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Democracy in Action activities

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02 October 2013

Democracy in Action presents the plan for Election Observation

Pristina, 02 October, 2013 - The Network of NGOs Democracy in Action (DiA) held a press conference where it presented the plan for monitoring the local elections on 03 November 2013. Present in the conference was the Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Kosovo, Ian Cliff and Norwegian Ambassador in Kosovo, Jan Braathu.

Petrit Zogaj, DiA board member, talked about the preparations made thus far, such as: training, workshops, awareness campaigns, debates, etc, activities supported by USAID through NDI. Mr. Zogaj said that DiA has trained 50 long-term observers who are responsible for training field observers who will monitor elections and the election campaign. Democracy in Action has trained a total of 1600 observers who will monitor the election process on 03 November. Democracy in Action will publish preliminary results for Mayors in eight (8) municipalities of Kosovo; Pristina, Prizren, Mitrovica and North Mitrovica, Gjilan, Ferizaj, Gjakova and Peja " Zogaj said at the conference.
In the name of Democracy in Action, he called on responsible institutions such as the Central Election Commission (CEC) to pay close attention to technical, procedural and for other organizations involved in the elections process to also pay close attention, so that the citizens of Kosovo enjoy free, democratic and fair elections.
Democracy in Action pleads to political parties to respect the laws, regulations and all applicable documents so that we can have a peaceful, competitive and open election. A free campaign, where concrete programs for governing would be offered, and where the concerns of citizens would be the main concern of political parties, would give the new state the spirit of democracy.
UK Ambassador in Kosovo, Ian Cliff emphasized the importance of these elections for Kosovo. In many countries the focus is on parliamentary elections, but given the situation in Kosovo, such as the process of decentralization and organization of the municipalities in the north with the help from OSCE, this election is very important for Kosovo. The UK is committed to a free and fair election. The 2010 elections were rigged, and such manipulations harm democracy said Ambassador Cliff, meanwhile, he called on everyone to vote and said that voting is better than boycotting. He added that it is important to intimidation or vote buying. The international community will not shut their eyes to irregularities. It's too bad that there is no electoral reform, but it is important to have reform before parliamentary elections, he said.
On the other hand, the Ambassador of Norway to the Republic of Kosovo, Jan Braathu has assessed that the elections will be monitored by the European Union. He also called on Kosovo citizens to go to the polls. It is very important that Kosovo citizens take responsibility for their own country, these are your choices. I am very glad that Democracy in Action will monitor the electionsd said Ambassador Braathu, while adding that the turnout is very important. Additionally, he could not find one political party with which he would agree 100 %. "The results affect your life. It is an opportunity to engage in the system, "said Ambassador Braathu among others.
During the conference, Democracy in Action also said that State Prosecutors ought to be more active than in all previous elections, so that violators of laws and procedures during the campaign and on Election Day be investigated and punished. This would send out a message to Kosovo Citizens of commitment by the institution for punishing criminals.
Furthermore, Democracy in Action called on all citizens of Kosovo to monitor the election campaign, to be an active part of the discussion about the programs of political parties and their candidates, and to challenge those programs with the problems they face. Democracy in Action requested from citizens to be active in this election and come in greater numbers, thus exercising their constitutional right and at the same time addressing the problems and challenges for local government.
A new feature of the monitoring process during this election period is that Democracy in Action will be offering the opportunity for citizens through an interactive web site to report potential irregularities that they may encounter during the election process. Furthermore, in partnership with the Soros Foundation, Democracy in Action, will offer citizens the opportunity to send free SMS messages at 500 88 for any irregularity they encounter during the election process.