Serbia’s Govt. & OSCE’s ODHIR discuss election process

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Source: AFP/Andrej Isaković

Serbia's Government said its Working Group for cooperation with OSCE and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR) held the second session on Monday to discuss "the coordination and implementation of the suggestions for the improvement of the election process" in the country.

The election administration, voter list, media reporting during an election campaign, financial issues, and public resources abuse topped the agenda of the meeting participated by NGOs.

Zoran Gavrilovic of the Bureau for Social research (BIRODI), who was in the meeting, said that three issues remained disputable.

„Those include the role of Serbia’s president in parliamentary and local elections – can he borrow his name to the election lists and thus be a marketing player in the vote,“ Gavrilovic said.

The second controversial issue was „the position and status of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM), particularly regarding media monitoring which becomes a serious topic.“

„Who and how is monitoring? Why some regional TV channels owned by the officials of the (ruling Serbian Progressive Party( SNS are exempted,“ Gavrilovic asked.

He added that the third issue was the pressure on voters.

„There is a serious need to improve the Law on Protection of Whistleblowers to make it safer for people who are under pressure to report such cases to respective institutions,“ Gavrilovic said.