Wednesday, 20 December 2006

PACE monitoring delegation’s pre-election visit to National Assembly

The head of Serbia’s Permanent Representation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Milos Aligrudic, and Representation member Miloljub Albijanic, today met members of an ad hoc commission formed by PACE to monitor general elections in Serbia scheduled for 21 January 2007. The PACE delegation, on a pre-election monitoring visit to Belgrade from 18 to 21 December, is headed by Tadeusz Iwinski.



The head of Serbia’s Permanent Representation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Milos Aligrudic, and Representation member Miloljub Albijanic, today met members of an ad hoc commission formed by PACE to monitor general elections in Serbia scheduled for 21 January 2007. The PACE delegation, on a pre-election monitoring visit to Belgrade from 18 to 21 December, is headed by Tadeusz Iwinski.
Council of Europe (CoE) parliamentarians emphasised that they devoted a great deal of attention to the political situation and the upcoming general election in Serbia, as Serbia is to take over CoE presidency in May 2007. They expressed great interest for the election system, especially the distribution of seats in parliament, how ethnic minorities, refugees, and displaced persons would vote, how women’s participation in the new parliament would be ensured, as well as how political parties were financed.

Mr Aligrudic informed the visiting delegation about the election system, adding that parties were not obliged by legislation to adhere to the order of candidates on their electoral list when nominating deputies, but that this was rather a matter the party would decide on its own. He underlined that the Republic Electoral Commission would decide which ethnic minority political parties would take part in the distribution of seats even when they do not pass the census, i.e. polling less than 5% of all votes cast.
Aligrudic emphasised that all Serbian nationals had the right to vote, including those living outside Serbia, as well as that internally displaced persons from Kosovo and Metohia would vote at specially designated polling stations. All parliamentary parties are awarded budgetary funds for their campaigns, and are obliged to submit reports detailing use of those assets after the election. Another source of financing, Aligrudic added, were donations, which had to be transparent. He expressed his conviction that the upcoming, second democratic general election in Serbia would contribute to the stabilisation of political situation as a whole, and improve the Assembly’s activities.



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