Democracy for Development (D4D) has held the Conference “Unfinished Electoral Reform: Way Forward?“. The aim of the conference was to discuss, together with representatives of civil society organizations involved in electoral matters, institutions of electoral administration, and representatives of political parties, the way ahead that would lead to an electoral reform that would serve the proper electoral processes.
Political party representatives attending the round table expressed their agreement that Kosovo does need electoral reform, since according to them, a delayed reform is already reflected on the legitimacy of state institutions. Modest differences between opposition and ruling parties were presented just in time to initiate an electoral reform. While ruling parties stated that the time for the electoral reform is now, since institutions are stable and have the time needed to conclude this process, opposition parties opposed such a statement, thereby requiring that before reform, parliamentary elections would be held, from which fully legitimate institutions would be constituted, and such institutions would also ensure the legitimacy of the electoral reform itself.
The attending participants found that along with revisiting the electoral reform agenda before the Kosovo Assembly, the inclusion of the whole political spectrum and political will of political entities are essential for the electoral reform to shape and contribute to an electoral process which would generate credible institutions.
It was underlined that such a reform would include, inter alia, addressing of political party financing; disclosure of funding for political candidates; authorizations of the Auditor General to appoint auditors to audit political party finances. Such a reform would also pay attention to decriminalization of politics, by adopting a new law. Attendees also stated that e-voting and engagement of judicial authorities would be essential in contributing to a proper electoral process.
The voters list requires a full revision; review of by-mail operations; redesign of ballots and responsibilities of the Central Election Commission towards the voters, both inside and outside of Kosovo, all these are matters that should be addressed in the electoral reform process.
Democracy for Development (D4D) and civil society generally, as promoters and supporters of a proper electoral reform, deem that it is already high time to begin electoral reform. Political consensus is highly encouraged as a prerequisite for a successful process, which would in turn generate credible institutions with representative legitimacy.