Koprivica: It takes at least a year for the voter list to be in the condition it should be

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Koprivica said that in a time when there is not enough, there is nothing more important than electoral reforms, because through fair and fair elections, the legitimacy of institutions is drawn, and after that, the complete organization and functioning of the state.

It will take at least a year for the voter list to be in the state it should be in a democratic community after the adoption of a new set of laws concerning the election process, said Dragan Koprivica, executive director of the Center for Democratic Transition (CDT).

He pointed out at the conference “How to achieve electoral integrity” that in a time when there is no abundance, there is nothing more important than electoral reforms, because through fair and just elections, the legitimacy of institutions is drawn, and then the complete organization and functioning of the state.

“The election years are also 2022, 2023 and 2024, I hope we will not enter the zone to change the election rules and adjust the election institutions in the election year, so the appeal of the CDT is to start the electoral reform as soon as possible,” he said. Nettle.

He added that the change of government on August 30 opened the space for a comprehensive reform of the election legislation in order to obtain a more credible election process, but that the conditions for holding the elections have not changed so far.

“So that the quality of the electoral list has not improved, the electoral administration dominated by the interests of the parties, which, to put it mildly, made a problematic decision, has not disappeared abuses of resources have not been prevented, transparency of party financing has not been increased, and suspicions of illicit financing are still relevant, party employment has not disappeared, we have not received more objective information about the election process, disinformation campaigns have not been prevented, political interference in the election process has not disappeared. nor the interference of third parties who have no place in the election process, has not increased the representation of women in politics, “said Koprivica.

He pointed out that the CDT welcomed the political will to reform the electoral process and the beginning of the work of the Council for the Control of the Voters’ List.

The international community also has an important role to play in helping to improve the electoral environment and, through its experience, can contribute to resolving some contentious issues in a better way.

The President of the Assembly, Aleksa Bečić, said that it was necessary to restore trust and integrity in the election process and that the previous parliamentary elections had contributed to that.

“Over the past decade, from the election to the election process, we have strengthened the degree of public distrust in the election process. Practically, I do not remember any election process without it being marked by a major affair that was not recorded in the reports of the European Commission and which is pointed out from year to year. “Certainly, the two most drastic examples of the” Snimak “and” Koverta “scandals, in my opinion, neither one nor the other received a legal epilogue, and that only encouraged all those who are responsible for this level of distrust in the election process,” Becic said.

He recalled examples from previous election campaigns where coalition partners in power were accused of buying votes, messages from the international community about democratic setbacks and endemic corruption.

“Collectively, it was an environment that does not suit a country that is a serious contender and which will be the first next member of the European Union. What is good is that on August 30, we mastered that first lesson on democratic maturation, and that is that we have shown that power is changeable. It was a date that was historic and a date that generations to come will remember. It is historical and because of the turnout in those elections, in such epidemiological conditions, the turnout of 77 percent is proof of the citizens to decide on their destiny “, said Bečić.

He added that a positive example of the election process is the peaceful transition of power, which was also contributed by the opposition, and which showed everyone’s readiness for change.

The British ambassador to Montenegro, Karen Maddox, agreed with him, pointing out that according to research, 81% of citizens now believe that the government in Montenegro can change, while that percentage before the parliamentary elections was 49%.

“However, democracy can be fragile and governments have a duty to protect it. It is more than what is happening on election day, it is an ongoing process that requires an open society with empowered citizens and a responsible Assembly from the civil sector, the media and all citizens. “This process needs a government that needs to cooperate with other parties and consult widely in order to reach a consensus,” Maddox said.

At the conference “How to achieve electoral integrity”, they agreed that although the international community could enable important factors of the electoral process to gather, the parties should gather themselves, because that would achieve a longer-term effect.

The conference was organized by the CDT with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Embassy of the United Kingdom.