Transparency International calls for an investigation into election irregularities and harassment of civil society monitors in Montenegro

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International, the global movement against corruption, calls on the government of Montenegro and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as well as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe  (OSCE PA) to investigate irregularities related to the recent municipal elections in Montenegro and concerns over the harassment of election observers from civil society.

"Democratic elections should be carried out with full transparency and allow civil society representatives to closely observe electoral processes at all levels without interference. This did not happen in Montenegro. All observed and documented electoral irregularities must be followed up by oversight authorities and properly investigated," said Miklos Marschall, deputy managing director of Transparency International.

Over 500 observers cooperated with Transparency International's partner organisation in Montenegro, MANS, on 25 May 2014, to monitor municipal elections across the country. They recorded more than 800 irregularities, including parallel voter registries, violations of secrecy during voting, abuse of the postal voting process and cases of multiple voting.

Most observers were also subject to harassment or undue pressure.

Despite the fact that the irregularities were reported to the election authorities within the time-frame specified and in accordance with regulations all documented cases were rejected.

"These actions are not compatible with the values of democracy and cast a serious shadow on Montenegro's path to membership of the European Union," said Marschall.

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