OUR INITIATIVES

#17 REFORM THE ELECTION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM IN SERBIA

An independent body must be in charge of the implementation of election laws (VC II.3.1.a), i.e. i.e. independent and impartial election commissions must be established at all levels, from the state to the level of polling stations (II.3.1.b). The Central Electoral Commission must have a permanent character (II.3.1.c), while the members of the commission must be persons who are experts in election issues (II.3.1.d.ii). In addition to the rules on technical matters and details, election regulations must have the force of law (II.2.a), and the basic elements of the election law may be changed one year before the elections at the latest. (II.2.b). The powers and duties of the various bodies, must be clearly regulated by law, in order to avoid conflicts of jurisdiction (I.3.3.c). In order for these standards to be met, it is necessary to undertake the following:

 

a. Systematising electoral legal subject matter through one unique electoral law

Currently, seven laws are being applied to the election process, which in practice leaves room for contradictory and uneven interpretation of the provisions, which may result in non-sanctioning of election irregularities. An election law that would include provisions on the conduct of elections at all levels and regulate the work of all election administration bodies would contribute to legal certainty and reduce misinterpretations and contradictory interpretations of legal provisions by institutions.

 

b. Reforming local electoral commissions within the scope of a larger electoral legislation reform

As the selection, composition and generally the position of local electoral commissions are an inseparable part of a wider electoral legislation reform, it is necessary to undertake a systemic and a systematic modification of the manner in which the members of city and municipal electoral commissions are elected, in order to fully ensure independence and impartiality of the decision-making on one hand, and on the other, an adequate professionalism in the work of city and municipal electoral commissions. (See articles 25-29 of the Unified Electoral Law.)

 

c. Reorganise the election administration system

The Law on the Election of Members of the Parliament and the Law on Local Elections should be modified so that they prescribe a hierarchical structure of election administration bodies. According to the new structure, the REC would be an institution immediately superior to municipal and city electoral commissions and actually conduct the elections at the local level. Therefore, it is necessary to abolish the REC working groups as local electoral commissions would take over their role. (See articles 11 and 15-25 of the Unified Electoral Law.)

 

d. Members of local electoral commissions can only be graduated jurists

It convenes to supplement article 14 of the Law on Local Elections in order to foresee a requirement that all nominated members and deputy members of the CEC, secretary and deputy secretary should have a Law School diploma. (See article 25 of the Unified Electoral Law.)