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MONITORING THE MEDIA DURING
ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN KOSOVO
 
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Democracy in Action activities

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22 October 2013

Quiet campaign with a few violations of the code of conduct



Pristina, October 21, 2013 – The coalition of NGOs “Democracy in Action “(DiA) has presented the findings for the second week of the election campaign. At the press conference, it was mentioned that the campaign has been going peacefully and without any serious incidents thus far, with the exception of the north of the country. In this case, DiA condemns incidents in the north and demands the authorities provide the necessary security so that the electoral process goes on smoothly.
Driton Selmanaj from DiA, presented the findings of the report, starting with the appointment of Goran Zdravkovic to the position of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the CEC, even though Mr. Zdravkovic admitted himself that he was a member of the CEC and a member on panel established by the CEC for this position.
He further spoke about other deficiencies found by monitoring the campaign. “Taking into account the importance of the commissioners on election day, Democracy in Action has consistently asked the CEC to pay special attention on their training. Unfortunately, based on monitoring conducted so far, there is a severe shortage of commissioners attending training sessions, "said Selmanaj. DiA is also concerned with the form and the subject of the test. “DiA observers received a copy of the test which is confusing and full of spelling mistakes. Such tests raise concerns about the quality of the training and the qualifications of people conducting the training. Mr. Selmanaj called on the CEC to increase oversight of the remaining trainings and immediately withdraw from using the current test because it contains confusing questions and has numerous spelling errors.
During the conference, the inclusion in the lists of voters and the voting of people with severe mental deficiencies was pointed out. Regarding this matter, family members of patients being treated in this center, are required that courts and competent health professional make recommendations where such patients are deprived of the ability to act and thus deprived of right to vote. “In order for these patients to not be abused and their votes to not be subject to manipulation of irresponsible persons, DiA is calling on institutions that administer the election process, like the CEC and MEC, the Office of Special treatment in Shtime to not organize the voting process at all, "said Selmanaj.
He also spoke about the latest census from the Statistical Office of Kosovo which confirms that in Kosovo there are 1,815,606 legal residents, only 36,249 more voters than the final list of voters. “DiA calculates that despite the fact that in the list are people living outside Kosovo too, but are not registered to vote, the list of 1.779, 357 voters clearly shows that responsible institutions are not clearing the lists and providing a final list with real actual data about Kosovar citizens and voters.
Among other things, during the conference it was also spoken about the hundreds of millions of Euros promised for investment. According to DiA, during the second week of the campaign, candidates, and the political parties have failed to provide concrete projects. The campaign promises are being thrown out there by leaders of political parties (especially PDK, the party in power) for millions in investments , despite the fact that these are local elections.
Another concern addressed at the conference is the use of public assets for campaign purposes, identified in 17 different occasions, 12 cases were used in meetings and rallies organized by the PDK ( in Prizren , Gjilan , Rahovec , Mitrovica , Vushtrri ,Fushė Kosovė) and 2 cases by AAK (in Prizren).
Even during this campaign, the use of children in rallies and other campaign events is very prevalent, with a total of 25 cases thus far.
Damage of promotional material by opposing political parties has also been recorded. Militants of political parties have continued the tradition of destroying the propaganda material of the opposing party.
Regarding NGOs and the media in the campaign, there are cases where the media was prevented to exercise their activity in three cases, one in Mitrovica rally held by PDK, one rally in organized by AAK in Gjilan and in one rally held by LDK in Decan.
On the other hand, Kenan Tora from DiA presented data of the media monitoring by Democracy in Action.
Based on the data collected, from a total of 1,511 electoral activities followed by newspapers, Kosova Sot ranks first for the most activities followed (22.96 %), the second newspaper is Koha Ditore with 19:39 %, Bota Sot 14.4 % , Zeri 12.9 % , Tribuna 12.83 %, Epoka e Re 10.52% and Lajmi with 6.94%. But in terms of which political parties’ activities the media most covered, PDK leads where the total 1,511 activities, 22.36% are for this party, then LDK is second with 20.11 % , AAK third with 15:55 % , 11.97 % and AKR fourth with 11:38 % , "said Tora .
As far as advertising in newspapers is concerned, LDK leads with 50.5 % of pages being devoted to LDK, then PDK with 39.47% and AAK-LDD with 7.35%. The above mentioned TV broadcasters for two weeks have reported 904.3 minutes dedicated to the election campaign. From these broadcasters. RTK 36.95 %, or 334.2 min, KTV 240.78 min or 26.63%, Klan Kosova 184.24 min or 20.37%, RTV 21 % or 16.04%.
Meanwhile , in terms of political parties PDK leads 195.99 min or 22% of LDK second is 171.50 minutes or 19 % , after LDK - AAK is LDD with 164.78 min or 18 % , with 14 % Self-determination or 127.35 minutes , NAK with min 85.89 or 9 % and other parties to cover the rest of the activities transmitted or 159.09 minutes in total 18 % .
The four TV stations mentioned above have broadcasted a total of 839 free minutes for advertising spots with political parties. LDK leads with 42 % then PDK with 39 %, AKR 18 % and AAK-LDD with 1%.