The Conference was organised under project “BASE – Building Accountability and Systems in the Elections” funded by the EU in the amount of EUR 1.5 million and implemented by the Coalition “Pod lupom”.
Dr. Renzo Daviddi, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to BiH said in his opening remarks: “We welcome the important activities of the Coalition “Pod lupom”. The EU is funding this project with aim to contribute to the improved quality of election processes in BiH in line with international standards and best practices, facilitating active participation of citizens in the advocacy and election monitoring. We encourage all relevant stakeholders to continue working on the improvements of the electoral legislation through a wide range of consultative and inclusive processes.”
In the second part of the conference, two panel discussions were held on the upcoming Local Election in BiH that will be held on 2 October 2016 and the recent changes to the BiH Election Law, their impact on the election administration and reflections by the CSOs, election administration and media on the adopted changes.
Panellists and participants of the first panel discussion on the recent Election Law changes concluded that work on the improvements of the election legislation should be continued in the near future in order to implement other crucial recommendations which were not part of the recent changes.
Vlado Rogic, Member of the Central Election Commission (CEC), gave an overview of the changes of the Election Law which were recently implemented as the result of the work of the Inter-Agency Working Group for the Changes of the Election Legislation. Halid Genjac, Delegate of the House of Peoples of BiH Parliamentary Assembly said that the decision making process in the Inter-Agency Working Group was a challenge, but the standards in the election process in BiH are still pretty high. Other two panellists, Members of the BiH Parliament, Barisa Colak and Lazar Prodanovic, agreed upon necessity to continue work on the improvements in the polling station committees’ member selection and education, and the faster election results announcement.
Conclusion of the second panel discussion on other election legislation changes were that a room for the additional improvements, especially in Law on Political Party Financing, still exists.
Ivana Korajlic from Transparency International BiH offered the concrete ideas were the improvements can be made, including the strengthening the role of the CEC in political party financial reports audit and increase in sanctions and penalties for possible misbehaviour.
Almir Terzic, Independent Journalist and Political Analyst, emphasized that the recent changes in the Election Law suggested by the Inter-Agency Working Group were not dealing with the crucial problem of the elections in BiH – polling station committees. Professionalization of the polling station committees and decrease of the political influence on their work should be imperative of any other legislation changes in the future.
The conference was attended by more than 200 participants, the representatives of the government institutions, local administration, international community, media and civil society organisations.
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