The Centre for Monitoring and Research (CeMI) is inviting the members of the newly formed Board for Comprehensive Reform of Election and Other Laws of the Parliament of Montenegro to make this process more inclusive and include in its work all the subjects who can substantially contribute to the advancement of the electoral process and election laws with concrete suggestions.
In that sense, on August 2nd, CeMI sent a memo to the President of the Parliament, Ivan Brajovic, with a request to make possible the participation of CeMI in the Board, as an associate member. After the Parliament of Montenegro adopted changes of the Decision on the formation of the Election Legislation Reform Board, which significantly changed the key elements of the previous Decision, regarding the composition, deadline and the scope of work of this body, all presumptions for including other subjects in the work of the Board were formally created, in different capacities.
Nevertheless, to this day CeMI did not receive feedback, even though formally there are no limitations for the realization of this request, so it begs the question of the true will of representatives of political subjects to make this process more transparent and inclusive.
After 18 years of continued work in this area, CeMI has built a team of recognized, international and national experts, and continually points to the need of electoral framework reform and is dedicated to the advancement of the integrity of the electoral process in Montenegro. In the stated period CeMI has observed almost all electoral processes in Montenegro, in such a way that recognized experts from this area observed and valued the work not only of the election administration in the preparatory period, or during the election day, but all other responsible institutions in Montenegro. Additionally, CeMI is besides national, one of the key subjects at the international level in the field of independent election monitoring. From 2017, it is the head of European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO), which is composed of CSOs from 18 countries and which conduct independent election monitoring with the support of a large number of international partners. We believe that the acquired international experience and numerous contacts can be of use for the work of the Board, in the sense of formulating the best solutions for our system on the basis of the best international practises.
However, it is obvious that references are not what is key in the process of electing those that can be included in this process.
CeMI is inviting members of the Board to publicly respond to the submitted request and explain to the public the reasons for excluding from the process one of the most significant CSO from this area. In any case, CeMI will continue to follow the activities of this Board and publicly advocate for those solutions we believe can truly advance our electoral process and contribute to increasing the total trust in the electoral system.