CoE Observes Series of Flaws in Serbian Electoral Process

A series of irregularities and deficits across the electoral process was identified in the 3 April parliamentary and presidential elections in Serbia by a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

A report to be discussed at a PACE session on Monday (20 June) explains that key aspects of the electoral process in Serbia require further reform and implementation, and advises that Serbia should take concrete steps to improve the legal framework for elections and certain electoral practices.

While election day unfolded smoothly and quietly, the PACE delegation noted it was spoiled, despite solid preparation, by a series of systemic procedural flaws in the distribution of polling places, overcrowding, violations of voting secrecy and numerous occurrences of family voting, as well as cases of vote-buying.

The PACE members also reported that the April elections were held in an atmosphere of intense polarisation between the ruling coalition and opposition parties.

The report adds that certain legislative changes recommended by the Venice Commission and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights had been made, but that certain issues remained unresolved, mostly relating to access to media, campaign financing, measures to curb pressure on voters, and public oversight and voting roster revision.