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EU Chief Observer stresses need for improvements before local elections

EU Chief Observer stresses need for improvements before local elections GazetaExpress

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Kosovo presented its Final Report on the 11 June 2017 legislative elections today. The report comprises an assessment of the electoral process and offers 26 recommendations to improve future electoral processes in Kosovo.

The Mission was headed by Chief Observer Alojz Peterle, Member of the European Parliament from Slovenia, who returned to Kosovo for two days to present the report to the Kosovo authorities, the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), political parties, civil society and the media. The EU EOM’s Final Report reflects the findings of the Mission’s Preliminary Statement, which found that the elections were genuinely competitive in most of Kosovo but that political will was needed to address long-standing weaknesses, and intimidation within Kosovo Serb areas. During a press conference held today in Pristina Peterle called for “more decisive action” by those with influence, saying that “voters of all communities deserve a free and democratic process.”

Peterle stressed the need for improvements in time for the upcoming municipal and mayoral elections. “I am thinking particularly of voter education, the training and appointment of polling station committees, the transparency of the process at the CRC and the role of the Independent Media Commission. I encourage the relevant authorities to take these recommendations into consideration and take the necessary steps for their swift implementation,” said Peterle. He noted that the CEC has adopted an Action Plan designed to implement the Mission’s short-term recommendations relating to their work ahead of the municipal elections. Peterle emphasised that political will from across the political spectrum is needed to address the longer-term recommendations, which include improvements to the voter list, better oversight of campaign spending, having a sufficient timeframe with longer deadlines for early elections, improvements to the Out-of Kosovo voting system, enhancing the mechanism for electoral complaints, eliminating loopholes in the rules for covering the campaign in the media and enhanced participation of women in the electoral process.

The presentation of the Final Report concludes the work of the EU EOM to the legislative elections, which was in Kosovo from May to July and observed all aspects of the electoral process. Peterle will, however, continue his role as Chief Observer for the new EU EOM to observe the 22 October mayoral and municipal elections, which officially opened today.

    Date: 12 September 2017 14:06
    Author: GazetaExpress