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TS submitted proposals to the Assembly for the implementation of recommendations from the ODIHR report

Transparency Serbia submitted to the Serbian Parliament and the Government Working Group for the Improvement of the Electoral Process proposals regarding the implementation of certain recommendations from the Final ODIHR report after the December 2023 elections and unfulfilled recommendations after the previous elections.

TS informed the ODIHR Observation Mission, the citizens of Serbia, as well as members of the European Parliament, as in previous cycles, about the findings of monitoring the December elections, during the discussion on the resolution related to the elections in Serbia.

On the other hand, neither before nor after the December elections, there was no opportunity for TS to discuss these issues with representatives of the state bodies of Serbia. Namely, the aforementioned Working Group of the Government of Serbia last requested an opinion on the implementation of ODIHR recommendations (from 2020) from civil society organizations in the spring of 2021, and in the meantime two more ODIHR reports with recommendations were published.

Although the key recommendation of ODIHR from this cycle, the same as in the previous elections, requires that all necessary legislative changes should be initiated through an "inclusive consultative process" and that the Working Group "should function fully transparently, with the involvement of relevant actors, such as civil society organizations", this has not been done.

In a letter sent ahead of the session of the Collegium of Parliament, scheduled for April 1, TS emphasized that the Government has so far published information on tackling only 25 recommendations from the latest ODIHR report. This leads to a conclusion that this Working Group did not consider at all implementation of recommendations of ODIHR from previous elections (2017, 2020 and 2022). This practice is contrary to what is stated in the introduction to the 25 recommendations of the last report.

Taking into account previous ODIHR recommendations is crucial for achieving a fundamental breakthrough in the advancement of the electoral process. Thus, in the period of seven years, in all election cycles, it has been repeated or reminded that the recommendation relating to the separation of activities undertaken by public officials in an official capacity from what they do as election participants has not been fulfilled.

It is also reiterated since 2017 that it is necessary for "state authorities to take decisive measures to prevent pressure on voters, including public sector employees, and that extortion cases must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible for it sanctioned." 

Among the unfulfilled recommendations from previous election cycles, one of the most important ones is related to the introduction of limitations on campaign expenditures.

TS presented, in its letter to the Parliament and the Government, all unfulfilled or partially implemented recommendations from previous cycles, all recommendations made after the December elections and presented proposals and comments to those recommendations that are within the scope of TS.

The entire document is available (in Serbian) on the TS website.