SKOPJE, 13 September 2017 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) formally opened an election observation mission (EOM) for the 15 October municipal elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The mission’s deployment follows an invitation from the authorities.
The mission is led by Ambassador Audrey Glover and consists of a core team of 16 experts based in Skopje and 20 long-term observers, who will be deployed throughout the country in teams of two from 18 September. In addition, ODIHR will request that OSCE participating States provide 300 short-term observers, who will arrive several days before election day.
The mission will assess these elections for their compliance with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation. Observers will closely monitor candidate and voter registration, campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, election-related legislation and its implementation, and the resolution of election-related disputes. As part of the observation, the mission will also monitor the media coverage of the campaign.
In the course of its observation, the mission will meet with representatives from state authorities and political parties, as well as with candidates, and with representatives from civil society, the media and the international community.
On election day, observers will monitor the opening of polling stations, voting, the counting of ballots and the tabulation of results. The mission will publish an interim report in the course of its work. The day after the elections, a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions will be issued at a press conference. ODIHR will issue a final report on the observation approximately eight weeks after the end of the electoral process.
The OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission and the OSCE Mission to Skopje operate separately and independently under their own mandates.