The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections “Pod Lupom,” which, together with 85 civil society organizations and informal groups observes the pre-election period in BiH, has presented the findings of the first month of its long-term observation of the electoral process.
The Coalition has registered 636 election irregularities. Most of these irregularities refer to a premature election campaign, i.e., campaigning when it is prohibited by law. The Coalition has registered a total of 390 cases of a premature campaign, whereof 157 cases refer to paid advertising on social media. Reports and evidence of such irregularities were submitted to the Central Election Commission of BiH.
“I would like to underline that tomorrow, September 2, is the official start of the election campaign which means that political subjects will be able to engage in the lawful promotion of their political platforms and candidates. We call on political subjects to comply with the Election Law of BiH and engage in a dignified and fair election campaign, but we also call on the media in BiH to allow advertising to all political subjects under equal conditions and to act in the best interests of citizens – Dario Jovanović, Pod Lupom’s Project Manager said at the press conference.
Of other frequent irregularities, 185 refer to different forms of the misuse of public resources for election purposes, including intensified infrastructural works, public officials’ participation in election campaigning, the promotion of the start or completion of public works, provision of different types of assistance, etc.
Pod Lupom highlights that they have informed the public that some municipal or city election commissions have been having problems with filling seats on polling station committees because political subjects have not submitted a sufficient number of candidates for members and substitutes for members of polling station committees.
And at this very moment, almost 63 % of municipalities and cities are facing this problem. We are underlining that the latest changes to the Election Law of BiH concerning the prohibition to trade seats on polling station committees or the sanctions for such cases may have yielded results, considering that the so-called “phantom“ political subjects and other political subjects that have been preparing to manipulate the composition of polling station committees have given up on their intentions,” Jelena Tanasković-Mićanović, Pod Lupom’s Public Policy Coordinator said on behalf of the Coalition.
Pod Lupom says that they will engage 2 000 election day observers in the upcoming 2022 General elections.
All citizens are the observers of the election process, and we call on them to report all electoral irregularities they observe and become citizens, nonpartisan observers of the Pod Lupom Coalition – the Coalition’s PR Hasan Kamenjaković said at the conference.
Applications to become an election observer and reports of electoral irregularities can be submitted online via the website www.podlupom.org or they can call the Coalition’s toll-free number 080 05 05 05.