Press release: Data openness in the field of elections is not sufficient

At the press conference held today in Sarajevo, the Coalition “Pod lupom” presented its Analysis on election irregularities for the period 2006-2016. The Analysis contains information on objections, complaints and appeals filed with regard to the election process in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as on investigations and sanctions pertaining to election irregularities and offences over the period of 10 years.
Press release: Data openness in the field of elections is not sufficient

Data openness in the field of elections is seriously undermined, emphasized in the Coalition “Pod lupom”. 90 Municipal/City Election Commissions in BiH, out of total 143, did not submit requested information on election objections and complaints, upon Coalition’s request.       


“As alarming as this refusal of Local Election Commissions to submit requested information can be, it is even more alarming the reality that it may be that these Local Election Commissions have no any information on objections filed during the previous election cycles„ said Danijel Stjepanović, co-author and research coordinator.    


Based on reports received, the Coalition "Pod lupom" concluded that more than 1,000 election complaints have been received. Most of them referred to the Election Day (837) and the process of appointing the members of the pooling station committees (210).      


"The number of complaints pertaining to the work of the polling station committees confirms the Coalition's opinion, as well as other actors’ in the election process opinion, that the pooling station committees still represent one of the main issues of the election process in BiH. Fundamental changes and concrete improvements on appointing and training the members of the polling station committees are crucial, "Stjepanović said.  


One of the conclusions contained in the Analysis states that election administration reports in the field of protection of election rights are not created in a uniform, complete and comprehensive manner.  Objections, as an instrument to protect election rights which is only available to Coalition's observers when reporting irregularities on the Election Day, very often are not addressed by election bodies, so as such are considered meaningless.


 Election complaints, the most important element to protect election right, are not sufficiently used. This right is limited to a narrow circle of people (political parties and voters, but only at their polling stations) and most complaints are dismissed immediately (80%).


"Observers of the Coalition "Pod lupom ", unlike political subjects, have no the right to file complaints. They only have the right to file objections on election process. The right to file complaints is limited to a narrow circle of people, so it is necessary to expand this right”, said Jelena Tanasković Mićanović, Public Policy Coordinator of the Coalition "Pod lupom.  


The number of appeals on Central Election Commissions’ decisions sent to the Court of BiH is increasing. In addition, the number of appeals on Local Election Commissions' decisions sent to Central Election Commission has also been increased throughout years.


The Coalition “Pod lupom” also discussed ongoing changes to the BiH Election Law and expressed its expectations that the new legislative proposal to introduce new technologies into election process (which is adopted by the House of Representatives of BiH), will also be supported by the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH.    

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