interesting to see what Might, perhaps, UnExpectedly Emerge in History from such Sharper than Ever, Anti-Democratic Contradictions, Given the Fighting Spirit and the Creativity of American People, Tohether with the Solidarity and Conscience of the Europeans and Other People in Nowadays World, given that Their Future is also at Stake...

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Meanwhile, at any case, Despite so many "Hard Facts" to Debate Today, (Comp. Supra), Nevertheless, the Overall Collective Spirit of this Meeting was quite Positive.

Among others, f.ex., since a Specific Key Point of this 2021 CoE Experts' Video-Conference was to Boost the "Accessibility" of Elections, Manifold Attention was put also on issues Including Practical Accessibilty, such as, f.ex., by Handicaped People, Mentaly ill, etc., as well as Isolated Old People trying to Connect at Electronic Voting Networks for the 1st Time, Peasants struggling through Snow to reach a Remote Polling Station on a Mountain, etc...

But, Suddenly, the Participants were visibly Shocked to see that Even an Experienced On-Line Editor based at CoE's Headquarters in Strasbourg, at the Heart of Europe, could Not simply make his Voice Heard at just another Video-Conference among many, for unknown reasons ! Gloomy... Unfortunately, that was ..."Eurofora", whose Microphone was Hindered to Connect, 2 or 3 Times, (Perhaps because of some Cyber-Attack, or any other cause)...

Such an Incident had Only occured at our 1st Press-Briefing by Video-Conference with Brussels' EU Council for a Heads of State/Government Summit, Last Year, resulting in a Sadly Lost Opportunity, after the EU Press Officer in charge Kindly Tried 3 Times to Reach us..., Obviously Hindered by a Cyber-Attack, as it was Found Later-on. But Never Before, Neither After that...

=> In Consequence, when, after 2 or 3 Attempts, "Eurofora", Upset, Threw a Useless Micro-phone Casque Away, and, at last, ...suddenly Succeeded to Connect his Voice to the Video-Conference, then, ALL CoE's Legal Experts participating, Spontaneously Smiled or Laughed ! (Obviously Happy to see that their PanEuropean/International Election Network was Working well) ... (as a relevant PHOTO of that unforgetable Event, attached herewith, clearly shows)...

 coe__romania__electoral_experts__agg_at_last__access_succes__roaep_video_eurofora_screenshot_400

+ Surprizingly, Many CoE's Electoral Experts kept their Smiles Going on, Even when "Eurofora", (initialy withOut any Political AfterThought), Glad, at last, to be Free to Speak, proclaimed : - "Ah! That's BETTER DIRECTLY !" (i.e. "withOut" that useless and blocking "Intermediary" MicroPhone Casque : Comp. Supra), in what have been Percieved by some as an Hypothetic Reference to ..."Direct" Democracy, (not Consciously, in this case)...

Interestingly, that Event was closely Followed also by an UnExpected, Last-Minute Re-Appearance of CoE's Experienced Head of Elections and Political Partes' Division, Pierre Garrone, from Switzerland, to Kindly -"Thank (you) for the Intellectual Input" "Eurofora" and others, with an Exceptionaly Bright Smile, (as shows a Screenshot of the Original Video, Later curiously Skiped by a Web-Publiched Version).

 coe_romania__electoral_experts_coe_head_garrone_and_agg__coeroaep_video_eurofora_screenshot_400

So that Nobody Knows yet, whether it might have been the Topical References to the Nov. 2020 US Presidential Election Row, and/or to Chancellor Merkel's Reaction against excessive "Big Tech" Censorship of Freedom of Expression at the Internet, and/or, perhaps, Mexico's Satyrical Flm, "the Perfect Dictature", against Mainstream Medias' Lack of Pluralism, (etc), which might have motivated most... (Comp. Supra, on those 3 Questions raised by "Eurofora" during this CoE's Video-Conference on Electoral Law recent developments)...

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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 imag0972_400


    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
--------------------
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

buzek_press_a_400

    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

buzek_close_a_400 

In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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