2013 Mission to Montenegro (Presidential Elections)

The group of short-term international observers, accredited under non-governmental organization Belarus Watch, presented preliminary results of the observation of the presidential election in Montenegro on 7 April 2013. Observers visited 140 polling stations across the country. The conduct of election on the election day was positively assessed although minor discrepancies took place.

The election day was carried out in an orderly and peaceful manner. The mission noted high level of organization of the voting process and voting culture. Generally, Belarus Watch observers were welcomed by the members of the electoral commissions. They were knowledgeable and willing to provide comprehensive information to the observers and voters. The overall conduct of voting in the majority of cases was assessed as good or very good; the division of tasks between polling board officials ensured clear implementation of the registration process and casting of vote.

Representatives of the candidates were present at each polling station in the capacity of  authorized representatives, commission members and observers. There was no clear distinction between the roles of authorized reprepresentatives, observers and commission members as the functions they implemented at the polling stations overlapped. In some cases their role in helping in the work of polling boards was very active. For example, the information from the voter list was shared with them, as well as copied or marked with specific symbols.

The coupons when separated from the ballots served as the additional guarantee to the compliance with the secrecy principle. They secured that all the ballots were casted to the polling boxes and were not taken away.

Finger spraying was set to prevent cases of multiple voting. However, in some cases the fingers were checked randomly, there were incidents of non-spraying or the lamp was not turned on while checking.

The polling booths placed within a short distance from the polling board and being covered from three sides might have had an impact on the secrecy of vote. Although the choice of the voter was hardly visible, the booths’ juxtaposition to the commission could potentially entail voters’ psychological discomfort.

In many polling stations, members of the commissions used their mobile phones during voting and counting, which is not in line with the electoral law.

The polling boards handled counting in a professional manner; the process was clear and visible for all present.

Despite the mentioned irregularities, the election day was conducted professionally and calmly in accordance with international and national standards. The mission’s full report will be available shortly.

The mission is deployed within the framework of the international project "Election Observation: Theory and Practice" which is implemented by Belarus Watch in partnership with European Humanities University (EHU) and Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius. The previous project missions were sent to various European countries as well as to Belarus. 

Download the Results of the Presidential Election Observation in Montenegro in .pdf file