Citizens to vote freely, elections stakeholders to obey the rules

On the eve of the Election Day April 2nd, the CRTA observation mission “Citizens on Watch” invites citizens to express their will freely at polls, and all election stakeholders to respect the law and election regulations, to behave in the spirit of democratic, free and fair elections.

The election campaign was short, intensive, with an unequal media coverage, allegations of intimidation of voters, as well as with different types of public resources misuse and with a very restricted control of independent bodies.   In such a climate, only lawful acting of institutions, primarily of the Republic Electoral Commission and of the polling committees on the Election Day, can bring assurance to the citizens that their electoral will and voting rights are protected” – said Raša Nedeljkov, the chief of observation mission “Citizens on Watch”.

The observation mission “Citizens on Watch” wishes to emphasise that this time too, a proactive communication on how to enable citizens to exercise their rights was lacking among the institutions, i.e. on how to enrol in the voter register or to modify the data in the voter register.

In the very finish of the campaign, at the expiration of all deadlines, there was a problem of the unregulated voter register which undermined public confidence in the electoral process. Dozens of citizens complained about various issues – election notifications sent on names of long deceased family members or of people who had never lived at addresses the election notification was sent to, as well as about the impossibility for Serbian citizens who live abroad to vote. There were also other administrative omissions during the enrolment or data modifications in the voter register” – said Pavle Dimitrijević, head of the legal team of the CRTA observation mission “Citizens on Watch”.

The CRTA observation mission “Citizens on Watch” will have more than 900 observers deployed on the Election Day to the representative random sample of 450 polling stations, as well as 60 mobile teams that will visit polling stations in all districts throughout Serbia. A particular attention will be devoted to monitoring of compliance with election rules and procedures by all stakeholders included in the process. The public will be informed about all findings during the Election Day through regular press conferences.

We wish to remind that voters registered in the voter register may cast their vote by presenting their identity card, passport or driver’s license indicating personal data. Upon expiry of the validity period of the previously issued identity card, the voters can cast their votes by presenting a notification issued by the Ministry of the Interior that the process of issuing a new identity card is underway. The notification on voting received at the personal address does not represent a condition to vote and does not have to be brought to the polling station. Voters can check at what polling station they can exercise their right to vote on the website of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government or on the website of the Republic Electoral Commission.

We would like to invite the citizens to be “on watch” on the Election Day. All irregularities and questions about the electoral process can be put forward by e-mail [email protected] or by phone: 069/232 1901.