Local elections in Serbia -
6 May 2012
Congress welcomes improvements for local democracy in Serbia despite the predominance of Presidential elections on 6 May
On 7 May 2012, a delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has concluded its mission to observe the local and provincial part of the elections carried out in Serbia on 6 May 2012. Press release
For the first time, three elections ľ at presidential, parliamentary and grassroots level ľ were held concurrently throughout the country. "This has led to organisational challenges for the election administration in over 8000 polling stations and to the fact that local elections were largely overshadowed by the national vote," stated Nigel Mermagen (United Kingdom, ILDG), Head of the Congress delegation, at a press conference in Belgrade.
He also referred to improvements in the legal framework and the electoral system of Serbia which had positive effects on the identification of local leadership in Serbia. Matters of concern from Congress perspective remain the infringement of the secrecy of the vote, the lack of transparency of media ownership and the situation of the Roma minority who seems to be particularly vulnerable to possible electoral malpractices.
Council of Europe Congress observed local elections in Serbia
A delegation from the Congress headed by Nigel Mermagen (United Kingdom, ILDG) observed the local elections in Serbia on 6 May 2012.
On 3 and 4 May, briefings were planned in Belgrade, in particular with representatives of the Republic Electoral Commission, members of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities as well as representatives of civil society, NGOs, the media and international organisations including OSCE/ODIHR.
Meetings were also requested with representatives of the Ministry for Local Self-Government, Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, as well as mayoral candidates in Belgrade.
On 5 and 6 May, Congress delegation was deployed to several cities including Nis Presevo, Vranje, Novi Pazar, Novi Sad and Sremska Mitrovica, Subotica and Kanjiza to meet with candidates and to observe the vote on 6 May. The delegation, which will also include two members of the European Union's Committee of the Regions.
Council of Europe Congress carries out a pre-electoral visit to Belgrade
A delegation of the Congress, headed by Nigel Mermagen, United Kingdom (ILDG), carried out a pre-electoral mission to Serbia from 17 to 19 April, in view of the upcoming local elections scheduled for 6 May 2012. Briefings were planned, in particular, with: Predrag GrgiŠ, Chairperson of the Republic Electoral Commission, representatives of the Ministry for Local Self-Government, Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government as well as representatives of the diplomatic community and international organisations including OSCE/ODIHR. In addition, the pre-electoral delegation met members of the Serbian delegation to the Congress and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities as well as representatives of civil society, NGOs and the media.