The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections “Pod lupom” was established in May 2014 with the aim to implement a project of civic, non-partisan observation of the 2014 General Elections. The Coalition “Pod lupom” observed all elections held since 2014, worked directly with more than 70,000 citizens of Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) and engaged more than 13,000 citizens – observers. The Coalition “Pod lupom” is an actor in the election process that the citizens of BiH trust the most (IPSOS, 2018). 14 recommendations of the Coalition “Pod lupom” were partially or fully adopted and implemented in the election rules and procedures.
Currently, the Coalition “Pod lupom” consists of following five NGOs from BiH, which are acting as full members of the Coalition: Centers for Civil Initiatives (CCI), Center for Civic Cooperation from Livno (CGS Livno), Association of Citizens “Democracy-Organizing-Progress” from Prijedor (DON Prijedor), Tuzla Citizens’ Forum (FGT Tuzla) and the Institute for Youth and Community Development ”Perpetuum Mobile” from Banja Luka.
On July 1, 2014, the Coalition “Pod lupom” began to perform a long-term election observation in BiH through the Main Office located in Sarajevo and 7 regional offices engaging 42 long-term observers (LTOs) and 2,600 Election Day observers, covering 25% of the total number of regular polling stations and 134 local election commissions (LECs). Election Day observation was based on the methodology of election observation which is based on the determination of a representative sample of polling stations (SBO), which was applied for the first time in BiH by the Coalition “Pod lupom” for the 2014 General Elections. During the Election Day, over 19,000 SMS messages were received and sent.
Unlike the 2014 General Elections, the Coalition “Pod lupom” in the 2016 Local Elections put additional focus on observing the election campaign of political entities as well as on monitoring media coverage. The Coalition engaged 41 LTOs and 2,883 Election Day observers for the Local Elections, covering 49% of regular polling stations, as well as 141 LECs, 60 mobile teams and Operators in the Call Center located in Sarajevo. The methodology of long-term observation was improved by the introduction of SMS weekly reporting by LTOs, while Election Day observation was based on the methodology applied for the 2014 General Elections.
The Coalition “Pod lupom” engaged 63 LTOs covering all 143 basic constituencies (municipalities and cities) in BiH for the 2018 General Elections in order to observe the pre-election period as efficiently as possible; approximately 4,000 observers were engaged on Election Day covering almost 70% of the total number of regular polling stations in the country. 60 Mobile Teams were engaged in the field, and observers monitored the work of all 143 LECs.
Since its establishment until 2018, the Coalition “Pod lupom” observed Early Local Elections in 18 municipalities/cities, the First Elections in the newly formed Municipality of Stanari and the Recall of the Mayor in the Municipality of Lukavac.
In the above mentioned period, in addition to observing the elections, the Coalition “Pod lupom” was engaged in researching and developing international comparative analysis, monitoring the work of the Central Election Commission of BiH, organizing roundtables and conferences bringing together representatives of Legislative Institutions, Election Administration, International and Academic Communities, as well as Media and Civil Society. The Coalition also was engaged in actively advocating for the improvement of the Election Process in all its segments. In addition to the above mentioned activities, the Coalition also educates young voters in the election year (First Time Voters ) in order to motivate and encourage them to actively participate in the election process.
Until the 2018 General Elections, the primary activity of the Coalition “Pod lupom” was to observe the pre-election, election and post-election period, and from 2020 the focus of the Coalition will be to strengthen the capacity of CSOs, Informal Groups and Activists throughout BiH with the aim to involve them in election monitoring as well as in activities such as Advocating for Election Changes, Strengthening Cooperation with the Media and Voter Education. The ultimate goal of the Coalition “Pod lupom” is to establish Stronger and More Visible, and Sustainable Activities of Civic Observation of Elections in the future.
Since the 2020 Local Elections, more than 85 CSOs from all over BiH have been involved in the activities of election observation of the Coalition “Pod lupom”. After intensive trainings organised by the Coalition “Pod lupom” these CSOs become the bearers of the activities pertaining to long-term observation of Elections and Election Day.
The Coalition “Pod lupom” together with 85 CSOs organized long-term election observation engaging 100 LTOs from new organizations and covering all 143 constituencies in BiH. Election Day, held on November 15, 2020 was observed by 2,225 observers at regular polling stations throughout BiH as well as in 137 LECs. In the same way and in cooperation with CSOs also were observed the elections in the City of Mostar (December 20, 2020), repeated elections in Doboj and Srebrenica (February 21, 2021), early elections in Travnik and Foča FBiH (April 11, 2021) and early elections in Prijedor (December 12, 2021).
Over the course of the non-election year 2021, the Coalition “Pod lupom” is organizing a series of trainings (12 trainings in 4 areas) for more than 150 CSOs activists who participated in the observation of the 2020 Local Elections. Trainings are covering Public Advocacy, Public Relations and Media and Strategic Planning, with the aim to strengthen CSOs representatives for the 2022 General Elections and their independent observation of future elections, as well as to prepare them to join the Coalition and become members of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections “Pod lupom”.
OVERVIEW OF ELECTIONS OBSERVED
|Date||Elections||Number of observers|
|October 12, 2014||General election in BiH||2642|
|February 01, 2015||Early Elections
Domaljevac-Šamac, Istočni Drvar, Stanari
|February 22, 2015||Early Elections
Kalesija and Živinice
|September 06, 2015||Early Elections
|December 06, 2015||Early Elections
|October 02, 2016||Local Elections in BiH||2924|
|February 19, 2017||Repeated Elections in Stolac||20|
|November 24, 2017||Early Elections
|December 17, 2017||Early Elections
|May 13, 2018||Recall of the Mayor in the Municipality of Lukavac||63|
|October 07, 2018||General Elections in BiH||3900|
|February 17, 2019||Early Elections
City of Doboj, City of Trebinje, Bosansko Grahovo, Bosanski Petrovac, Bužim, Domaljevac – Šamac, Drvar, Kakanj and Ribnik
|November 15, 2020||Local Elections in BiH||2698|
|December 20, 2020||Local Elections in City of Mostar||217|
|February 21, 2021||Repeated Elections
Doboj and Srebrenica
|April 11, 2021||Early Elections
Travnik and Foča (FBiH)
|December 12, 2021||Early Elections in Prijedor||130|