Statement of OSCE Mission to BiH Head Kavalec following the local elections 2020
SARAJEVO, 17 November 2020 - While the country waits for the official election results, Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, thanked voters in BiH for taking the time to cast their ballots and investing in a democratic future. She also conveyed her gratitude to poll workers who made voting possible, observers who helped ensure the integrity of the election, and to the media for professional delivery of timely and adequate information to the public.
“We congratulate the officials who voters have entrusted with the privilege and responsibility of serving citizens and wish them success in addressing the needs of their communities. It is clear that BiH citizens have high expectations for their elected officials to focus on the betterment of their communities in the interests of all citizens,” stated Kavalec.
While there were no major incidents during the elections, the OSCE Mission to BiH noted some areas of concern worth highlighting.
The turnout of voters in BiH remained relatively low, at around 50 percent, perhaps partially influenced by the COVID-19 concerns. As for the process itself, the Mission noted that media, political parties and NGOs reported numerous alleged irregularities at different polling stations, including some cases in which observers were not allowed to enter polling stations. “We urge the Central Election Commission, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors across the country to react promptly. This is the only way to rebuild trust in election processes in BiH,” said Kavalec.
On Sunday, Kavalec visited the Pod Lupom Coalition to thank them for their vital work. The Coalition deployed 2,600 independent observers throughout the country on election day. She noted that the presence of independent observers is one of the best ways to safeguard election integrity.
“Not allowing independent observers to enter polling stations is unacceptable. I raised this issue on election day with the Central Election Commission (CEC) members, who committed to addressing this and other alleged irregularities,” said Kavalec. The OSCE Mission to BiH once again expresses its gratitude to the CEC for all of its efforts in ensuring a transparent and fair election process and readiness to react to all alleged attempts of election fraud and electoral engineering.
Ambassador Kavalec also reminded election administration officials on the importance of a fair and transparent process of vote counting and tabulation, as a crucial step in protecting integrity of the election process and regaining citizens’ trust in the fairness of elections.
The OSCE Mission to BiH remains the partner of local communities in advancing everyday life for the benefit of all citizens in BiH.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: https://www.osce.org/mission-to-bosnia-and-herzegovina/470676