CRTA: The agreement on improving the election conditions does not solve the key problems

The agreement on improving election conditions, which is the result of inter-party dialogue without the mediation of the European Parliament, has little potential to improve the quality of the election process and does not solve key problems, said the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA).
“Some solutions that could contribute to better election conditions are very limited, while the complexity of the proposed changes to the entire election process is extremely worrying, as well as certain measures that could lower the achieved standards and jeopardize the public interest,” the organization said in a statement.

They assessed that “bad practice”, which marked the elections in 2020, is again foreseen, because it is proposed to change the rules of the electoral system and the electoral process just before the elections, which, according to them, is contrary to international standards and principles.

“Only three months until the announcement of the elections is not enough to implement measures of this scope and this could further reduce the predictability of the process, give priority only to some participants in the election process and thus increase inequality between them,” the statement said.

Crta emphasized that neither the agreement, nor the one created in the inter-party dialogue with the mediation of MEPs, “does not deal with the key problems of the election process pointed out by international and domestic observers”.

“Pressures on voters are completely ignored because they are not even mentioned in the Agreement. The proposal to prevent the functionary campaign by preventing the media from reporting on the opening of infrastructure facilities in which public officials participate 10 days before the elections is not enough to contribute to equality of election participants.” setting a clear line between state and party activities, “the statement said.

The solutions to the problem of unequal media representation in the Agreement mainly rely on the measures proposed by the co-facilitators during the process of the Inter-Party Dialogue mediated by the European Parliament, which the Line assessed as “insufficient to ensure conditions for fair and free elections”.

“The agreement mostly encroaches on the way of organizing and conducting elections because it envisages the introduction of local election commissions as a ‘middle level’ of the election administration for the republican elections. within the system of election administration, as well as for all participants in the elections to adapt to the news, they could negatively affect the predictability of the election process and legal security “, states Crta.

According to them, the protection of the right to vote would become “more inaccessible for voters” by applying that Agreement, and by applying measures related to the Unified Voters ‘List, “space would be opened for the misuse of citizens’ personal data”.

“Measures that can be assessed as positive and in line with certain ODIHR recommendations concern improving the transparency of the election process, submitting financial reports before election day or initiating voters to be familiar with the Unified Voters Register verification procedure, but their scope for improving overall election quality. is limited, “the organization said.

They pointed out that the proposed solutions were not precisely defined, which “leaves room for different interpretations”.

“Also, the Agreement does not contain deadlines for the adoption and implementation of measures, nor clear mechanisms for their implementation. Finally, the legal nature of the Agreement remains unclear and it remains to be seen what changes to the election laws will look like in practice.” statement.

By Editor

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