Experts assessed the extent of COVID-19’s impact on political systems

The extent to which the virus affects the political system and the ratings of the authorities of the countries will depend on the effectiveness of measures taken by them to restore the economy, social and domestic spheres.

The authors of the document say that the emergence of the virus for the first time has led to a serious change in the practice of electoral procedures in different countries – the mass postponement of elections and referendums to later and often indefinite periods. The decision to postpone elections and referendums was made by the authorities of Armenia, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, France, Great Britain, Russia, Iran, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Syria, USA, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and South Africa.

The presidential elections in the USA and Poland were threatened. Due to the pandemic, the primaries were indefinitely postponed in a number of American states. Another part of states, as noted in the study, postponed the election procedure from spring to summer. However, the terms of the election of the head of state – November 3 – are still unchanged.

The first round of presidential elections in Poland was to be held on May 10. Head of State Andrzej Duda has already announced that it may be postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to postpone parliamentary elections scheduled for April 13 to May 20. Serbian authorities have also decided to stop preparations for parliamentary elections until the end of the emergency regime in the country. The voting was scheduled to take place on 26 April.

In Russia, the CEC has decided to postpone 102 election campaigns scheduled from 5 April to 21 June 2020.