Democracy watchdog appeals for election postponement in Serbia, stops monitoring

NEWS 16.03.2020 20:02
Source: N1

Serbia’s CRTA, a democracy watchdog, said on Monday it had withdrawn its 120 monitors across the country because of the severity of the situation with coronavirus pandemic and appealed with the state institutions to delay the election process until the limits of human and civil rights were not imperilled, N1 reported.

„Since the safety of the people is our first concern, we believe that in this situation this is the only right and responsible decision,“ CRTA said in a statement.

Serbia has declared the state of emergency on Sunday, and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic even suggested a curfew might be introduced.

Brnabic said she suggested to President Aleksandar Vucic to delay the April 26 elections.

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„CRTA’s members started long-lasting monitoring of the pre-election process in Serbia in line with the international standards for independent civil monitoring of the elections three weeks before they are called. Out 120 people-strong team was on the ground since February 11, monitoring all the aspects of the election process: from the election administration’s work, parties’ communication with potential voters, functionary campaign and abuse of public resources, potential bribing and pressures on voters. CRTA’s monitors will continue to oversee the media reporting about the campaign and the campaign on social networks,“ the watchdog said in the statement.