Interim report on elections monitoring presented

Current electoral process in Montenegro was marked by intensive campaign of political parties and in certain segments it was more aggressive in compare to previous election cycles, which showed Interim report by Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI).

Preliminary report on elections monitoring was created in the framework of the project “Civil election monitoring of Montenegro 2016 – Fair elections to become a habit”, which is financed by embassy of Great Britain and German embassy in Podgorica, also embassy of the kingdom  of  Netherlands in Belgrade.

Head of the observation mission, PhD Djuro Stojanović, declare today, on the press conference, that in this election process has been noted increase of the activities of political parties in their campaign through social networks, there’s a lack of a higher degree of control and regulations that exist in other media.

“That gives a space for expression attitudes and opinions that conflict with the principles of religious and national tolerance, respect for diversity, democracy, and also dignity”, Stojanović in declared PR Center.

According to his words, in order for election results to be legitimate and accepted by all political subjects, it is necessary for the State Election Commission to exercise an impartial, objective and transparent approach.

“Opinion on the implementation of the provisions of the Law was adopted by outvote – which is not a good base for making decisions during the electoral process and it casts doubt on the integrity of the decisions of the State Election Commission”, Stojanovic emphasized.

He also stated that the Municipal Election Commission (MEC) Ulcinj has not been constituted in compliance with Law on the Election of Councilors and Representatives, considering that President and three members of MEC are representatives of four parties that form current ruling coalition in Ulcinj Municipality, and only one member is a representative of the opposition.

Stojanovic said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs informed the public that during the process of preparation of the electoral roll a change in the polling station for more than 120,000 voters has occurred. “This data is concerning, bearing  in mind the fact that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has not yet been able to inform all voters about the change in the polling station“.

Stojanovic warned that the final number of polling station remains unknown.

“Even though all MECs adopted a decision on determination of the polling stations in time, the MIA proposed that MECs adopt new decisions due to the existence of a certain number of voters without a polling station, which resulted in several MECs adopting these decision upon expiry of the legal deadline for realization of this activity”, Stojanovic explained.

He also added that the SEC was unable to determine validity of the signatures in support of party lists, which has jeopardized the entire process of party lists’ verification.

We express serious doubt that certain political parties provided the formal requirements for participation in the parliamentary elections, by misuse of personal data of the citizens and falsification of citizens’ signatures.

Election Analyst, Marko Savic, said that the previous stage of electoral process has been marked by negative campaign of the Democratic Front (DF) and Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).

During the pre-electoral campaign, there was a significant violation of the principles of professional ethics and fair behavior of political subjects, by certain political parties.

Savic said that the negative campaign is notable by both Democratic Front and Democratic Party of Socialists. Apart from the DPS, the DF has, at the beginning of their campaign, directed the negative campaign against the leaders of DEMOS, while DPS’s negative campaign is directed towards the Democratic Montenegro, in addition to the DF. Negative campaign between these two subjects has often contained elements of violence at the local level.

Coordinator of Long-Term Observers, Dubravka Popovic, reminded that the MIA informed the public that during the process of preparation of the electoral roll a change in the polling station (PEC) for more than 120,000 voters had occurred.

Popovic said that this situation might cause problems to the process of informing citizens about their polling stations. “Having in mind the stage of electoral process, it is highly probable that many of the voters will not have information about their new polling station on the E-day“.

According to Popovic, CeMI has analyzed the voter register and found that, on 28th of September, there were five polling stations that exceed the maximum number of voters per polling station (1000).

“This refers to the following five poling stations: PEC 14 Slovenska plaza in Budva, PEC 5 Dobrota – Culture Center in Kotor, Podgorica – PEC 5 Youth Center Tološi in Podgorica, Ulcinj – PEC 5 – 2nd LC in Ulcinj and PEC 30 School Center “Bratstvo i jedinstvo” in Ulcinj”, said Popovic.

She added that problems regarding verification of electoral lists were noted in the municipality of Andrijevica, “where three lists were verified despite not complying with legal stipulations regarding women’s presence in the electoral lists“.

CeMI has informed the public that applications for short-term observers will be open until 5th of October and that they already have more than 1,000 applicants.

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