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Democracy in Action activities

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20 November 2017

DiA starts with the observation of the electoral process, invites everyone to observe the election campaign rules

On the eve of the official start of the 22 October Local Election Campaign, the "Democracy in Action" coalition (DiA) has mobilized 61 long-term observers to closely monitor the activities within the 30-day campaign across the country. The overall objective of the DiA, for ten years now, remains the promotion of free, fair and reliable elections that can only be ensured in a peaceful and sustainable environment. Specific objectives include:

professional and impartial observation of elections, to influence the enhancement of election integrity and public trust in the process;
to contribute to the education and information of voters about the manner of voting and the importance of participating in free elections without intimidation or violence;
elimination of barriers for participation in elections by all groups of society, guaranteeing equal opportunities for all groups of society, gender equality and protection of human rights;
to assess the legitimacy of the electoral process in relation to the fulfilment of international standards and full observance of local legal framework;
to provide recommendations for further improving the system and administering the elections;

Election campaign

The observation of this election campaign will focus on evaluating the compliance with the Code of Conduct by political entities and their candidates during the rally. Therefore, DiA invites the political entities to avoid violations of the Code and other legal provisions on elections. DiA remains committed to professionally and responsibly report all violations to the responsible institutions. We urge from political entities and their candidates to avoid the placement of any propaganda material in public spaces where it is prohibited by law. During recent parliamentary elections, political parties were fined with over 350 thousand EUR for violating these rules. Also, political entities should not use public resources for election campaign purposes, and should not engage public servants or children during the election campaign in an organized manner. DiA invites political entities to provide equal opportunities for women, both in attendance at rallies and in addressing to public during election campaign. We recall to political entities the observance of the signed declaration on 40% women representation in election management bodies, a declaration ignored during last parliamentary elections.

Election Day

DiA will also be present on Election Day observation. We have already recruited more than 2,500 observers who will cover all polling stations and report in real time about the process, voter participation and eventual irregularities.

Voter education

Referring to the large number of invalid ballots during 11 June parliamentary elections, as well as previous local elections, as well as the inadequate CEC campaign, DiA has started to work on the ground in informing and educating voters to prevent this trend. Informing voters in due time to vote appropriately during local elections especially considering that this elections procedures differ from those of parliamentary elections, is a prerequisite to minimize the number of invalid votes. For more than a year, we have been working with young voters in order informed decisions and in order to influence policy development. We managed to identify the problems young people face through the working groups in the seven largest cities in Kosovo, and turned them into platforms for political parties. We will present them to all mayoral candidates and we expect the same to be adapted and implemented by the candidates upon taking the office.

Finally, we extended our gratitude to the donors who provided support and thus enabled election observation. Our cooperation with international observers, institutions responsible for election management, as well as those for security in the country will continue.