PRELIMINARY STATEMENT FOR THE SECOND ROUND OF THE LOCAL ELECTIONS
Citizens Association MOST monitored the second round of the local elections with more than 1.000 observers, covering approximately 50% of the polling stations within each municipality where voting was conducted. For monitoring the voting of the ill and disabled persons and the ones in home custody 39 observers were engaged who monitored the work of 47 electoral boards, and for the voting in penitentiary institutions – 12 observers. The work of the State Election Commission and of the Municipal Election Commissions was monitored as well.
MOST observers were static ones, and they monitored the voting process at the polling stations during the entire day. Additionally, there were 45 mobile teams – consisting of 2 observers – deployed as logistical support to the static observers and they occasionally monitored the voting at the polling stations that were not covered by MOST static observers.
According to the reports and information received from the observers, the preliminary assessment of the Citizens Association MOST is that as in the first round, the citizens freely went out to cast their vote, while the voting was conducted in a fair and democratic atmosphere. We were again witness of a rapid and effective reaction of the institutions during the voting, regarding the noted irregularities inside and outside the polling stations. The technical challenges during the voting procedure that were noted in the first round, were also eliminated. During the day, observers mostly reported about cases of group / family voting and photographing of ballots, but it must be underlined that the frequency of all types of irregularities was reduced, compared to the first round.
The voting of the ill and disabled persons before the Election Day, at those polling stations where MOST had observers, was generally conducted in accordance with the procedures, except that one electoral board did not carry the ballot box with them, and in several cases the secrecy of the vote was violated. The voting of persons in prison was conducted with the same problem as in the first round, i.e. a large number of persons could not be found in the Voters List.
MOST extends its utmost gratitude to all citizens who selflessly supported the efforts of domestic, non-partisan election observation, as well as to all those who supported and helped the mission of the Citizens Association MOST.
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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of Local Elections 2017” is supported by the Embassy of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, National Endowment for Democracy and USAID through the National Democratic Institute.
The content of this press release is the responsibility of MOST and do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of the donors.