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11 June 2017

DiA continues to monitor the ballot counting process, in order to guarantee election’s integrity

DiA continues to monitor the ballot counting process, in order to guarantee election’s integrity

Prishtina, 11 June 2017
One hour before the voting process is closed, namely at 18:00, DiA’s observers reported that 37% of citizens used their right of voting. The most frequent irregularities that accompanied the voting process from 12:00h until 18:00h are as follows:
• Attempts to vote more than once (double voting) in 117 cases, namely 48 polling stations (or in 2% of PS). Cases recorded by municipalities: Peja (15), Gjakova, Prishtina and Skenderaj (13 cases each).
• Family voting was reported in 6882 cases, namely in 618 polling station or 27% of polling stations in Kosovo. Municipalities leading in family voting are as follows: Lipjani (774), Prishtina (582), and Suhareka (547)
• Photographing of ballots, a phenomenon of all previous election processes, was present in these election as well. Although sanctioned under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo, ballot photographing has been recorded in 197 cases, namely in 85 polling stations (3.70% of polling stations, and was more pronounced in the following municipalities: Mitrovica (31), Prishtina (24), Prizren and Dragash (16).
• Cases of voting outside the voting booth (or the publication of the vote) is 67, namely in 36 polling stations (or 1.6% of polling stations), more pronounced in the following municipalities: Prishtina (14), Skenderaj (7),  Leposavic and Prizren (5).
• Assisting the voters more than once was observed in 213 cases, in 76 polling stations, namely 3.3% of polling stations. The leading municipalities in this category are: Suhareka (46), Prishtina (42) and Vitia (21)
• Difficulties to identify in the Voters List are following this election process as well. Complaints regarding the Voters List have been reported in 1203 cases, namely in 168 polling station (7.3%). The most problematic municipalities in this regard are as follows: Mitrovica (253), Prishtina (145) and Prizren (131).
• According to Article 83 of the LEP, only voters, members of election management bodies (members of PSC, PC staff, members of CEC, MEC, CEC secretariat) and observers are allowed to be present in the PS. The exception applies to the police, if so required in order to establish order. From 12:00h until 18:00h, the presence of unauthorized persons was noticed in 19 PC/PS.
Incidents that accompanied the election process from 12:00 until 18:00h:

At the school “Skenderbeu” in the village of Vaganica, Municpality of Mitrovica, one voter was arrested for having photographed the ballot paper.

At the school “Skender Skender”, Polling Centre 2110B, in Vojnik, Municipality of Skenderaj, a person attempted to vote although ink was found in his fingers. Additional mobile teams from Prishtina have visited this polling station.
At the school “Mustafa Bakija”, Municipality of Gjakova, 6 election observers have been detained by the police under the suspicion of have falsified accreditation. These persons have been released after interviews.
At the school “Dardania” in Prishtina, namely Polling Centre 1904E, the polling station foreseen for conditional ballot voting has been closed due to over filling of ballot boxes. The time of closing was 15:20h. The polling station was reopened at 16:30h, after a new ballot box was provided.
The state prosecution, after receiving information by DiA with regard to a case in the village of Zhegra in Gjilan, have acted promptly and sent officers to the scene. They were unable to find any evidence related to the reporting that in the vicinity of the polling centre is being distributed advertising materials and money are being offered.

 At the school “Ahmet Hoxha”, in the polling centre 2501Y, polling station 02R, Municipality of Ferizaj, a person requested assistance in voting, whereas the chairperson of the PS asked the observers from the PDK-AAK-NISMA etc., to assist the voter. That person, in addition to the unlawful assistance, also encouraged the voter to vote in favour of the political party who engaged him as an observer.
At the school “Tre Dëshmorët Vranjak”, polling centre 1632A, in the municipality of Rahovec, observers have reported that a number of persons, under false pretences, are presenting themselves as representatives of civil society organizations and political parties. DiA has reported the case before the State Prosecution, and a team of prosecutors is investigating the case.
In the same school, our observers have reported that one person has assisted a significant number of people to vote, and as a consequence Kosovo Police have removed him from the centre.

At the school “Krajl Millutin”, Polling Centre 3401E, polling station 01R, in the municipality of Gracanica, a person has attempted to photograph the ballot paper, however the commissioner has taken his ID and submitted to the police.

At the school “Knez Llazar”, in the polling centre 3409E, polling station with number 2D, in the village of Dobratin, Municipality of Gracanica, an elderly person, who was under the influence of alcohol, has broken the ballot box, and the same was arrested by the police. In that very same centre, another person was arrested by the police, as he was trying to obtain information from citizens on who they were going to vote for.
At the school “Sfeti Sava”, Polling Centre 0420 D, Polling Station 01D, in the municipality of Gjilan, a person from the Serbian community has assisted 5 different persons in voting.
At the school “Motrat Qiriazi” in Prizren, Polling Centre 2004A, in the station with no. 03R, a person was allowed to vote, although traces of ink were found in his fingers.
At the school “Lidhja e Pejës” in Peja, Polling Centre 1707C, Polling Station 06R, commissioners decided to remove from the polling station all observers.
In the village of Zhabar, Municipality of Mitrovica, at the primary school “Shaban Idrizi” , namely polling centre 1103X, the police has intervened and escorted a person out of the centre since he threatened a CEC official and the manager of the polling centre.

At the primary school “Gjin Gazulli” in the Polling Centre 1918E, polling station 04D, in Prishtina, a person with initials B.S., was staying at the polling station without any type of accreditation.
At the School “Selman Riza”, Polling Centre 0901 E, polling station 14D, in the Municipality of Fush Kosova, persons voting at that PS are not being checked if they have sprayed ink in their fingers.

At the primary school “Asim Vokshi, polling centre 3013A, in the Municipality of Malisheva, was noticed the presence of PDK and NISMA supporters influencing the voters on who to vote for.

At the primary school “Bajram Curri”, Polling Centre 0903E, polling station 03D, in the village of Sllatina e Madhe, municipality of Fushe Kosova, the chairperson of the polling station assisted a person in voting.

At the school “Azem Bejta”, Polling Centre 2105B, polling station 03R, in the Municipality of Skenderaj, a person without any identification document voted, although the chairwomen of the PS prohibited the voting of that person. That person took the ballot paper by force and threatened and offended the chairwomen of the PS.

In Gracanica, at the Polling Centre 3408E, polling station 01R, there was a person who voted outside the voting booth, despite being prohibited by the commissioners to do so. They made a remark of the incident in the book, and escorted the voter out.
At the primary school “Iliria”, Polling Centre 2404A, polling station 02D, in the Municipality of Suhareka, a commissioner of “Lëvizja Vetëvendosje” (Self-Determination Movement) has distributed visit-cards of the political party.

DiA invokes citizens and political parties to refrain from celebrating in open environments until preliminary results have been published.
Also, we ask from the election management bodies and observers to ensure a proper vote counting process.