1. Introduce your Coalition?
The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections- „Pod Lupom“ was founded in May 2014 with the aim of implementing the project of civic, non-partisan observations of general elections in 2014. The Coalition consists of a six non-governmental organizations and the main office in Sarajevo.
2. What does your Coalition do?
The primary activity of the Coalition is observation of elections (general, local and early). In addition, the Coalition is engaged in research and creation of international comparative analysis. By following the meeting of CEC, the organisation of round tables and conferences, bringing together representatives of legislative institutions of government, election administration, international and academic community, the media and the civil society, Coalition advocates for the improvement of the electoral process in all its segments.
3. Why NGOs monitor elections?
Non- governmental organizations that make up the Coalition “Pod Lupom” do not represent interests of any political subject in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they protect the right of all the citizens to fair and free elections. The presence of non-party observers throughout the country aims to protect the integrity of the electoral process and the votes of other voters. Non-governmental organizations are largely non-partisan and non-profit, which allows them independent position and impartial approach. They are most suitable for the development of infrastructure and network for monitoring the elections and are not subject to any conditions that could affect the results of observing and reporting on it.
4. Will your work influence the elections?
The work of the Coalition affect the quality conduct of elections, and the presence of citizens’ observers alone, should prevent irregularities and encourage citizens to actively exercise their citizenship.
5. Are civil observers volunteers?
They are. They receive compensation for their work and they get basic costs of communication and transport covered.
6. What do Long Term Observers (LTO) do?
They are recruited for a period of at least 3 months, and they carry out long-term monitoring of the electoral process before election day, on the election day and immediately after the election day. Before the election day, they are engaged in monitoring the organization of the election process, following the election campaign and media coverage, presentation of the Coalition and its plans and the animation and education of observers of the election day. On the election day, they participate in mobile teams, solve any problems election day observers might have and they report.
7. At which locations are you observing elections?
We observe elections on a selected number of polling stations on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Selection of polling stations is carried out on a statistical sample, where the polling stations are randomly selected with specific, pre specified statistical parameters.
8. Which criteria are you using for determining locations to observe?
Criteria that affect the statistical sample of polling stations are: the number of polling stations, the size, consistency, geographical representation and ethnical representation.
9. What are the results of your work?
So far we observed the 2014 General Elections, , early local elections in eight municipalities, the 2016 Local Elections, first elections in the newly formed municipality Stanari, repeated elections in the municipality Stolac, mayor’s recall in municipality Lukavac, General Elections 2018. and early local elections in 9 municiplaities/towns in BIH in 2018.. A total of around 10.000 observers were engaged in all of the elections. Besides the election observation we also conduct studies and prepare international comparative analyses. The Coalition is advocating improvement of electoral process in all of its segment by monitoring sessions of the BiH Central Election Commission, organizing roundtable discussions and conference that bring together representatives of legislature, election administration, international and academic community, media and civil society. Besides the aforementioned activities, the Coalition also educates young frst-time voters during the election year aimed at motivating and encouraging them to actively participate in the electoral process. Coalition has established a very good communication with the citizens across the country, with the representatives of elections administration and representatives of legislative institutions of government, and in a very short time gave back a faith in democracy of electoral process.
10. Who helps and funds your activities?
In the period 2015 – 2018 the activities of the Coalition “Pod lupom” are implemented under the project BASE, funded by the European Union under the IPA program 2014 / Support to Civil Society. The total value of the project is 1.678.000 euros, of which EU funding amount of 1.5 million euros, a sum of 178.000 euros funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Help in the form of free space we get from the media too, who broadcast our promotional videos and publish our information that we communicate to the public.
11. Do public budgets finance your activities?
They don’t. On the contrary, the Coalition regularly pays taxes and they contribute to the budget filling in all the regions.
12. What benefits do citizens have from your work?
Coalition protects the constitutional rights of all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to have the free and fair elections. Citizens are provided with a direct insight into the conduct of elections and improvement of the electoral process. Through the publications which Coalition published so far, public campaigns (video, audio, flyers and other informative materials, as well as the work of the observers on the field, citizens can be additionally educated about the electoral process. In this way, citizens can directly influence the changes of elections rules that lead to different types of irregularities, such as misuse of the electoral will, influence on voters during the voting, and similar.
13. How can you be contacted in the different parts of the country?
The Coalition is fully opened to cooperation with the public. Our contacts are present on our web portal, Facebook page, through the regional offices of the Coalition, the list of long-term observers and the Main office in Sarajevo, and they all are open to answering any question. During the elections, a public has free telephone line available where you can report irregularities you notice. For more ways to contact us, open the “Contact” section of the web page.