Election: ODIHR and CoE Observers Present Preliminary Conclusions

The first round of the presidential election was competitive and voters were able to make an informed choice.

Election day was assessed overall positively, with voting procedures largely respected, while in some cases, during the counting, election boards did not fully complete prescribed procedures.

Those are the preliminary findings and conclusions by ODIHR and Council of Europe (CoE) observers, presented at a press-conference on Thursday.

As ODIHR Election Observation Mission (EOM) Head Jillian Stirk pointed out, the legal framework provides the basis for democratic elections but it does not sufficiently regulate some important elements of a presidential contest, and recent changes were introduced through a process that lacked transparency and public consultation.

“Fundamental freedoms were respected in the campaign but as election day approached, and the presidential and parliamentary races blurred, the rhetoric became increasingly negative and, in some cases, discriminatory, reflecting political fragmentation and ethnic divisions” the ODIHR EOM Head stressed, inter alia.