Irregularities and pressures marked local elections in Lucani, electoral list of Aleksandar Vucic won majority of votes
The quality of the election process in Lucani was very poor, while the atmosphere on the election day was not in accordance with standards for free and fair elections due to identified cases of pressure on voters, the CRTA election observation mission assessed.
“In an atmosphere where the public officials’ campaigning, pressures on voters and numerous irregularities characterize local elections, citizens are disabled to freely exercise their voting right”, Chief of the CRTA election observation mission Rasa Nedeljkov stated.
A total of 11. 731 citizens (71 percent) registered in the voters list voted in local elections in Lucani, which is the highest voters turnout in local elections in Lucani since 2004.
Electoral list Aleksandar Vucic – Because We Love Lucani and Dragacevo won the majority of 66.92 percent of votes and 27 mandates in the local Assembly, followed by the coalition Alliance for Serbia – Alliance for Dragacevo – Milan Radicevic with 9.69 percent of votes and four mandates, Group of Citizens “One Team” – Ivica Vukicevic with 7.04 percent of votes and two mandates, and Ivica Dacic – Socialist Party of Serbia – Better Serbia with 5.69 percent of votes and two mandates.
Movement for Renewal of the Kingdom of Serbia, United Serbia – Dragan Markovic Palma, Vojislav Seselj – Serbian Radical Party, and United Pensioners Party – Milan Krkobabic did not pass the threshold in these elections.
Considering the quality of the election process during the day of the vote, serious irregularities were recorded at 12 out of 43 polling stations. These included voting without valid identification documents, breaches of secrecy of voting, not using the invisible spray and UV lamp, as well as evidencing voters in parallel lists of voters. In addition, minor irregularities were recorded at 11 polling stations, including polling stations not organized in accordance with established procedures, distribution of campaign material less than 50m from the polling station and use of mobile phones at polling stations.
Mobile teams of the CRTA’s election observation mission, who observed the atmosphere and developments outside of polling stations, registered more than 200 vehicles with licence plates from other towns (Pancevo, Novi Sad, Vrsac, Kosovska Mitrovica), as well as vehicles without licence plates throughout the election day. Vehicles cruised through Dragacevo region, were parked in front of almost all polling stations, while unidentified persons from vehicles communicated with voters and members of polling boards.
Acts of pressure on CRTA observers were recorded as well. During the monitoring of election developments in Grab, tires on CRTA mobile team’s vehicle were cut, while unidentified persons restricted the accredited mobile team members to access the polling station. As one of the cases of pressure on voters, unidentified persons were observed in front of the polling station in Kotraza checking voters’ identity, while CRTA observers experienced verbal attacks from the side of members of polling boards at two polling stations.
CRTA election observation mission monitored the pre-election campaign in all four municipalities holding elections today – Lucani, Kula, Kladovo and Doljevac. Pre-election atmosphere was marked by an intensive misuse of public officials’ function for the campaigning purposes and misuse of public resources in the campaign. Electoral lists and their representatives did not communicate concrete programs and messages to citizens. Instead of offering programs from the side of representatives of local electoral lists, state officials led an intensive campaign at the local level, while members of the opposition framed their messages solely to assault the ruling party. Pre-election campaign was also characterized with pressures and intimidation of voters and actors participating in elections, most visibly in Lucani municipality.