In Republic of Macedonia the domestic observers perform their responsibilities in accordance with the Election code, as well as with the Code on the rules for observing the elections and the election procedure for domestic and foreign observers which is being issued by the State Election Commission before each election process. Besides the domestic legislation, additionally the work of the domestic observers is based on the international standards for monitoring of elections. However, the ring that was missing during the entire process was a set of standards for domestic monitoring of elections that will be accepted and respected by every participant in the future election processes. Development of these standards for domestic monitoring of elections was the primary objective of the Conference: Role of the domestic observers and standards for domestic monitoring of elections, which was organized by the Citizens Association MOST in the period 18 – 20 June 2009. Representatives of respectied institutions were invited and participated in the conference: State Election Commission, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of interior, State audit office, Broadcasting council, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, OSCE Spillover Monitoring mission to Skopje, Office of the Special Representative of EU in R Macedonia, Information Office of the Council of Europe in Skopje, representatives of relevant civil society organizations, as well as representatives of political parties and media in Republic of Macedonia.

The main objective of the conference, besides drafting of the standards, was to turn the attention of the state institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs) and public to the importance of the domestic monitoring of elections for building the democratic capacities of the country. Additionally, the conference was conducted with aim to strengthen the mutual confidence between the domestic observers, state institutions, media and political subjects that in some way participate in the election process.

Each of the sessions was designed to have two experts from certain field as introducers to present own analysis and conclusions about the current situation in the field that used to be subject to discussions. Afterwards, the representatives of the CSOs and  public sector were able to exchange opinions about the needs, principles and mechanisms for improving the role of the domestic observers, raising the standards for domestic monitoring and strengthening the confidence/cooperation between the domestic observers, state institutions, media and political parties. Each session was moderated by journalist. In order to inform the public the conference was attended by several local and national electronic and print media.

Key Achievements
The civil society organizations, the representatives of the state institutions and representatives of the political parties agreed to establish several principles as set of standards for domestic monitoring of the elections by which at the same time, the highest international standards for domestic monitoring of elections will be respected. These principles are included in the publication “Standards for Domestic Monitoring of Elections”.

Period of implementation
June 2009 – September 2009

This project was funded by the Embassy of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.