Press release: Preliminary assessment of the Election Day
The elections in Stolac were discontinued at every polling station due to a large number of occurred incidents and violence. This kind of behaviour of participants in the electoral process, seriously distorts the integrity of the elections, thus moving BiH away from so far reached democratic standards.
The closing of the polling stations mostly went in the accordance with the rules.
At 3% of polling stations problems with accuracy test were noticed, as well as problems with ballot papers being pronounced invalid without following BiH CEC’s regulations. At the same number of polling stations, complaints were filed by observers. At 1% of the polling stations, problems with packing of polling materials were observed.
The Coalition’s observers, during the Election Day and night, reported 173 serious violations of the Election Law and/or implementation acts of CEC BiH. These violations are related to adding of the votes to the ballot papers during the votes counting in 7 cases, discrepancies in the accuracy tests at the elections for mayor at 28 polling stations, discrepancies in the accuracy tests at the elections for town/ city councils at 23 polling stations. At the polling station East Ilidža, copied ballot papers were noticed (8-9 of them), about which polling station committee notified Local Election Commission (132B009); incidents during the counting of the votes were noticed in Čelić (052A001) and Gradačac (025A06A) where police had to intervene.
The Coalition’s observers recorded over 120 complaints about the work of the polling station committees, for which Coalition is hoping will be seriously considered by the election administration following the Article 6.2. Paragraph 2 of the BiH Election Law, which says that the Election Commission can initiate proceedings ex officio upon learning that its authority was violated.
Determination of the elections results at polling stations is still in progress. Until 8 a.m. this morning, 99 (70,21%) of the LECs finished their work. The vast majority of the Coalitions observers had unhindered access to the process of observing LECs.
The handover of the polling material was organized well, with the exception of 6 LECs where jams were noticed (Maglaj, Gradačac, Ilidža, Široki Brijeg) and bad organisation of the handover of the polling material (Kalesija, Žepće). Also, it was observed that in Žepće, the material from the polling stations arrived damaged (opened bags).
At 25 LECs (25,25%), observers noticed cases of obviously wrong packing of the polling material, while at 37 LECs (27,27%) members of LECs opened bags to correct the mistakes in packing of the polling material. At 39 of LECs (39,39%) recounting was done for at least one polling station. Eleven LECs did not visibly display the result forms.
Except for Stolac, there were more thrusts on the members of polling station committees at 026B010 in Pelagićevo, physical assault on the president of polling station committee at 25A017 in Prozor – Rama, two cases of physical conflicts amongst the voters in Ilijaš and Visoko as well as open threats directed towards the Coalition’s observers.
The Coalition “Pod lupom” also did parallel gathering of the votes at 5 largest municipalities in BiH - Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Novi Grad Sarajevo, Tuzla and Zenica. The Coalition’s date confirm election of the mayor and town/ city councils in Banja Luka (Igor Radojičič, 56,93%), Novi Grad Sarajevo (Semir Efendić, 65,23%), Tuzla (Jasmin Imamović, 50,54%) and Zenica (Fuad Kasumović, 35,94%), while results for Bijeljina are within the statistical error and we can’t say who won the elections with certainty.
The Coalition received 125 reports from the citizens, out of which 45 were about the pressuring, persuasion, intimidating, bribing and buying of the votes, while 30 were about violation of the electoral silence.
Coalition observed Elections at 2,500 polling stations, while mobile teams visited 920 polling stations until 3 a.m., which makes 65,33% of observed places in total.
99% of the Coalition’s observers had unhindered access to the polling stations, while 1% of them had issues entering the polling stations because of the insufficient communication between Local Election Commissions and Central Election Commission BiH and accreditation.
At 85% of the polling stations, all of the members of polling stations committees were present at the polling stations at 6 a.m. The polling material was missing at 6% of the polling stations, which shows that election administration was not prepared well for the Local Elections.
Except for the municipality of Stolac, and incidents listed above, at the most of the polling stations electoral process went without problems. During the electoral process the observers noted irregularities at 16 polling stations. At least one case of so-called family voting was recorded at 56% of observed PS, and at 60% of PS 1-5 persons were turned down because they were not found on the excerpt from the Central Voters Register. However, this was not happening systematically and it’s the case of cases that can’t endanger the electoral process.
Some polling stations, 6,9 % of them, had a case of voting without valid identification documents.
The closing of the polling stations mostly went in the accordance with the rules. Most of the polling stations (98,8%) of them were closed until 7:15 p.m., while the rest of them (1,2%) were closed until 8 p.m. At 11 polling stations, which were not closed at 7 p.m., did not enable voting to the citizens who were in front of the polling stations at 7 p.m. At 98,7% of the polling stations, all of the members of polling station committees were present during closure of the polling stations. At 26 of polling stations, unauthorised persons were allowed to enter the polling station after it was closed, during the votes counting.
Coalition “Pod lupom” is grateful to all of its observers who, with their participation, serious approach and personal contribution helped that the Local Elections 2016 in BiH can be in line with Election Law, so that the electoral will of the citizens doesn’t be put into question.
For any additional information please contact the public relations coordinator of the Coalition „Pod lupom“, Jovana Kljajić via email email@example.com or at 033 268 160 and 065 252 016.