OSCE’s report about the referendum: Despite the legal discrepancies, fundamental freedoms were observed


While the legal framework did not cover all aspects sufficiently, the 30 September Referendum was
administered impartially and fundamental freedoms were respected throughout the campaign, concluded the international observers in today’s press release.

There were no restrictions on fundamental rights associated with the campaign, including the
freedoms of assembly, association and expression. The absence of an active ‘Against’ or organized boycott campaign meant that the media struggled to provide balanced coverage but did convey extensive information and diverse views to
voters. The legal framework for the referendum is neither comprehensive nor harmonized. The Referendum
Law sets out the basic rules for the referendum process, but lacks detail on certain substantive aspects.
Attempts by the State Election Commission (SEC) to fill these gaps and clarify other issues through
regulations raised questions about their legal basis and the scope of the SEC’s regulatory authority.” said Ambassador Jan Petersen, the Head of the ODIHR mission for observing the referendum.

The observers also concluded that “The parliament, primarily through the ruling SDSM and DUI parties, led the ‘For’ campaign, which was broadly supported by ethnic communities and also featured a high degree of engagement by foreign leaders and representatives of the EU, US and NATO.”

They concluded that “Although there was no active ‘Against’ campaign, a coalition of civic associations and two
smaller political parties advocated a boycott through rallies and on social media, often featuring
inflammatory language,” said the observers.

“If we respected those that decided not to vote, we will have to respect those over half a million that seriously understood the referendum and decided to cast their vote for the country’s future. They expressed their will in a peaceful environment. For the future, we hope that the issue of the correctness of the electoral roll will be finally solved” said Stefan Schennach, Head of the delegation of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.

The observers concluded that “The SEC administered the referendum impartially and generally met legal deadlines. The commission held regular public meetings that were conducted in an efficient and collegial manner but lacked substantive
debate on key issues.”

The lower level commissions generally worked in a professional manner even though there were some minor irregularities, the voting process on the day of the referendum was assessed as positive at 98% of the polling stations that were visited by international observers. The legal framework for financing the referendum campaign does not include spending limits and lacks clear requirements for disclosure, auditing procedures and sanctions. The government allocated some
EUR 1.3 million to the parliament to spend on media advertisements, which the opposition declined,
thus only the ‘For’ portion of the public funds were spent. The legal framework provides for observation of the referendum by international and citizen observers. The “proposer” of the referendum, in this case the parliament, had the right to appoint representatives to observe in polling stations but declined to do so, assessed the observers.

Нашите вести во вашето сандаче

Секој ден во 17 ч. добивајте ги вестите од Новинската агенција Мета директно на вашата електронска адреса.

Ве молиме одберете на кој начин сакате да добивате информации од нас:
Можете да се отпишете од оваа листа преку линкот на крајот од нашите пораки.