Skopje, 22 June 2020 (MIA) – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today formally opened a special election assessment mission (SEAM) for the 15 July 2020 early parliamentary elections in North Macedonia. The deployment follows an official invitation from the authorities of North Macedonia.
Laima Andrikiene (Lithuania) heads the mission, which consists of a core team of eight international experts based in Skopje. The ODIHR SEAM will continue the observation that began with an election observation mission (EOM) to the early parliamentary elections scheduled for 12 April 2020, which were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ODIHR said in a press release.
The mission will assess the elections for their compliance with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation. Observers will follow fundamental aspects of the election such as voter registration, candidate registration, campaign activities and the media coverage of the campaign, the work of the election administration and relevant state bodies, implementation of the legal framework, and the resolution of election disputes. In addition, the ODIHR SEAM will monitor the media coverage of the election campaign.
Meetings with representatives of state authorities and political parties, civil society, the media and the international community are also planned. The ODIHR SEAM will co-operate closely with the health authorities of North Macedonia and follow the health protocols they have established.
The ODIHR SEAM will not carry out systematic or comprehensive observation of the voting, counting and tabulation proceedings on election day, in line with ODIHR’s methodology for election assessment missions. Mission members will, however, visit a limited number of polling stations on election day.
The day after the elections, ODIHR will publish its preliminary conclusions about the electoral process and present its findings at a press conference. An invitation to participate will follow separately. A final report with an assessment of the entire election process, containing recommendations, will be published approximately two months after the end of the election process, reads the press release.