On October 31, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Electoral System in Kosovo: How functional is the Election Complaint System?”, held in Prishtina. The aim of this event was to discuss on the challenges, trends and overall process of the complaint system during both national and local electoral processes. At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented a Policy Note entitled: “Electoral Reform in Kosovo: The importance and challenges encountered in filing complaints during electoral processes”, which highlights the importance of a proper dissemination of information and awareness raising activities for the citizens to become familiar with the procedures necessary to file such complaints during electoral processes, the changing trends of complaints filed during electoral years in Kosovo, as well as challenges and needs of the Electoral Complaints and Appeals Panel, which is the key institutions on this regard. Data deriving from the research report show that since the elections organized back in 2007, there has been a significant number of fraudulent cases for which citizens have filed complaints, but the prosecution have seriously failed to conduct a proper investigation. Similar cases were also registered in 2010 elections, with an increasing trend of complaints filed during local elections, in comparison to the national ones. Some of the challenges that were identified during filing complaints include the lack of proper drafting of a complaint which in most cases results with the refusal due to being insufficiently elaborated, failure to submit complaints within the given legal deadline, as well as other technical issues that are mainly a consequence of lack of proper information of the citizens for the process. What remains the most concerning is the level to which these complaints are being dealt by the rule of law institutions, namely, the prosecution, which lacks concrete results in sanctioning such cases. Panelist agreed that most of the complaints filed are being submitted by the civil society organizations, rather than political parties of candidates proposed. In addition, they concluded that the system should further improve in order to be more accessible for the citizens, as well as proper awareness campaigns should take place in order for the citizens to become familiar with the process, and as a result, improve the quality of the complaints filed. This Roundtable Discussion was organized within the framework of the project entitled: “Raising Citizens Participation in the Electoral Process in Kosovo”, implemented by the Coalition for Electoral Integrity (KIZ), financed by the Democratic Society Promotion Program.
Mr. Mul Desku – Chairperson of the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel;
Mr. Xhemail Peçani – Director of the Legal Office at the Central Election Commission;
Ms. Annette Fath-Lihic – Political Advisor at the EU Office in Kosovo/EUSR;
Mr. Ehat Miftaraj – Executive Director / Kosovo Law Institute (KLI).
Venue: Hotel Swiss Diamond, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo.
January 14, 2019
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