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ODIHR opens election observation mission in Montenegro

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MONTENEGRO, Podgorica, 9 February 2023 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today opened an observation mission for the 19 March presidential election in Montenegro, following an invitation from the national authorities.

The mission is led by Tamás Meszerics and consists of a core team of 10 experts based in Podgorica. ODIHR has requested a secondment of 14 long-term observers by the OSCE participating States, who will be deployed throughout the country from 17 February. ODIHR also plans to request 100 short-term observers, to arrive several days before election day.

The mission will assess the presidential election for its compliance with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation.

Observers will closely monitor the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, campaign activities, including in the media and on social networks, election-related legislation and its implementation, and the resolution of election-related disputes. They will also assess the implementation of previous ODIHR election recommendations. The ODIHR Election Observation Mission will observe and assess political and institutional developments to the extent that they impact the presidential election.

To assess the pre-election activities, the ODIHR mission will hold meetings with representatives of state authorities, political parties and candidates, civil society, the media and the international community.

On election day, the ODIHR mission will join efforts with delegations from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament to observe the opening of polling stations, voting, the counting of ballots and the tabulation of results.

An interim report will be published some two weeks before the elections to update the public and media on the observation mission’s activities. The day after the election, the mission’s preliminary findings and conclusions will be presented at a press conference. A final report assessing the entire election process and containing recommendations will be published some months after the elections.

The ODIHR Election Observation Mission and the OSCE Mission to Montenegro operate independently under separate mandates.

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