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Democracy in Action activities

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13 November 2013

Preliminary statement concerning voting in local elections of 3 November 2013

Prishtina, November 4, 2013 - Democracy in Action (DiA) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations formed in 2007. The main objective of the monitoring coalition of NGOs “Democracy in Action " is to ensure an electoral process with best universal standards for a free, fair, equal and impartial observation of the electoral process that inspires confidence among citizens.

DiA, with 1,600 observers, monitored the voting process in the Local Elections of 3 November 2013 in all the territory of the Republic of Kosovo. Also on the Election Day, DiA had in disposition a Call Centre with 130 volunteers who were available to communicate with the public and the observers and receive information from them.
Today, DiA is issuing a press statement about the preliminary findings and conduct of the voting process. For more, DiA will continue to follow the process of the run-off in all the municipalities where no candidate received more than 50%.

The Turnout

Based on data gathered from DiA observers, 803,359 voters used their right to cast their vote in polls throughout the territory of Kosovo, or 48.83 % of the total 1,779,357 voters registered in the final list.

Technical Management of the Electoral Process

In terms of the technical organization, the CEC has ensured that all the necessary election material was present at all polling stations on time, and there have not been any complaints about the quality of the material.

General Findings from Election Day:

  1. Based on data gathered, the overall assessment is that the electoral process on polling day for local elections was peaceful, orderly and democratic, except in the north of the country.

  2. The developments with the election process in the northern part of the country, where citizens of that area could not vote freely was considered disturbing by DiA. DiA also expresses concern that the institutions responsible for security in this part of the country have failed to provide adequate security to ensure a free and equal election process.

  3. DiA is requesting from the CEC and the OSCE to make transparent the development of events in Mitrovica North, but also in three of the other northern municipalities (Leposavic, Zvecan and Zubin Potok) where polling stations were closed early and un-clarity looms over whether they were under the supervision of the election management officials.

  4. Kosovo citizens testified their maturity on the Election Day as a satisfactory number of voters casted their votes and expressed their democratic and constitutional rights.

  5. DiA also evaluates highly the maturity of political entities showed yesterday, and the professional approach of state mechanisms to prevent abusers of the electoral process.

  6. Despite the positive assessment of the electoral process in general, DiA estimates that even in these elections, there have been several irregularities that have become a reoccurring trend in our country.

  • The presence of unauthorized persons who have attempted to influence the determination of citizens to vote.

  • Family Voting still remains the most common violation in the election process in Kosovo or the presence of two or more people in the voting booth have been evidenced in many polling stations. There have been over 200 cases of family voting.

  • DiA has identified a number of “corrupt votes “where voters have allegedly photographed their vote.

  • Observers of DiA have also reported several cases of irresponsible attempt by citizens to vote twice, but it is worth noting that commissioners did not allow this to happen.

  • There are many problems identified with “Voter lists” as a result of inability of institutions to clean the lists of deceased. The presence of the deceased people on the list and the change of the polling stations for many voters, were identified in several municipalities of Kosovo.

  • Several cases were a person was assisted by more than one person were also identified.

DiA is requesting from citizens, political parties and the state mechanisms, to demonstrate maturity, and professionalism in the election process during the runoff and other electoral processes in the future.