OSCE mission to monitor BiH’s upcoming general elections

SARAJEVO, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) opened an observation mission on Tuesday here with the aim of monitoring Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) upcoming general elections.
Following an invitation from the BiH authorities and under the OSCE’s auspices, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will observe the election process before, during, and after the election day, said the head of the mission Ambassador Peter Tejler at a press conference on Tuesday.
“The aim of the mission is to monitor the integrity of the voting process, and give a chance to every citizen to enjoy the universal and equal right to vote, and their votes to be counted and tabulated in the correct way,” Tejler said, adding that only in that way can the government’s legitimacy be achieved.
The mission will assess whether the process is transparent, and conducted in line with OSCE commitments of honesty, partiality, and secrecy and whether the results are announced honestly and in a transparent matter.
“We will remain independent, impartial, we are here to observe the elections according to the established electoral methodology. The mission will pay particular attention to the implementation of the BiH legislation, vote counting and tabulation,” Tejler emphasized.
The mission consists of a core team of 12 election experts, and 22 long-term observers to be deployed across the country.
On election day, an additional 300 short-term observers to monitor the proceedings of elections will be called to observe the polling stations.
Tejler further explained that observers would closely monitor the voter registration process, campaign activities, work of relevant governmental bodies, election-related legislation and its implementation, solving of electoral disputes before, during, and after the elections, and media coverage of the campaign.
The mission will observe the elections for their compliance with OSCE commitments, international standards for democratic elections, and national legislation.
A statement of preliminary findings and conclusions will be issued on the day after the elections.
BiH’s general elections are to be held on Oct. 7, 2018. Under one of the most complex electoral systems in the world, 3.38 million BiH voters will elect tripartite members of the presidency, which represents the three major ethnic groups of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, and choose the members of state and entity-level assemblies. The total cost of the election will be 8.5 million convertible marks (5.08 million U.S. dollars).

(Photo: fena, Jamin Hasecic)

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