Within its advocacy campaign to improve electoral process in BiH, the Coalition for free and fair elections “Pod lupom” organised two public events in Brčko and Bijeljina on ” CHEATING IN ELECTIONS – who is doing it and how?”
Around 100 participants attended the public debate in Brcko District and regional conference in Bijeljina. All participants agreed it is of crucial importance to achieve two goals: eliminate electoral fraud and make political parties and government officials to act responsibly and respect laws adopted by themselves.
The Coalition representatives presented documented samples of violation of electoral rules as follows: illegal trade in membership in polling station committees; buying votes and unlawful pressures on voters; misuse of personal data to vote by post office; outdated voter lists by municipalities; misuse of public resources for campaigning purposes; a large number of fictional voters registration and cancelling voter registration in several areas; and premature, banned election campaigning conducted in the period before election day. Many irregularities are registered on the Election Day. Some of them are as follows: improper voter identification; voting on behalf of other persons; family voting; adding personal votes for candidates on ballot papers while counting votes; wrong packing of election material and disagreement within accuracy tests for which responsibility goes to polling station committees.
Participants expressed its unconditional support to the Coalition’s priority recommendations which are presented in the 2016 Local Elections Final Report.
At all events Coalition organised so far, it is noticeable that citizens are indignant when it comes to irresponsible behaviour of government representatives and political parties. Thus, an integral topic of all Coalition’s events has been political corruption that leads toward illegal and arrogant behaviour of government representatives who govern citizens destinies only to earn its personal interests and to promote the culture of employment based on political party membership as well as buying of votes and voters conditioning. This is considered as the main reason why people leaving the country because there is no prospect and progress if such patterns of behaviour persist. All political parties and individuals within these parties are left with is to change themselves for the best. Citizens have the task to make them to do this change.
The Coalition for free and fair elections “Pod lupom”, engaging more than 25,000 citizens within its activities, commit itself to improve electoral process and provide changes that would restore citizens’ trust in the electoral process.
“BiH Electoral is a good foundation but it has many shortcomings and it is necessary to do our best in order to improve it. What is particularly concerning is the fact that any progress has not been achieved recently which, unfortunately, will be manifested in the course of 2018 through de facto system of closed lists because the intra-party threshold for candidates on lists is raised four times as opposed to the last general election, i.e. by 20%, “said the Coalition’s Project Director, Mr. Dario Jovanović.
President of the Coalition’s Strategic Board Mr. Vehid Šehić pointed out that none elections in BiH, since 1996, were completely free and fair and emphasised failure to comply with the law as the main problem.
“We are going to have this kind of elections as long as responsibility is imposed on political subjects as the main sources of all election irregularities. The elections in BiH are some sort of state of emergency in which votes are openly bought and sold and nobody is responsible for it, “said Mr. Šehic, adding that many persons participating in the electoral process are trained ” to forge electoral will of citizens “.
Some of the key recommendations that the Coalition will submit to decision-makers are following: presidents of polling station committees are non-partisan persons having experience in the conduction of elections; shortening of deadlines from the date of announcing the elections to official and complete disclosure of the final results; and allowing non-partisan observers to submit their complaints.
Coalition „Pod lupom“ also demands the financial control system of political parties to be improved; exchange of seats and potential trade in seats in polling stations to be prevented; scanning ballot papers by voters to be performed in order to prevent electoral manipulation; results of the elections to be announced much faster; and to create legal assumptions so to enable local elections in Mostar.
Participants of both public events are enabled to directly address decision- makers by sending them postcards containing Coalition’s requirements for improving the electoral process.
Events organised in Brčko and Bijeljina are among the first in a series of 13 public events to be organized by the Coalition in the course of 2017, throughout BiH.
For all additional information please contact PR coordinator of the Coalition “Pod lupom” Jovana Kljajić via e-mail email@example.com or by phone 033 268 160 and 065 252 016.