Some political parties that are registered for the October general election in Bosnia and Herzegovina have already breached the law provisions prohibiting the paid advertisement before the election campaign officially starts, the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections 'Pod lupom' confirmed for N1.
“The most often electoral irregularities we noticed refer to an early, prohibited by the law election campaign. The law is clear – any kind of paid public advertisement is prohibited from the day when an election is called until the start of the official campaign,” said Coalition General Manager Dario Jovanovic.
“We have discovered 51 of such cases. 18 different political parties which registered for this election have already breached the law provisions that refer to that early, prohibited by the law pre-election campaign,” Jovanovic added.
Irregularities were also observed with the work of local election commissions.
“There are 10 local election commissions not respecting the provisions of the election law regarding the gender equality, the equal representation of at least 40 percent of the less represented gender in the membership of the election commissions,” Jovanovic said.
'Pod lupom' coalition was founded in 2014 with an aim to implement the project of civic, non-partisan observation of the 2014 general election in Bosnia. Since then, the coalition monitored the 2016 election, the early local election in eight municipalities, the first election in the newly formed Stanari municipality and repeated election in the southern municipality of Stolac.
Preventing the election frauds, raising the awareness about the manipulations in elections, encouraging the free expression of will among the voters and making the recommendations for improvement of electoral process and legislation are among the coalition's goals.
“The coalition 'Pod lupom' currently has 63 long-term observers on the spot, in each of 143 municipalities and cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On election day we plan to engage 4,000 civic, non-partisan observers at the polling stations across the country, and this makes this mission the largest observing mission of 'Pod lupom' coalition so far”, Jovanovic stressed.
With the general election scheduled to take place on October 7, the election campaign officially starts September 7.
The citizens will cast their vote for members of the state's tripartite presidency, entity presidents and vice presidents, as well as the members of the state, entity and cantonal parliaments.
Since 1996, the election process in the country has also been monitored at the international level by observers of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.