The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has started an observation mission for the 30 August parliamentary elections in Montenegro, following an invitation from the national authorities.
The mission is led by Tamás Meszerics and consists of a core team of 11 experts based in Podgorica and 10 long-term observers, who will be deployed throughout the country from 11 August.
“The mission will assess the parliamentary elections for their compliance with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation. Observers will closely monitor the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, campaign activities, election-related legislation and its implementation, and the resolution of election-related disputes. They will also assess the implementation of previous ODIHR election recommendations,” said OSCE in the press release.
In the course of its observation, the mission will meet representatives from state authorities and political parties, and with candidates, as well as with representatives from civil society, the media and the international community.
The press release stressed that, due to the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related travel restrictions, ODIHR is not able to deploy short-term observers ahead of the 30 August elections as originally planned. “The format of the observation activity has therefore been adjusted to a Limited Election Observation Mission (LEOM), which will include long-term observers based around the country. While mission members will visit a limited number of polling stations on election day, there will not be any systematic observation of voting, counting or tabulation of results”.
An interim report will be published to update the public and media during the course of the observation. The day after the elections, ODIHR’s preliminary findings and conclusions will be presented at a press conference. ODIHR will issue a final report on the observation approximately eight weeks after the end of the electoral process.
The ODIHR LEOM and the OSCE Mission in Montenegro will operate separately under their specific mandates./ibna