Election observers from the ‘Coalition for Free and Fair Elections – Pod Lupom’ (Under the Magnifying Glass) recorded a total of 538 different election irregularities of various kinds between September 7 and October 11, and the largest number of them (185) refer to cases of premature campaigning and cases of misuse of public resources for the purpose of the election campaign.
Representatives of Pod Lupom, Jelena Tanaskovic-Micanovic and Dario Jovanovic, presented the preliminary report on their observations for the period between September 7 and October 11 regarding the upcoming local election at a press conference on Thursday.
The election is to take place on November 16, and the Pod Lupom representatives pointed out that the election campaign officially begins a month earlier, on October 16, and that any paid public promotions and pre-election activities, except for internal party gatherings, are banned until then.
The observers said that there were cases of identity theft and abuse of personal data for voting via mail recorded and that the Central Election Commission (CEC) has received a record number of registrations for voting abroad this year – nearly 130,000.
They noted that analysis shows that the practice of ‘trading’ in polling station council seats between political parties is continuing and that there were numerous cases of pressure on voters and purchasing votes.
Hate speech was recorded in 17 cases across 14 municipalities and cities, where “the advantages of social networks, especially Facebook, are also used,” they said, pointing out the recent case of the ‘Ujedinjena Srpska’ (United Srpska) party, which the CEC disqualified over a promotional video it deemed insulting to members of certain ethnic groups and minorities in the country.
Future officials to serve more than 3,200 functions at the local level will be elected by nearly 3,3 Bosnian citizens in the November election.
The CEC has registered a total of 543 political entities and more than 30,000 candidates running in the election.
Pod Lupom, together with 85 civil society organizations and informal groups, has 100 long-term election observers in all municipalities, cities, and the Brcko District Bosnia and Herzegovina.