CRTA - Citizens on Watch
The CRTA observation mission is above all a community gathered around common values. Together – because we believe in democracy and in free and fair elections as its basic and irreplaceable value.
As an organisation that has been fighting for more than 10 years for the legal and transparent work of the state institutions and for accountability of politicians towards citizens who placed their trust in them and brought them to state functions, in 2016 we evolved enough to launch our observation mission and to observe early parliamentary elections as a network of active and accountable citizens. We also observed the presidential elections in 2017, as well as the Belgrade elections in 2018, and a number of local elections. The findings and recommendations of our observation mission were in line with the findings and recommendations of the OSCE / ODHIR International Observation Mission.
Thanks to compliance with international standards for independent, civic election observation, we have become a member of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organisations (ENEMO) as well as of the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM).
How do we monitor the elections?
We observe all phases of the election process: the election campaign, the Election Day and the period after the elections until the official announcement of the election results. Only in this way, when all phases of the election process are systematically observed, can we report on the quality of the election process - to say whether the elections were democratic, fair and free or not.
Out team of long-term observers trained according to the highest international standards for independent civic election observation, has been deployed throughout the country and is observing the quality of the electoral process from calling the elections to the Election Day. Observers monitor all aspects of the election process: the atmosphere in which the campaign takes place, the ways in which participants to the elections communicate with voters, the work of election administration bodies and whether there are cases of misuse of public resources and public officials’ campaigning. Our media observation team monitors how the media report on the campaign and participants to the elections, while the social media observation team monitors how the campaign is conducted on these networks. Based on the information that our long-term observers systematically gather in the field, the CRTA performs an analysis and informs the public about the main findings even before the Election Day. If we notice violations of the law or irregularities, the CRTA observation mission reacts and informs the competent institutions thereof.
Short-term observing - the Election Day
During the Election Day, our observers are at the polling stations from the moment the polling station is prepared for opening until the members of the polling committee publish the election results for the observed polling station, which provides a comprehensive insight into the events at the polling stations during the Election Day. Our observers are deployed inside and in front of the polling stations on the basis of a representative and random sample. Our mobile teams monitor events outside the sampled polling stations in all regions on the Election Day, as well as the work of election commissions.
After the Election Day, our observers monitor the work of election commissions until the official results are announced, as well as the process of appeals against the work of polling stations and election commissions, if any.
How to become a member of the CRTA election observation mission (observer)
As citizens, we have different political preferences. As election observers, we do not support any team. We closely monitor the election game in order to find out if it is played by the rules.
Therefore, the first condition for someone to become our observer is to sign and respect the Code of Conduct, which implies professionalism, independence, impartiality, accuracy and objectivity, as well as drawing conclusions uniquely on the basis of facts, well-documented and corroborated evidence.
You can read the Code of Conduct here.
The second condition for someone to become the CRTA observer implies successful completion of the training organised according to the highest international standards comprising four rounds of tests.