OUR INITIATIVES

#19 EQUALISE DEADLINES FOR ELECTORAL ACTIVITIES

Counting votes and reporting about the elections must be honest with the official results made public (CD 7.4). In order for these standards to be met, it is necessary to undertake the following:

 

a. Equalise deadlines for conducting elections

The amendment to the Law on the Election of the President of the Republic refers to the amendment of article 4, paragraph 5, so that the amended provision should read “From the day of calling the election, no less than 45 days or more than 60 days may elapse until the Election Day.” In this way, the deadlines for conducting elections for the President of the Republic will be equated with the deadlines for conducting elections for Members of Parliament.

 

b. Determine deadlines for announcing the provisional election results, no later than 24 hours from closing of polling stations

In order to achieve greater transparency of the election process, it is necessary to amend the Law on the Election of Members of the Parliament and oblige the REC to publish the provisional election results on its web-site within 24 hours from closing of polling stations. (See article 127 of the Unified Electoral Law)

 

c. Timely publish preliminary and final results of the elections by polling stations on the electoral commissions’ websites

The implementation of this recommendation implies supplementing the Instruction for the Conduct of Voting adopted by the electoral commissions in the part related to “Statistical processing and publication of election results” where it is necessary to add a provision: “electoral commission publishes preliminary and final election results by polling stations, immediately after they have been determined, on the site in CSV format”. (See article 127 of the Unified Electoral Law.)

 

d. Equalise deadlines provided for the announcement of final election results

It is necessary to harmonise the existing solutions from the Law on the Election of members of the Parliament (five days from the end of voting) and the decision from the Law on Local Elections (24 hours from the closing of polling stations). In order to respect the right to protection of the electoral right of all voters, it is necessary to introduce a solution that contains the determinant “within 96 hours from the end of all election activities”. Such a solution would imply that the electoral commissions have a period of five days to determine the final results of the elections from the moment of holding and repeated elections at individual polling stations. This avoids the situation that occurred in the elections for councillors of the Belgrade City Assembly in March 2018, when the City Electoral Commission announced the final results of the elections before considering the complaints. (See article 117 of the Unified Electoral Law.)