SARAJEVO, October 15 (FENA) – Observers of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections “Under the Magnifying Glass” (Pod lupom), recorded a total of 538 different election irregularities from September 7 to October 11, of which the largest number (185) refers to the cases of the premature election campaign and cases of misuse of public resources for election campaign purposes.
These are the data contained in the First Preliminary Report on Long-Term Observation of the Local Elections 2020 for the Period from September 7 to October 11, which were presented today at a press conference in Sarajevo by the Public Policy Coordinator of the Coalition “Under the Magnifying Glass” Jelena Tanasković-Mićanović and the Coalition Project Manager Dario Jovanović.
The Coalition reminds that the election campaign for the upcoming local elections begins on October 16, and that until that date, any paid public advertising is prohibited, as well as all pre-election activities of political entities, except for holding internal meetings of bodies and statutory bodies of political entities.
The Coalition observers note that the current period has been marked by cases of identity theft and misuse of personal data of citizens for the purpose of voting by mail.
In this regard, the Election Commission of BiH received a record number of applications for voting by mail, almost 130,000 of such requests, warns the Coalition.
Furthermore, the analyses have shown that ahead of the upcoming elections, the trade-off in polling stations with polling commission seats continues, and in several municipalities, there have been pressures on voters, as well as rumors of voter buyout, according to which the price of a vote ranges from 50 to 150 KM and the political parties use social networks as channels of communication.
According to the presented indicators, hate speech was recorded in 17 cases, i.e., in 14 municipalities and cities, where social networks, especially Facebook, have been used, and the case that attracted the most public attention was the video of the political entity “Ujedinjena Srpska” (United Srpska), which portrayed and characterized the members of the constituent peoples and minorities in BiH using hate speech and stereotypical language.
The “Under the Magnifying Glass” coalition has called on all citizens to exercise their right and go to the polls on November 15, and for political entities to adhere to the election rules, so that the upcoming local elections would take place in a democratic atmosphere, peacefully and with dignity.
At the same time, the coalition reminds the citizens of BiH that they can report all election irregularities to the Coalition on their number, free of charge: 080 05 05 05, or via the website www.podlupom.org.
The Coalition “Under the Magnifying Glass”, together with 85 civil society organizations and informal groups, has 100 long-term election observers in all municipalities, cities, and the Brčko District of BiH.