Regularity of the election process wasn’t jeopardized

The election process was held in peace, and the results of the elections held on Sunday, reflected the reported electoral will of the citizens, despite the fact that it provides the conditions to repeat voting in a number of polling stations, according to a report of Center for Monitoring and Research (CEMI).

The head of the mission of CeMI, Djuro Stojanovic, said during the presentation of the report on the preliminary conclusions and findings of the parliamentary and local elections in 2016, that the untidiness of Electoral Roll, the problem of functioning of part of Municipal Commissions and disorientation of the State Election Commission in the efficient organization and training of lower levels of electoral administration raises concern even though, as he pointed out, they did not jeopardize the regularity of the overall electoral process.

“Despite the fact that it provides the conditions to repeat voting in a number of polling stations, the electoral process was held in peace, and the election results reflected the will of the citizens,” said Stojanovic in PR Center.

He said that the electoral system puts members of the Roma population in an unequal position, since they do not have equal status as members of minority communities that participates in the total population at similar percentage.

“The system of differential legal thresholds, which gives minorities a privileged position contains illogicalities, which can lead to the effect that it is in discord with the concept of positive discrimination of minority peoples”, said Stojanovic.

Party affiliation of members of the SEC and part of the MECs dominates its work and decision-making process.

“Not all members of the permanent composition of the SEC attended the last phase of the election process, while all electoral lists did not nominate authorized representatives, which undermined the concept of arrangement and decision-making in this body during the electoral process,” said Stojanovic.

According to his words, the election day was marked by numerous irregularities, as he explained, in a similar form they appeared in a relatively large number of polling stations. “Irregularities were in most cases the result of lack of training of polling station committees,” said Stojanovic.

Coordinator of long-term observers, Dubravka Popovic, said that the Law on Financing of Political Entities and Electoral Campaigns does not define precisely the terms that relate to the reporting of political entities on spending funds during the electoral campaign and puts in an unequal position different categories of political entities.

“The electoral campaign began before the verification of the electoral lists of entities and it was significantly more intense and aggressive than in previous election cycles. The campaign also used almost all the techniques of promotion of programs of political entities, including video clips and advertising through social networks, which was not stopped even in the period of pre-election silence”, explained Popovic.

She said that, when it comes to the abuse of state resources, long-term observers of CEMI received numerous allegations about the use of public resources for the purpose of political marketing at the local level, through various forms of employment in public enterprises and institutions, debt write-offs or the realization of infrastructure projects.

“The decision of the Agency for Electronic Communications to suspend internet traffic through applications Viber and WhatsApp, which was justified by the need for stopping unwanted communications, represents a form of censorship that violated democratic standards and limited citizens’ right to communicate and be informed”, said Popovic.

Analyst of the elections, Marko Savic, said that the Anti-Corruption Agency has failed, until finalizing the report, to determine whether the charges of part of the public that certain political parties were illegally financed were accurate or not.

“The Agency has failed to adequately respond in the case of a whistleblower who reported the abuse of state resources. The conclusions of the Special State Prosecutor’s Office are different from those taken by the Agency. “said Savic.

“A very aggressive campaign on social networks was continued. It is particularly important to note that among the materials that political entities place on the social networks and their Youtube channels, are also videos with a controversial content which is deleted for the purposes of broadcasting on the electronic media”, said Savic.

Stojanovic said that the seats, that CEMI announced during the election night, as preliminary results, have not changed based on counted votes in 99.7 percent of polling stations.

“Sigurnim korakom DPS Milo Djukanovic won 36 seats, the Democratic Front – Mi ili on 18 seats, Great coalition Kljuc nine seats, MsC Aleksa Becic – Democrats eight seats, SDP Ranko Krivokapic four seats, the Social Democrats Montenegro – Ivan Brajovic two seats, Bosniak Party Rafet Husović two seats, Albanians single seat, Croatian civic initiative one seat”, he stated.

Turnout in the parliamentary elections, he added, was 73.4 percent.

Asked how the arrest of suspected terrorist group on Sunday affected the electoral process and the election result, Stojanovic said it has nothing to do with the election procedure “but with the presumed execution of a criminal offense which is under the jurisdiction of the Special State Prosecutor’s Office.”

“We expect the Special State Prosecutor’s Office to transparently inform the public about all the actions that have been implemented, and we expect national authorities to do their job and inform the citizens”, he said.

President of the Governing Board of CeMI, Zlatko Vujovic, when asked whether the unpublishing of preliminary results by the State Election Commission affects the elections results, said that he was informed that proceeding arrived from the Municipal Election Commissions and that the procedure of checking is occurring.

“Based on that, if everything is fine, the SEC will determine the preliminary election results. Afterwards, deadlines for complaints and making decisions on these complaints are still ongoing, but it is possible that repeated voting at certain polling stations might happen, and only then can we expect final results”, explained Vujovic.

He said that he expects that in the next few hours the SEC will determine preliminary election results.

“We expect a repetition at a number of polling stations, because what happened in Andrijevica is unacceptable. It is unacceptable that the Municipal Election Commission in this town does not respect the provisions of the law, nor the instructions of the SEC, “said Vujovic.

As he pointed out, it is unacceptable that the votes of voters inserted in a ballot box are for both elections at the local and state level.

 

 

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