The Democracy for Development Institute (D4D) in cooperation with the NGO Aktiv are implementing the project “Advancement of Democratic Processes in Kosovo”, within which the following discussion in the North of Mitrovica on the topic “Integrity of Elections in Kosovo” was held. This discussion was supported by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, through the Embassy of Switzerland in Kosovo.
Electoral rights and the integrity of the elections in Kosovo were the focus of this discussion that involved representatives from the Central Election Commission, the Complaints and Appeals Panel, the South Mitrovica Prosecution Office, civil society activists, as well as representatives of the Embassies and the European Union election observation mission in Kosovo.
The discussion focused on the importance of the responsible institutions in maintaining the integrity of the electoral process, where in this regard the panel guest speakers clarified the procedures that are undertaken from the commencement of the election date until the announcement of the final results, as well as the steps to be taken to improve and overcome the election irregularities. It was emphasized that it is imperative to have equality, transparency, inclusiveness as well as institutional cooperation. Moreover, it was noted that it is essential to have greater education in the aspect of voting but also in filing the complaints from citizens or political entities.
A significant space in this roundtable was also given to the recommendations from the participants towards the respective institutions. Improvements in the direction of the deadlines in the appeals process, better linkage with local governments and Municipal Election Commissions, simplified ballots so as to reduce the large number of invalid ones, as well as the process of cleaned up lists from the civil registry, and a solution that would enable voting for displaced persons in Serbia and the diaspora were suggested.
Elections must be fair and equal to everyone so that voters and persons involved in election management bodies do not feel threatened to exercise their right to work and vote, thus there should be greater mobilization in the future elections so that such things do not occur.